Exposed Diamond Settings – Essential Ring Guides


Essential Guide – Choosing Exposed Diamond Settings

Style R1D078 probably our most minimal exposed diamond setting for an engagement ring

Popular Modern Settings

Aside from the re-emergence of classic vintage styles, the sleek, modern, minimalistic engagement ring remains ever popular. Over the last decade, we have seen more designs emerge with minimal settings. Some years ago, it was the norm to choose a classic six or eight claw setting, with claws positioned equally around the diamond. In recent years, four claw settings became popular as the more modern style, giving way to newer two and three claw settings with a more minimalist feel.

Why Do People Choose Minimal Settings?

People choose minimal settings to expose as much of the diamond as possible. Exposed diamond settings allow light to enter the diamond freely, with the minimum of interruption from claws or surrounding metal. Light is then reflected and refracted to the eye. This maximizes the brightness of the stone and reveals the true beauty of the faceting. The lower facets of the diamond Pavilion (usually partly covered by metal work) are kept clearly visible.

Pro’s and Con’s of Exposed Settings

R1D078 round solitaire engagement ring shown on the finger

It is well worth leaving a cautionary note. The more minimal the setting, the more vulnerable the diamond becomes. Contrary to popular belief, diamonds are brittle and can chip or break. Although diamond is the hardest substance, when struck against a hard object, diamonds will break. The more common damage occurs where the diamond is thinnest. An exposed girdle (outer edge) means the diamond itself is more vulnerable, and the setting itself can be compromised by damage. Having said this, careful daily wear minimizes some risk to a certain degree. Very few ring designs are not without the risk of damage, irrespective of how many claws, or how much metal surrounds the diamond.  For more security, 6 claw settings remain ever popular, but lack the minimal, open simplicity of the exposed diamond setting.


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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