Glossary: Bezel Setting
- Understanding Bezel Setting in Jewelry
- Definition of Bezel Setting
- Types of Bezel Settings
- Bezel Setting Pros and Cons
- Materials Used in Bezel Setting
- Caring for Bezel-Set Jewelry
Understanding Bezel Setting in Jewelry
Known for providing gemstones with impressive security, bezel settings have a decidedly modern aesthetic. They also provide incredible versatility that makes them a common sight in some of today’s most artfully designed jewelry pieces. But what is a bezel setting exactly? And how do creative designers incorporate them into contemporary jewelry pieces? Here’s what you should know about this trendy setting.
Definition of Bezel Setting
Bezel settings are characterized by rings of metal that hold the gemstones in place. This encasing slightly overlaps the outer edges of the gem, which helps keep it safely locked in place.
Durable and modern, bezels are a popular option for contemporary engagement rings. Unlike delicate prong settings, which expose the sides of the gemstone, bezel settings encircle the gem either fully or partially. Thus, the basic types of bezel settings include:
Partial bezel: With these settings, the metal encircles only some of the stone, giving the gem greater viability, which can make it look larger. This also provides more opportunity for light reflection, which can give the stone more sparkle, fire, and brilliance. That said, partial bezels aren’t as secure as full bezel settings because they expose sections of the stone to potential chipping or breaking.
Full bezel: With full bezel settings, the metal covers the gemstone from every angle. While this protects the stone from loss and damage, it also hides more of it, which can make it seem smaller in certain instances. It also restricts light reflection, which can make the stone seem less brilliant. Still, in the eyes of many, these trade-offs are worth the added benefit of increased protection and the cool, contemporary style.
It’s important to note that some people commonly mistake certain types of bezels for other settings. John Atencio, for instance, features many different ring designs that are sometimes mistaken as tension settings when they actually showcase sleek, durable bezel settings.
Types of Bezel Settings
When choosing a bezel setting, it is important to note that bezel settings come in a variety of styles, from classic solitaire rings to settings that feature halo, pavé or side-stone diamonds. Some include intricate design features, such as half-bezel, beaded, and intricate vine-like patterns.
Different from traditional bezels, tube bezel settings hold the stone in place with tube-shaped metal instead of a flat or curved band. The tubes can be made from silver, gold or platinum and can have varying thicknesses and diameters to accommodate different sizes of stones. With a tube bezel, more light is able to pass through the stone, giving it greater brilliance and sparkle. The tube can also be used to add wirework and other decorative elements, such as additional bands.
Another intriguing style of bezel scalloped setting encircles the gemstone with metal that has scalloped edges. Often used with oval or round-shaped gems, this style of bezel setting is often used to provide an elegant, decorative border around the gemstone. Simple or elaborate, scalloped edges can create antique- or vintage-inspired jewelry. They can also be used to add a romantic or feminine feel to a jewelry piece.
Unlike a standard oval- or round-shaped bezel, fancy-shaped bezel settings are designed to accommodate the unique shape of a gem, whether it’s a marquise, pear, heart or emerald cut. The main benefit of this type of bezel is that it secures and protects the gemstone’s more vulnerable edges while also showcasing its uniquely alluring shape. Fancy bezels are usually custom-fitted to the precise shape of the gem, creating a secure hold and snug fit that keeps the stone in place.
One potential disadvantage of a fancy bezel is that it can be more time-consuming and difficult to create since the metal must perfectly match the contours of the stone. To make sure you get a secure, beautiful fit, it’s important to work with an accomplished designer such as John Atencio, who is renowned for creating custom-made pieces that offer a high level of protection and elegant, distinctive looks.
Bezel Setting Pros and Cons
As previously mentioned, bezel settings provide a sleek, modern look while helping to protect gemstones. This makes it an excellent setting for women with active lifestyles or careers that require them to work with their hands. Bezel settings are also easier to clean and less likely to snag on clothing. Bezels can also help hide any potential flaws in a diamond by surrounding the stone with more metal.
On the downside, bezels can interfere with light reflection while also making a stone appear smaller in size. Also, if you ever need to remove the gemstone from the setting, it is more difficult than it would be with other setting styles, such as a prong.
With all that said, when crafted by a skilled jewelry designer, such as John Atencio, bezels can be especially beautiful in rings, necklaces and bracelets. And the extra security gives you peace of mind that comes with knowing your gems are safely secure in a durable setting that can withstand the rigors of everyday wear.
Materials Used in Bezel Setting
The choice of materials can determine the beauty and security of a bezel setting in some important ways, including:
Appearance: The choice of material can affect a bezel setting’s appearance in a number of ways. A bezel made with white gold can look more modern and refined than one made of yellow gold, which tends to provide a more classic look. Rose gold bezel settings can bring a romantic feel to contemporary jewelry. Material texture can also influence the beauty and style of a bezel piece, whether it’s made to feature a brushed, matte, or striking high-polished sheen.
Durability: Material choice can also impact the durability of a bezel setting. Certain metals are harder and more durable than others, which can help to protect the gemstone or decorative element. For instance, platinum is a very strong and durable metal that is resistant to scratches and other forms of wear and tear. On the other hand, silver is a softer metal that may be more prone to damage over time.
Gemstone compatibility: Some materials are better suited to certain types of gemstones. Diamonds, for example, are often set in white gold or platinum bezels, while colored gemstones may look best in rose or yellow gold settings.
Caring for Bezel-Set Jewelry
Since the setting sits flush with the metal, simpler bezels are relatively easy to clean. Still, dirt can sometimes get stuck between the gem and the underside of the bezel. When this occurs, never use a sharp object in an attempt to pry it loose. Instead, take the piece to a professional who can clean and remove the dirt without harming the piece.
John Atencio provides a gentle jewelry cleaner specially formulated for delicate jewelry pieces. He also offers inspections and complimentary in-store cleaning over the lifetime of your John Atencio jewelry. This not only ensures that the bezel set diamond looks amazing; it also includes routine, six-month examinations to make sure the stone is secure in its setting.
A living legend in the jewelry industry, John offers striking bezel jewelry and bezel set engagement rings for every look and style. Browse online or visit any John Atencio location, where our attentive experts can help you find a uniquely alluring piece that suits your one-of-a-kind style.