Pavé is becoming more popular in recent years–and for good reasons. As Marilyn Monroe and Carol Channing sang in the 40s and 50s, “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend!” An engagement ring with tiny diamonds set along the band is a dream come true for many hopeful brides-to-be. But as stunning as a pavé setting is, it may not be for everyone.
What You Should Know Before Getting a Pavé Setting
Before choosing this engagement ring setting for yourself or your significant other, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Is the wearer a minimalist?
If the wearer prefers understated elegance, the pavé setting might be too flashy, especially when paired with a large center stone. The subtle elegance of simpler ring settings, such as the ‘bezel’ or ‘solitaire,’ might suit the wearer’s modest preferences. These settings allow the simplicity and purity of a single gem to take center stage.
If you are the one popping the question, proposing with a bezel or solitaire engagement ring is a romantic way of saying, “You are the only apple of my eye,” or “In my eyes, no one else shines as brightly as you do.” Let us know if you decide to include that in your proposal speech!
2. Does it fit your budget?
A pavé setting can increase the overall cost of an engagement ring due to the multiple small diamonds and the intricate craftsmanship involved. If you’re working with a limited budget (you do have a wedding and a life together to plan), we recommend allocating your resources toward a higher-quality center diamond rather than the stones around it. You can always upgrade the ring once your finances are in better shape, perhaps during a major anniversary.
3. Is the pavé setting a practical choice for the wearer?
Think about the wearer’s job or hobbies. If their daily life or profession involves a high degree of physical activity or hands-on work, a pavé setting might be an impractical choice, unless they do not intend on wearing the ring every day. The numerous small diamonds in this setting are more vulnerable to damage or loss when exposed to rigorous conditions.
4. Can the wearer keep up with the setting’s high-maintenance nature?
A pavé-set engagement ring requires regular maintenance to keep the small diamonds secure and pristine. The owner must follow proper cleaning and storage practices on top of seeking professional inspection and cleaning services twice a year. Read our Guide to Pavé Jewelry Maintenance for more information.
If the wearer prefers a lower-maintenance option, the bezel setting is a beautiful alternative with an antique flair. Steer clear of pavé or ring settings with multiple prongs.
5. Are you willing to invest more time and money in resizing?
If the wearer wants an eternity ring experience by having diamonds throughout the band, keep in mind that resizing it will be difficult. Since there is no blank space on the ring, the jeweler will need to remove some of the diamonds, adjust the ring’s diameter, repair the setting, reattach or add more diamonds, etc. These added steps make the resizing process much more challenging, time-consuming, and costly than resizing a standard band.
Having said that, if the wearer’s dream engagement ring is a full pavé, it is best to be 100% sure about sizing. Pro tip for getting your partner’s ring size: Borrow one of their rings without their permission! Just remember to return it later, okay? You can also ask their close friends or family members for help.
Alternatively, the wearer may consider a ½ or ¾ pavé style for some flexibility. These variations offer more room for adjustments, especially since pregnancy, illness, and aging can change the size and shape of the fingers. Furthermore, keep in mind that repeated ring resizing can weaken the prongs holding onto each diamond, causing the diamonds to fall out.
Pavé Setting Alternatives
A pavé engagement ring is undoubtedly stunning, but it can be too flashy, expensive, impractical, high maintenance, and/or inflexible to others. If you or your spouse-to-be agrees, consider these alternative settings instead:
The solitaire setting is a classic that never goes out of style. It has a single, prominent diamond set in an unadorned band. As mentioned, this timeless ring setting allows the center diamond to take center stage, emphasizing its beauty and brilliance.
If the wearer wants the focus of their ring to be the quality and size of the center diamond (no distractions whatsoever), a solitaire setting provides an excellent backdrop.
A bezel setting offers a vintage or antique-like look while providing enhanced protection for the center diamond. A precious metal surrounds the stone, securing it in place and reducing the risk of damage or loss.
A halo setting features a ring of smaller diamonds surrounding the center diamond. This design enhances the stone’s overall brilliance and creates the illusion of a larger diamond.
Halo engagement rings have a romantic and vintage appeal. For an old soul drawn to nostalgia, the halo setting might be perfect.
For those who really love the pavé setting but fear losing a diamond or two, the channel setting offers a similar vibe with added protection. It features a row of accent diamonds set within a groove or channel along the band. It secures the diamonds in place, as they are nestled within the metal, minimizing the chances of a stone falling out.
The channel has a sleek and sophisticated look, making it suitable for those who appreciate clean lines and modern aesthetics.
Exploring these alternatives allows proposers to choose an engagement ring setting that aligns with their fiancé-to-be’s preferences and practical considerations. Each setting brings unique charm and advantages to the table, ensuring those who plan to drop the knee find the perfect ring to symbolize their love and commitment.
The Bottom Line: Should You Skip the Pavé Setting?
Receiving a pavé-set engagement ring is a dream come true for many hopeful brides, but it may not align with certain tastes, budgets, or lifestyles. It’s important to note these factors and make a thought-out decision when choosing the perfect engagement ring.
When the Wedding Doesn’t Happen…
In case of a broken engagement, first and foremost, determine who the ring belongs to. Different states and countries will have varying laws regarding an engagement ring’s rightful owner. Once settled, the owner may keep the ring as a memento, or use it as a stepping stone for rebuilding and moving on. Visit Biltmore Loan and Jewelry to find out how much your engagement ring is worth.