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Channel Set Diamond Rings: The Pros, Cons & Where to Buy

Bottom Line Recommendation:

A channel setting provides a diamond ring with additional sparkle and personality. For example, this Round Cut channel set engagement ring showcases a beautiful row of diamonds along the band. No matter the Diamond Shape, a channel setting is beautiful and securely holds the diamonds.

When deciding on an engagement ring, choose a reputable vendor like Blue Nile, James Allen or Brian Gavin Diamonds. You’ll end up with a beautiful ring at the best value for your budget.

What is a Channel Engagement Ring Setting?

A channel setting 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 settings have a small lip that extends very slightly over the edge of the diamonds to keep them secure.

Some channel settings 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.

Channel settings often have center stones, like in this bow-tie engagement ring, but can also be made solely of smaller stones, like in this channel set eternity band.

Channel setting diamond ring

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, or almost the entire surface as in this Round Cut engagement ring.

Why Choose a Channel Engagement Ring?

A channel setting 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.

channel setting cropped

Because of the additional diamonds, a channel setting 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.

Channel Settings For Every Shape

The classic design and secure support of a channel set ring make it a stunning option.

Channel settings compliment many Diamond Shapes. You can also order a channel setting in white gold, platinum, yellow gold or rose gold.

Channel engagement ring examples:

Pros and Cons of a Channel Setting

As with any ring setting, there are certain advantages and disadvantages. Look through the pros and cons of a channel setting before making a final decision.


  • Securely holds diamonds and protects them from outside forces
  • Enhances the ring’s sparkle with side stones
  • Maintains a sharp design without losing stability
  • Is unlikely to snag on clothing and other materials


  • Often requires more time and effort to clean (dirt can become trapped in the channels)
  • Can sometimes hide diamonds slightly more than prong settings
  • Can be challenging to repair and resize due to the numerous channels (it’s possible the channels will become bent or misaligned, or that the side stones will loosen during the repair process)

Try to determine his or her ring size before purchase to reduce the need for resizing.

Where to Buy Channel Diamond Engagement Rings

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

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.

Blue Nile

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 Diamonds

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 & Co. (Gemstone Alternative)

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.

Channel Settings vs. Pavé Settings

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.

Channel Setting Brian Gavin

Channel Setting in Rose Gold from Brian Gavin

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 setting, 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 channel settings. 

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 setting, 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. 

Can You Resize a Channel Set Ring?

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 setting 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

Evaluating a Diamond Ring for Beauty and Value

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.

  • Diamond Cut: A diamond’s Cut quality is the factor that most greatly impacts its brilliance and beauty. Consider Excellent or Ideal cut diamonds only for the most stunning stone.
  • Diamond Shape: Choose your Diamond Shape based on personal preference and style.
  • Diamond Clarity: Select a diamond that’s eye clean. In other words, blemishes and inclusions should not be noticeable to the naked eye. Usually you can achieve this at a VS1 or VS2 Clarity grade.
  • Diamond Color: Make sure your diamond appears white in relation to its setting. To the naked eye, a diamond in the G to I range appears colorless, but costs far less than diamonds in the D to F range.

Have questions about diamonds or engagement rings? Send our experts an email.

About the author
Michael Fried
Mike learned the diamond business from the ground-up at Leo Schachter Diamonds - one of the world's top diamond manufacturers. He has been recognized as a diamond industry expert by Time, PeopleMoney, The Daily Mirror, NerdWallet, The Times Herald, Yahoo Finance Australia, The Art of Charm, The Washington Diplomat, The Next Web, and more.
Top Recommended Vendors
Blue Nile Blue NileBlue Nile is the largest and most well known internet jewelry seller. They have a very large exclusive online inventory. Their high quality images are catching up to James Allens' and their prices are amazing. Blue Nile is currently running a limited time sale offering 15% on settings site-wide. Click here to browse some great settings.
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. Blue Nile will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisal
  • One free resizing within the first year of purchase
  • High quality images of about half of their diamonds
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • 100% credit towards future upgrades (must be at least double in value)
  • Best in class fulfillment
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James Allen James AllenJames Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. They have the largest exclusive loose diamond inventory online and fantastic prices. They also have the nicest collection of lab created diamonds online.
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. James Allen will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free International Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisals
  • One free resizing within 60 days of purchase
  • Free ring inscriptions
  • Best-in-class high quality imagery of all diamonds in stock
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Best-in-class packaging
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