Tension Set Engagement Rings – A Style Guide to Tension Settings


What are tension set engagement rings?

Tension set engagement rings rely on enormous tension from the ring’s setting to hold the diamond securely in place. Diamonds suit tension settings owing to their hardness and durability. Most tension settings feature a solid one-part ring design.

Tension settings use the tensile strength of precious metal to retain diamonds or gemstones. Many designs draw inspiration from tensile design works used in building and architecture.

A structure that is characterized by a tensioning of the fabric or pliable material system (typically with wire or cable) to provide the critical structural support to the structure. 

Unity makes an impressive engagement ring to showcase a diamond within the tension setting.  

Tension settings for round diamonds

The Annabelle engagement ring provides a simple tension set design for round diamonds. Available in many size options, the ring holds a classic round brilliant cut diamond. In addition, we make this same ring in 100% ethical Fairtrade Gold.

Annabelle tension set round diamond ring

The Pro’s and Con’s of tension settings

There are pro’s and con’s when it comes to a tension setting. Firstly, they look amazing. Very simple, open and very modern. Many styles strip all fuss from an engagement ring. The diamond becomes the focus of a tension set diamond engagement ring.

Minimalist settings lack the security provided by traditional claw settings. For this reason, tension set diamond rings need a little care. To explain, exposed diamonds carry a greater risk of damage. In addition, tension settings risk damage from knocks and bangs. Especially true for tension set engagement rings with large diamonds.

The Unique diamond engagement ring—our best-selling tension set engagement ring. 

Suitable coloured gemstones for tension settings

If you love a little colour, why not choose a Ruby or Sapphire. Both offer a hard gemstone close to diamond on the Mohs scale of hardness.

Blue sapphire tension set engagement ring

Bespoke tension set engagement ring set with a blue sapphire. 

Unique tension-set engagement rings

Part-bezel tension set engagement ring

Some tension set engagement rings offer a unique look compared with traditional rings. The Orion ring shown above features a part-bezel setting. The round brilliant cut diamond sits into the setting. On the opposite side, the exposed edge of the diamond features a small claw. The claw provides the tension required to hold the diamond in place.

Tension set Princess cut diamond engagement rings

Princess cut tension set engagement rings offer a clean look. To explain, the straight edges of a Princess cut align with straight setting edges. For example, the Alexa ring design shows one of our popular ring designs.

Almost all of our tension set diamond engagement rings present a unique minimalist look.

View the Alexa ring design within our engagement ring collection

Alexa princess cut ring one of our most popular tension set engagement rings holding a square diamond

Oval tension set diamond engagement rings

One of our most popular oval solitaire designs features an oval cut diamond. The  Ursula engagement ring makes a great addition to our tension settings. In addition, the Serenity engagement ring features a bypass ring design.

Ursula oval tension set diamond engagement ring

Serenity ring in rose gold

Mark Johnson

About Mark Johnson

Mark attended Liverpool University and went on to pursue a career in the diamond industry. After more than a decade working in polished diamonds, Mark moved to the Isle of Wight where he launched Serendipity Diamonds. He works most days from their busy Ryde showroom, photographing jewellery and writing for the Serendipity Diamonds website.

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