||This setting uses two or more metal "arms" called prongs to hold the gem in place. The prongs are bent over the gem’s girdle to provide a secure hold. Prong settings often have three or four prongs, but multiple prong settings of six or more are also available.
||Prong settings—especially those with few prongs— permit a great deal of light to strike the gem, particularly the lower portions of the stone (known as the 'pavilion'). This typically allows for a brighter, flashier look. Prong settings also show off the entire gem better than other settings.
||The extra exposure created by the prong setting equates to less security, as there is less material holding the gem in place.
||Channel settings are used to showcase multiple small gems of similar sizes. The gems are fitted between two strips of metal with channels to securely grip the gems. A variation on the channel setting is the bar setting in which the gems and channels are arranged in a more divided manner.
||This is a great setting for creating a larger piece of jewelry out of smaller stones. Channel settings are popular on their own, but also as companion enhancements near a larger gem.
||Channel settings can be a bit difficult to clean, as debris can build up behind the gems over time.
||A bezel setting completely surrounds a gem with a circle of metal. The gem’s crown remains visible and showcased, but the pavilion is enclosed. This is the oldest style of gem setting. A related style is the semi-bezel, which allows slightly more exposure to the gem.
||Bezel settings have a way of drawing attention to and enhancing larger gems. They also offer a great deal of gem protection.
||The bezel setting does block light from entering the pavilion, which can in turn inhibit gem sparkle.
||Tension settings use extreme pressure on two small points to hold the stone in place.
||This setting gives a unique look, causing the gem to appear suspended between two points on the setting. Besides this novelty, tension settings also allow for an extremely unrestricted view of the gem. Tension settings typically use about 12,000 pounds per square inch of pressure to hold your stone.
||The risk of possible stone damage increases since more of the stone is exposed. The wearer should use extra care to avoid bumping or jarring the stone in this setting.
||French for "paved,"" the pavé setting is a grouping of very small, similarly shaped gems placed very close together to create the look of a "paved" surface.
||Pavé settings have the advantage of making the gems very easy to see with plenty of sparkle (the prongs that are used to hold each individual gem are quite inconspicuous.)
||Pavé settings are potentially less secure than other settings, as there is less metal securing the stones.