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A channel setting provides a diamond ring with additional sparkle and personality. For example, this Round Cut channel set engagement ring from James Allen showcases a beautiful row of diamonds along the band. No matter the Diamond Shape, a channel setting is beautiful and securely holds the diamonds.
A channel set ring is a type of engagement ring setting in which small diamonds (or, in certain cases, other gemstones) are set inside a specially cut channel. Most channel set rings have a small lip that extends very slightly over the edge of the diamonds to keep them secure.
Some channel set engagement rings also feature grooves inside the channel, which also act to secure the small diamonds or gemstones in place.
A channel setting is similar to a pavé setting but uses thicker metal to secure the diamonds that line the band. Because there are no prongs holding the stones, the setting is a snag-free design.
A channel setting is a secure way to set smaller diamonds into the band—creating a sparkling row that’s flush with the shank. The smaller diamonds are set closely together in the grooves of the channel. They can either decorate a smaller portion of the band like in this Cushion Cut ring from James Allen, or almost the entire surface as in this Round Cut engagement ring from James Allen.
A channel setting like this one from Blue Nile adds visible style and sparkle to your ring. Because there are no prongs, this setting provides a snag-free and secure design. As shown in the image below, the diamonds in the shank are channel-set.
Because of the additional diamonds, a channel set ring like here on James Allen tends to draw more attention than a solid band. Channel settings are also popular for wedding bands and stackable rings that feature smaller stones without a center stone.
The classic design and secure support of a channel set ring make it a stunning option.
Channel engagement ring examples:
As with any ring setting, there are certain advantages and disadvantages. Look through the pros and cons of a channel set engagement ring style before making a final decision.
Try to determine his or her ring size before purchase to reduce the need for resizing.
It’s important to not only find the style of the ring he or she wants, but to find the right place to buy the ring. There are many vendors, including brick and mortar and online dealers, that will offer you a poor price for inferior quality. At Diamond Pro, our goal is to help you avoid those scenarios. That’s why we vet diamond vendors, and inform our readers of the most reliable companies.
Throughout our years of experience, we’ve found the diamond dealers below are consistently the best in the business. They offer high-quality diamonds and settings at excellent prices. These vendors also provide legitimate certificates with every diamond, coming from either the AGS or GIA. We strongly recommend choosing a diamond ring, or any fine jewelry, from the vendors below.
James Allen offers appealing prices and incredible diamond imagery (so you can see every diamond up-close before purchase). They also provide excellent customer service and great return policies for buying online.
We recommend Blue Nile because they focus on remarkable diamond and jewelry settings. They maintain the largest online inventory of diamonds and settings—giving you a superb selection to choose from.
Brian Gavin offers some of the best cut diamonds in the world. Choose a diamond from the “Brian Gavin Signature” Hearts & Arrows collection or the Brian Gavin Black or Signature collections for a truly exceptional stone.
Leibish is our go-to vendor for gemstone engagement rings and fine jewelry. A colored gemstone is a beautiful, lower cost alternative to a diamond. Leibish & Co. also maintains a large collection of fancy color diamonds like canary yellow diamonds and purple diamonds.
Due to their similar looks, channel settings are frequently compared with (and, in many cases, confused with) pavé settings.
At first glance, it’s easy to see why. Both of these setting types feature one or several rows of small diamonds that run along the shank of the ring. They both offer a beautiful sparkle and, if viewed from a reasonable distance, can look virtually identical.
However, there are several major differences between channel settings and pavé settings that you’ll need to be aware of if you’re shopping for an engagement ring.
First, there’s the way the diamonds are set into the band. Pavé-set diamonds are typically held in place using very small beads. This allows for the diamonds to be set superficially in tiny holes drilled on the ring, creating the appearance of a surface that’s covered in diamonds.
Channel set diamonds, on the other hand, are set inside a channel, with the small lip at the top of the vertical walls of the channel holding the diamonds securely in place. Instead of being set on the surface of the ring, the diamonds are set in a channel that’s cut inside the ring.
Second, there’s the shape of the diamonds used for the setting. Pavé settings almost always feature small round diamonds, as this diamond shape is excellent for covering as much of the ring’s surface area as possible.
For a channel set ring style, a variety of diamond shapes are commonly used. While many channel settings use round cut diamonds as well, it’s also common to see princess cut, emerald cut and even cushion cut diamonds in them.
Third, there’s the purpose of the setting. Because the diamonds of a channel setting are set in the ring, as opposed to on its surface, they draw people’s attention towards the center diamond and act more as a complement than as a point of attention by themselves.
With a pavé setting, on the other hand, the setting’s purpose is often to add to the ring’s overall brilliance and provide extra sparkle to a lower-set or less brilliance center stone.
Finally, there’s the practicality factor. While most pavé settings are reasonably durable, it’s quite possible for one or several diamonds to pop out from the setting if the ring brushes up against a hard surface or is dropped.
With a channel set ring style, all of the small diamonds are securely held within the channel, providing an extra level of protection that’s ideal if your fiancé-to-be works in an environment in which her ring could easily brush against another surface, or if she simply has an active lifestyle.
This difference in design also means that a channel set ring is less likely to snag on sleeves and other clothing.
Because channel set rings feature diamonds set within the ring itself, resizing them can be quite a difficult process. Resizing an engagement ring usually involves cutting the shank, then adding or removing metal — something that isn’t always possible with a setting that features diamonds.
Because of this, depending on the specific type of channel set ring you choose, resizing may or may not be possible.
If you choose a channel set engagement ring with diamonds covering the entire band (for example, a channel set eternity ring), resizing usually isn’t possible. This is because the resizing process will change the circumference of the band, preventing it from securely holding the diamonds.
It’s also possible for the channels to become warped during the resizing process, preventing the ring from holding the diamonds secure.
If you choose a channel setting that has diamonds covering half of the band (a design known as a “half-eternity” ring), it’s often possible to make very small adjustments in the size of the ring.
Because of the limited resizing potential of channel set engagement rings, it’s important to know your fiancé-to-be’s ring size before you choose this setting. You can learn more about this in our detailed guide to ring resizing.
A little research goes a long way when it comes to selecting a diamond that’s both beautiful and well-priced. Check out our other Diamond Pro resources for tips in selecting the best ring for your budget.
Have questions about diamonds or engagement rings? Send our experts an email.
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