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The invisible setting is a unique choice that is often used for engagement and wedding rings. Versatile and stylish, the invisible setting is ideal for both men’s and women’s ring styles.
We are all used to seeing prong and bezel settings that hold a diamond securely in place. But with the invisible setting, you cannot see how the diamond is actually held which gives the ring a sense of mystery and makes you want to come in for a closer look. In essence, the setting is … invisible.
If you’re considering an invisible set ring, here’s everything you need to know before you buy. Let’s take a look at this different setting style, breaking down the pros and cons, and see if it is the right one for you!
What is the Invisible Setting?
This setting was created in France about 200 years ago. From the top, what you see is a collection of small diamonds placed flush against each other, creating a flat surface. What holds the stone in place is a hidden metal construction that is set beneath the diamonds. This construction is attached to the diamonds to ensure that they don’t fall out of place. This is done by cutting tiny grooves into the diamond’s girlde and then fixing the diamonds onto the metal frame.
A flat surface area of diamonds with no apparent setting that holds them together. To achieve the best look, the diamonds are cut into square shapes such as the princess cut. The invisible setting does not work with diamonds that are round or have curved edges as they don’t tessellate.
The Invisible Setting – Pros
1- Appearance and Value
One of the main benefits of the invisible setting is that it tricks the eyes into seeing the little diamonds as though they are one big diamond. Because the stones are set so close together and on the same level, the stones appear like a single large diamond. Only a close, careful look will reveal that the ring is made up of a number of little diamonds. In this aspect, the invisible setting is similar to the cluster setting.
So why is this a good thing?
One large diamond is exponentially more expensive than a number of tiny diamonds of equivalent carat weight. Compare the prices of this one carat diamond with the price of this .25 carat diamond both taken from the James Allen site. They are similar in most features except in carat weight, but you’ll notice that the price difference is a mind blowing $7,560! This gives you an idea of how the price of diamonds increases per carat.
So how does this information relate to the invisible setting?
With the invisible setting, you can save by buying smaller diamonds and still have a ring that looks like it has a large diamond, making it a great choice if you’re on a budget.
Take a look at the above ring which is a great example of this. The four princess cut diamonds in the center create the illusion of a large stone but the price is nowhere near what a single princess cut diamond of that size would be.
Another plus that many people love about the invisible setting is the added texture that it contains. The little grooves and channels where the diamonds touch create a beautiful appearance, giving the ring texture and character.
2- Invisible Setting Rings – for Men and Women
The invisible setting is very versatile and can be used in a number of styles. For women, the invisible setting works great as the focal point of a ring. It can also be used to highlight the center stone.
The invisible setting is also ideal for men’s wedding or engagement rings. Because it is not overly flashy or sparkly, the diamonds take on the perfect look for male rings when set in masculine settings.
3- Easy to Maintain
Your engagement ring is a piece of jewelry that will be worn on a frequent basis. It is inevitable that the ring will collect grime, dirt and gunk over time. Some ring settings, such as halo, pave, channel and cathedral settings, can be very difficult to clean as there are too many hard to reach areas.
However, the invisible setting is fairly easy to maintain. Because the diamonds create a flat surface and there are no deep grooves where dirt can get embedded in, restoring the shine of the ring and removing any pollutants is often simply a matter of using soapy water and a soft cloth.
Invisible Settings – The Cons
1- Issues with the Setting
This setting is very secure, but this depends on the quality of the workmanship. If the metal frame or the grooves in the diamond are not fit to perfection, there is a high chance of the diamonds becoming loose and even falling out of the setting. This is a problem which can be very difficult to rectify.
While it is not impossible to have the fallen stones replaced, this is often a very difficult process and not many jewelers would want to take this on. The grooves for the diamonds are often made to fit a specific metal construction and replicating it can be difficult.
Another issue is if the metal framework gets damaged. This can disrupt the alignment of the diamonds and the setting in general.
If these issues were to occur, the best thing to do would be to take the ring back to the original manufacturer. This is why it is critical that you purchase your invisible setting from a licensed and trustworthy manufacturer with solid after sales service and warranty.
2- Difficult to Resize
Resizing an invisible setting can be quite complicated and tricky, depending on how the ring’s style. If the invisible setting only applies to a solitaire-like section of the ring, then the band would be fairly easy to resize. However, in most cases, resizing the setting can result in a misshapen and distorted framework which can affect the alignment of the diamonds.
3- Subdued Sparkle
The invisible setting does not allow for maximum light reflection which reduces the sparkle of the diamond. It is similar to the flush setting in this aspect, as the light only reflects off the diamond from the top view, unlike a prong setting, for example, where the light reflects off from all angles of the diamond.
So, if you are looking for a ring with a high amount of sparkle, the invisible setting may not be your best option.
4- Compromised Diamonds
As we’ve mentioned, in order to secure the diamonds in the metal framework, grooves have to be cut into the stone. This affects the value of the diamonds and will be an issue if you need to have the diamonds appraised for reselling.
For most people who choose this setting for engagement or wedding rings, this is not a major issue as they plan to keep the ring for a lifetime.
Is the Invisible Setting for Me?
If you wish to purchase an invisible setting, then it is essential that you purchase from a high quality retailer. Well-made invisible setting rings can be quite pricey due to the skill required to make them, but you could say they are worth the money. After all, this is a unique setting and looks stunning when well made. However, finding an invisible set ring can prove difficult as not every retailer carries this style.
Also consider your lifestyle. The invisible setting is not ideal for those with active and outdoorsy lifestyles, as there is a higher likelihood of damage occurring to the ring due to knocks and high impact. Always take off your ring when engaging in activities where the ring could get damaged.
Always check the after-sales policies and the warranty provided by the manufacturer. Reputable vendors often provide a life-time guarantee for their invisible settings, so check for this before you buy. Don’t forget to check the returns policy as well, just in case the ring is not up to scratch or you decide that it’s not for you.
If you do decide to purchase an invisible set ring, then congratulations because you’ll have a unique ring that will stand out when you wear it. This is a great option if you want something different and non-conventional.