Thinking about buying a pave setting for an engagement ring but don’t know what merits and demerits to expect?
Congratulations, you have landed on the right page. Here you are going to learn a lot including:
- Is pave setting the right one for your engagement ring?
- The difference between a pave setting and solitaire setting and other settings
- The best online jewelry store to buy pave setting engagement ring
- And a lot more!
When you buy a pave setting, you become the owner of a common and multi-functional ring setting. You can choose a scalloped pave, micro pave, or French pave and still get a stunning ring.
A pave ring allows a lot of light to get through that causes the ring to sparkle when light is reflected. Light bounces off the diamonds which makes the center stone look very attractive.
What is a Pave Setting?
Pave settings get their name from how the diamonds or other gemstones are set in the ring band. It refers more to the style of the ring rather than the setting.
For example, there are several halo settings that utilize pave diamonds inside the halo and also in the shank. It is very rare to find pave diamonds in bezel settings, but very likely to find them in tension settings.
The word “pave” is French for “paved road”. In this kind of setting, the diamond stones are compacted together such that the metal that lies between the stones is not seen or barely seen. When arranged like that, the design looks like a street made of diamonds.
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There are different styles for pave setting rings, the commonest being the micro pave. Pave diamonds are usually 11-2mm. micro pave diamonds always weigh .01 carat. Carat.
Pave diamonds are popularly known as diamond chips. Micro pave settings are used in diamond engagement rings as well as diamond rings that men like to wear.
The French and scalloped styles are not well known but we can still mention them. When you use the aerial view to look at these two kinds of styles, you may not see any difference. However, the profile view brings about a clear difference although very slight.
Pave setting rings are among the commonest in the jewelry industry. This means that whichever style you like, you can be sure that your ring will stay in fashion for many years to come.
Pros and Cons of Pave-Set Engagement Rings
Pave settings boast great advantages, but there are also some downsides. But are the demerits deal breakers? We can’t really tell for sure, it depends on what you make of a deal-breaker. No idea? We shall figure this out together. Let’s look at the good and bad of buying a pave setting for an engagement ring.
- Highlights the center diamond
- Has additional sparkle
- No need to keep diamond grades high
- Looks good on several ring settings
- Higher price tag
- Small diamonds likely to fall out
- Very hard for jewelers to resize
When you own a pave ring, it is a clear indication that you value things that shine and there is no doubt that a pave-set ring does sparkle. A regular size of pave gives off shiny light flashes.
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If you prefer micro pave to other styles, you will notice that the small light flashes make the ring so shiny. All pave styles highlight the center stone by forming a glittering path on it.
Because of the high amount o light going through the center diamonds, it is not necessary to get highly graded diamond characteristics for the stone. However, if you want to opt for a straight-set pave band, you will need high diamond grades.
When it comes to the halo style, you may be forced to go for the high carat weight. The pave stones in halo will make the center stone look bigger than it is. The settings sparkle very much that it will be very difficult for anyone to notice that the diamond’s clarity is SI.
Pave settings are versatile as they can be mixed easily with various other styles, the common ones being vintage and halo. Others are pave split shank, pave tension, and bezel settings. The pave is so common because of its versatility.
Aside from all these good things, a pave also has some shortcomings. To start with, pave-set rings do not have prongs. In the place of prongs are small metal beads placed on the diamond to secure the stone.
The same metal beads are placed under the pave diamond when it comes to micro pave styles. This is a good thing but when knocked very hard, the bead can easily crack and fall off. This has been seen commonly happening in designer rings like Vera Wang and Neil Lane.
No need to worry because there is what is known as a channel set pave diamond. Sounds confusing right? In a channel set, the diamonds are put together in a line and soldered on the top and bottom of every diamond.
With a channel setting, the diamonds are also small and the chances of falling off are high. However, this is more secure than the small metal beads.
It is quite common for diamonds to fall off from a ring, but this is not solely attributed to the craftsmanship. If you do not routinely maintain the diamonds, there is no stopping them from falling off.
Routine maintenance for ring settings includes rhodium plating in white gold, resizing the ring up or down, re-tipping the prongs, tightening stones, among other works. It has over time become hard for jewelers to resize pave set rings since the center diamond goes far down the pave ring.
Resizing a ring that has the diamonds going down more than half the shank may make the stones be loose and fall out and continue falling out. This means you must make sure that the diamonds do not go deep more than half the shank.
Pave Setting vs Solitaire Setting for Engagement Rings
With pave settings being versatile and allowing to be combined with different other settings, some styles do not have pave stones in them. Here, we have a comparison between pave and other shank-style options.
- Pave settings are the best if you want to attract attention with a small center stone
- Pave settings sparkle a lot
- Solitaire settings make it easy for you to match wedding bands
- Solitaire lasts longer
- Pave settings can be knocked easily
- Pave diamonds need routine maintenance
- Solitaire center diamond needs high grades
- Solitaire makes center diamonds appear small
It is quite unlikely that we pay attention to how our hands get knocked around as we go about our daily activities. Small knocks here and there every day eventually make the pave diamonds fall out. However, this is not to say that pave diamonds will all fallout, it is just to mean that the risk is high.
Because of this reason, pave settings or diamonds require extra care than solitaire. When cleaning at home, use water and mild soap together with a toothbrush that has soft bristles to scrub the diamonds. This may take a few minutes but it pays off when it comes to diamond sparkle.
The solitaire setting has all it focuses on the center stone; this means you have to pick high diamond grades including high carat weight. The solitaire is a simple setting but can look awkward if the appearance is compromised.
With regards to a carat weight, any carat below .5 will not make the diamond look great. This carat weight, however, will look amazing in a pave setting.
Pave Setting vs Shared Prong Settings for Engagement Rings
Pave diamonds shine a lot, they are dramatic and instantly attract attention wherever you go, particularly the micro pave.
With pave settings, diamond grades are not an issue since the pave diamonds are very small. When it comes to a shared prong setting, there are two melee diamonds that share two tiny prongs.
- Pave stones attract a lot of attention
- Pave settings keep the 4Cs to a minimum
- Shared prong settings offer more diamond security
- Shared prong settings make the melee diamonds sparkle while holding them in place
- Pave diamonds don’t have a single prong
- Pave diamonds are found almost everywhere
- Shared prongs are common in eternity bands delicate ring setting
- It is expensive to repair shared prong settings
Shared prong settings are larger than pave and make it easy for side stones to sparkle. These settings also secure diamonds in the prongs more effectively than the metal beads in pave.
Pave settings are not very strong like shared prongs because of the absence of prongs. The tiny diamonds or diamond chips can be held in place by the metal beads or metal can be put on the lower side if it is a micro pave setting.
When shopping, you will find shared prongs mostly in eternity bands. Such bands are beautiful but not so practical since the diamonds run around. It will also dent your wallet a little bit when it comes to repairing a shared prong since the prongs are so tiny and they require extra maintenance and careful craftsmanship and maintenance has to be done by an experienced jeweler.
Where to Buy Pave Setting Engagement Rings
Pave settings are not so common styles for designing engagement rings and you can find them in most jewelry stores. However, for high-quality products, you may have to expand your search to accommodate online retailers.
If you like to shop from the brick and mortar stores, you should start with local jewelers that can custom a ring for you. Alternatively, you could buy from jewelry stores that are family-owned and that do not stock and commercial jewelry. But in my opinion, the most recommended place to buy a pave-set diamond ring is online. Here now are some of the most preferred online diamond sellers.
James Allen is the best place to buy diamonds online. One downside of shopping from a mega-store like Helzberg or Jared is how pushy the salespeople can get. But you cannot really blame them; after all, they work on commission and need to make as many sales as possible.
The advantage of shopping from an online store such as James Allen, is the fact that their customer service is available 24/7, and will answer all the questions that you may have about diamonds. Since they have no sales goals to achieve, you can rest assured that the information you will get is reliable. They are available to give you an unbiased information about getting your preferred ring.
James Allen has an amazing 360 technology for viewing all their diamonds in the inventory. This technique allows you to view the diamonds very closely to identify any inclusions and blemishes as well as the diamond characteristics so that you can buy a ring with confidence.
Once you pick a desirable diamond you go right ahead to choose the diamond setting that you like such as bezel settings. You can also look at the ring you create and you will not be charged for labor.
The best part about James Allen is their lifetime warranty that covers all routine repairs you may need like cleaning and polishing precious metal, rhodium plating for white gold, stone tightening, and prong re-tipping among other works.
As James Allen, Blue Nile is also popular. They also let you build your engagement ring or wedding ring.
They give you a chance to choose a diamond cut and select from the diamond grades to pick the best center stone for your diamonds. On the negative side, not all Blue Nile’s diamonds are available for viewing using 360-degree technology. Their technology is also not as good as that of James Allen.
Being one of the largest online jewelers, Blue Nile lives up to what they promise. Many customers have reported Blue Nile having a great customer service team, saying that it is better to shop from them than driving down to a megastore.
Their staff does not work on commission. This means any information you get is going to be accurate and from GIA-trained diamond experts.
Although they have a warranty, Blue Nile does not offer a warranty that is too friendly. They provide their customers a manufacturer’s warranty. This warranty takes care of all the manufacturing repairs. This means that if the ring has a defect that is their fault, they will repair or replace it. Any other kinds of damages from normal wear and tear, you will take care of the cost on your own. In my opinion, any company that manufactures defective products should be responsible for the repairs.
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Another online jewelry store that provides ring customization and diamond filtering are Whiteflash. This store is very proud of their high brilliance diamond collection.
While their diamonds can be a bit more expensive than the two stores we have already looked at, they are still cheaper than those stocked by physical jewelry stores. Their diamond quality is also better than the diamonds found at megastores.
All their customers get a year service plan for the diamond rings they buy. The plan covers all kinds of repairs such as re-tipping prongs, resizing, polishing, and cleaning. As soon as the year ends, all these services will be offered at a cost that you will take care of out of pocket.