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A bar setting is a lesser known ring setting that makes for stunning engagement and wedding bands, when expertly crafted.
This setting is unique in that it utilizes vertical bars to hold the diamond or gemstone in place, resulting in a design that’s highly stable yet fragile-looking, mesmerizing and dramatic yet minimalistic.
If you’re interested in the bar setting, keep reading as we outline everything you need to know before you buy.
What is a Bar Setting?
The bar setting is unique in how it holds the diamond or gemstone in place on the ring. Unlike prong or bezel settings where the stone is held by metal tips or frames, here the stone is held in position by two long, thin vertical bars carefully placed on either side of the stone.
This design exposes the diamond with minimal metal obstruction and allows a large amount of light to interact with the stone. The result is a highly brilliant stone in a stable and secure setting.
The concept of the bar setting is similar to that of channel settings – the diamond is held within the groove of two bars. The difference, however, is that channel settings are often longer and hold more diamonds. Channel settings are also set horizontally, whereas bar settings tend to be vertically set.
Pros and Cons of Bar Setting
Regardless of the engagement ring setting you choose, there are always pros and cons to consider. If you’re thinking of choosing the bar setting, here are the pros and cons.
- The bar setting is highly versatile. Because it has a dramatic, statement look, it can work as a stand-alone band or with a center stone design. It’s ideal for both wedding and engagement rings.
- Because the diamond is more exposed, it’s able to receive a lot more light than most other setting types. As interaction with light is the key factor for brilliance, fire and scintillation, this results in a diamond with heightened light performance.
- Although the bar setting looks unsecure, it’s quite a stable setting, keeping the diamonds safe in place. While it looks like the diamond is held just by two bars, there are invisible grooves cut into these bars that help to secure the diamond.
- The diamonds are more visible, as they’re only obscured on two sides, which can make them appear larger than they are.
- Because the diamonds sit flush with the tops of the bars, there is less likelihood of the stone’s snagging on objects. The stones don’t protrude in this setting, as they would with a prong setting.
- It’s an uncommon setting, perfect for a non-traditional looking ring.
- As the stones are more exposed, there’s a higher likelihood that they may get chipped or damaged if subject to a hard blow. Having the ring periodically checked will ensure its stability and integrity isn’t compromised.
- Like a channel setting, resizing a bar setting can be a challenge. However, this tends only to apply if the bar setting circles the entire circumference of the ring.
- A bar setting is secure, but it doesn’t have the same level of security as a channel or bezel setting.
Best Diamond Shape for Bar Settings
While round diamonds are the most commonly used shape for the bar setting, technically any diamond shape can be used. Other popular shapes used for this setting include baguette and emerald. When more uncommon shapes, like marquise or heart, are mounted into a bar setting, it can make for an unconventional and attention-getting look.
Best Designs for Bar Setting
Most bar set diamond rings are made using either platinum or yellow, rose or white golds. Pick the color that suits your preferences and skin tone, as this will make a big difference in how the ring looks.
For wedding bands, the half or full eternity bar set rings are excellent choices. These have a stunning look and stand out from traditional eternity bands.
Some bar set rings feature stylized bars, with curves and twirls for a more intriguing style. While the concept is the same, the difference is in the shape of the bars and how they’re set.
For engagement rings, a ring featuring a center stone clamped on either side by beautifully crafted bars, like this 14k gold minimalist bar set engagement ring, makes for a statement look.
Although we’re focusing on rings, it’s worth noting that bar settings can be used for other types of jewelry as well. For example, this 14k diamond bar bracelet features a series of melee diamonds carefully set between bars for a stylish look.
How to Clean a Bar Set Ring?
Engagement rings are hardest to clean under and around the setting (or head of the ring) and the stones themselves, which is where dirt and dust tend to easily accumulate. Because the bar setting has many spaces and grooves where dirt can collect they need to be cleaned frequently and carefully.
However, bar set rings are easier to clean than channel settings because the open sections allow you to easily access the areas around the diamond whereas with channel settings, the dirt that gets lodged under the diamonds can be extremely difficult to remove.
The cleaning process for bar settings is the same as with any other ring setting – use warm water with mild soap and a soft piece of cloth. One pro tip is to use an electric toothbrush with a soft brush head, for efficient and quick results.
Where to Buy a Bar Set Ring?
Most retailers don’t offer many options when it comes to the bar setting, which can make it frustrating and difficult to find the exact ring you’re after. One way to sidestep this issue is to have your ring custom made exactly according to your specifications.
If you’re searching for your ring online, it’s imperative to choose a trustworthy and reliable vendor, known for the quality of their products and services. We recommend the following retailers when it comes to shopping for quality diamonds and settings online:
James Allen has an impressive collection of diamonds and settings on offer. Their site allows you to view each product carefully from all angles using their ground-breaking Diamond Display Technology. They also have Diamond Experts on hand to help you through the process.
Blue Nile is known for being the largest online diamond retailer, with competitive prices and excellent products. Their ring settings are stylish, stunning and expertly crafted.
- Brian Gavin Diamonds
Brian Gavin Diamonds is famous for their exceptional cut quality and for their continuous innovation in perfecting their diamond cut. Their settings are stunning with many designer options on offer.
If you’re looking for superior sparkle, look no further than Whiteflash. Their diamonds are of stunning quality and brilliance and customers rave about their services. Browse through their ring collections to find an exceptional bar set ring or diamond.