What Is A Bezel Setting?

Posted on July 08, 2014 by Mary Hood | 0 Comments

bezel setting, sapphire ring

Inspired by Ancient Roman relics and twigs from Central Park, the eco-conscious Sky Blue Sapphire Serenity Ring features a bezel setting, which helps keep the dazzling sapphire secure.

The bezel setting, also known as a rub over setting in diamond rings, is one of the most secure ways to wear a precious stone. Simply put, a bezel setting is little metal cup that surrounds the edge of a stone while the rim of the metal cup holds the stone in place. The setting is soldered into place on the rest of the piece.


Late Roman rings from the Thetford Hoard on display at the british museum
Bezel settings, some with missing stones
Because the rim of the bezel setting is pressed over the stone, the stone is far less likely to slip out than it would be in a prong setting.  (Of course, a well-made prong setting can last for years, and the more prongs, the more secure the stone. Just be sure to fix loose settings immediately!)

The epitome of goddess glamour: Bezel Set Emerald Cut Solitaire Ring with Rustic Details

From this angle, you can see how the bezel setting tightly cups the diamond while the rim of the setting holds the stone in place. 

Also, the greater coverage provided by bezel settings offers more protection for a stone, making the setting optimal for softer stones like opal, tanzanite, and apatite, all of which have a hardness of 7 or less on the Mohs scale. Bezel settings may also hide nicks on the side of a gem. 

Not only is the bezel setting possibly safer for your gem, it also helps prevent diamonds and other hard stones from scratching any surface with which they may come into contact.  Additionally, bezel set jewelry probably won’t catch your hair or clothing and may be a more practical choice for someone with an active lifestyle. 

photo credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/kotomi-jewelry/2924639662/">Kotomi_</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/">cc</a>

Ancient Hair Ornament with 5 Bezel Set Stones

British Museum

 It’s important to keep in mind, however, that sometimes a bezel setting may be slightly more expensive since they must be custom fit to the particular stone and require more metal than a prong setting. Furthermore, transparent stones may not catch as much light in a bezel setting as they would in a prong setting. The lower the rim of the bezel, the more light is able to reach the stone.

When choosing between a bezel and prong setting, be sure to also consider the overall aesthetic of the piece. Perhaps a bezel setting lends a nice modern touch to an engagement ring--or maybe a prong setting adds dramatic height to a stone. Discuss with your jeweler the best way to showcase your stone (and your style!) while keeping the gem as safe as possible. 

bezel setting, sterling silver earrings

These graceful Sterling Silver Teardrop Earrings with Lemon Quartz made with reclaimed silver use a bezel setting to display elegant Lemon Quartz.


Photos: Barbara Michelle Jacobs, Late Roman rings photo wikipedia.org/Geni, Ancient hairpiece photo credit flickr.com/photos/kotomi-jewelry/2924639662/

Posted in Ancient jewelry, bezel setting, Diamonds, Informational, jewelry, jewelry settings



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