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The Classic Engagement Ring Setting

16 April 20

If you are looking to choose an engagement ring you may wish to begin your journey with exploring the settings available. Here we discuss the classic claw style setting, its properties and its design.

When choosing the perfect engagement ring you may wish to consider the selection of settings available. The setting refers to the way in which the stone, often a diamond, is held in place by precious metal. The setting often creates the foundation for the style of an engagement ring as well as providing safety and security for your precious diamond.   

If you are looking to choose an engagement ring you may wish to begin your journey with the shape of diamond you are looking for, the style of ring you feel your partner may like or the type of precious metal that suits your partner’s lifestyle. Each of these starting points would also help you in your journey to selecting the setting of your engagement ring. Here, we first explore each of these elements before delving into the most popular engagement ring setting.

The Shape or Cut of Your Diamond

The shape of diamond will often effect the design of the settings that are available to you, whether it be a fancy cut diamond or a more classic round brilliant cut, the security of your diamond should be considered as well as the overall style and appearance of the ring.

The classic round brilliant cut is often set with a classic a four, or six, claw setting. In this instance each claw is a small rounded prong that holds your precious gemstone in place. In comparison, fancy cut diamonds, such as a pear cut or a marquise cut diamond, the claws are often set in a triangular or V shape design to protect the delicate point of these magnificent fancy stones.  These claws, although in different places or sometimes even different amounts still create the same setting, a claw setting which we will explore further below.

The setting in all instances acts as the sole protection for your diamond and relies on the expert craftsmanship of your jeweller to mould and form a setting which holds your chosen shape of diamond perfectly.

Your Engagement Ring Style

The style of engagement ring you are searching for will, of course, effect the types of settings you can choose from. The style will depict if the jeweller will need to hand-craft a setting that holds one, two or even three diamonds, whether the setting features a halo or perhaps diamond shoulders and the most secure way to do this.  

The most popular style, and often considered the most classic for an engagement ring, is a solitaire or a single diamond, set with delicate claws, often in platinum, as this is the most hard wearing of all of the precious metals.

Your Precious Metal Selection

The precious metal you select for your, or your loved ones, engagement ring is often based on the colour of the metal but it is also important to consider the physical properties of each metal and how the metal you choose can affect the security and appearance of your setting. Here, in an article dedicated to precious metals, we explore the properties and benefits of each choice

A Claw Style Setting

This traditional style setting sees a diamond set into a selection of metal prongs that securely cradle a singular stone or multiple stones. This setting sees each prong carefully tapered round each of the diamond’s facets, lifting the diamond high above the ring’s band, enabling the light to enter and exit the diamond from each and every angle. This setting has become a popular choice for those after a traditional, timeless look as this setting creates maximum brilliance and sparkle, with a delicate or minimum amount of metal.

This classic setting can be hand-crafted by one our skilled jewellers using an array of precious metals but you will often notice that the claws, or the prongs we previously mentioned, are set in platinum. The reason for this is firstly to ensure the diamond, or diamonds, are as secure as possible but also to ensure that the stone does not absorb or reflect the rose or yellow of the metal, as seen in gold.

Here, you will find just one exquisite example of a claw setting. This 1.00ct round brilliant cut diamond solitaire is set with four delicate claws to perfectly surround the diamond. This claw style setting is available in a selection of different designs such as the magnolia or tulip, which sees a floral take on a claw style setting, or perhaps the compass point, which sees each claw set with a creative twist. There is a comprehensive selection of designs which can be created with a claw setting, each with its own distinctive features and style.

The claw setting, like all settings, will need to be cared for and looked after. The setting, specifically the claws that surround your diamond, should be checked by a dedicated specialist every three to four years, just to ensure the security of your diamond. It is also worth noting that every eight to ten years, depending on wear, we would suggest re-tipping your claws, if needed. This process ensure that each claw is moulder or shaped around your diamond just as tightly as it was the day it was hand-crafted by our jeweller.

Another setting that you may explore on your journey to find the perfect engagement ring is known as a rub-over setting, or when seen as diamond shoulders, a wedding or an eternity ring, a channel setting. This setting features one or two walls of your chosen precious metal forming either a frame around your diamond or a frame around a row of diamonds. Like the claw setting, it requires a skilled jeweller to create these delicate frames ensuring not that not only the true beauty of each diamond is showcased but that each individual diamond, whether it be the centerpiece or the shoulders of your setting, is as safe and secure as possible.

The key advantage to this particular setting is its smooth texture, with no prongs it can be favoured for its durability, fully encasing the diamond or diamonds so they are less likely to get damaged. Of course, the prong or claw setting is often combined with a channel setting to create a selection of beautiful designs.

Here, we see an example of a classic round brilliant cut solitaire diamond engagement ring. This design features a four claw setting around the centre stone alongside channel set shoulders. This example perfectly highlights two parallel pieces of metal framing each delicate row of round brilliant cut diamonds down the shank, or band, of the ring.

A second example, found here, is another round brilliant cut diamond, this time set with claws on the inner centre stone and a rub-over or channel style bezel around the outer halo. This example again features channel set round brilliant cut diamond shoulders. 

If you are looking to select your perfect engagement ring, then there are so many options to consider and each of our showrooms will always encourage you to ask questions to ensure you are completely happy with your choice.  

If you would like further information on our key advice when selecting an engagement ring you may wish to explore here, an interview with Abbey Whitehead the Showroom Manager at Prestons Leeds. This article explores some essential suggestions to help you on your journey as well as what makes the experience of visiting Prestons so special.



Our Showrooms

Over the years, generations of families have become customers of Prestons, and many have gone on to become friends. Today, our teams look forward to welcoming you to our showrooms in Wilmslow, Guildford, Norwich and Leeds.

Prestons Guildford


Our Guildford showroom, which is now located on the opposite side of the high street, is designed to reflect the architectural merit of the Edwardian building it now occupies. The store features newly extended spaces dedicated to the fine watch houses it showcases, alongside a comfortable lounge to allow our clients to explore our bridal and fine jewellery collections. Explore This Showroom

Prestons Wilmslow


Located in the heart of Wilmslow, this showroom features a selection of spaces dedicated to the fine watch houses it showcases. Of course, the bridal collections Prestons have always been famous for remain a prominent feature of the store and surround the famous Aquarium Bar which sits at its centre. Explore This Showroom

Rolex by Prestons, Leeds


This showroom, located in Victoria Gate, features extensive Rolex showcases alongside a discrete VIP lounge. Every element of the interior design radiates the values of the Rolex crown: excellence, precision and attention to detail from louvre walls in walnut, to the careful calibration of colours and patterns within the fittings and furnishings. Explore This Showroom

Prestons Norwich


Located on the historic Norwich high street, Prestons Norwich has been expanded and redesigned to reflect the character of the building it has occupied for over 150 years. The showroom features collections by Patek Philippe, Rolex and TUDOR alongside our fine jewellery collections. Explore This Showroom
Guildford showroom