It’s almost hard to find a standout stunner for engagement rings. Given that they are among the most traditional jewelry pieces next to wedding bands, there’s already a certain style expected for these forever rings. However, if you are the avant-garde type who’s always searching for the best and unique design, you may have heard of tension settings.
There’s truly a benefit to being experimental and open-minded about new styles for jewelry pieces. If you want to know more about tension settings and if this can work for your style, check out this comprehensive guide.
Unraveling the Tension: 5 Questions About Tension Settings
Tensions settings are far from being a new style in engagement ring settings. But it remains among the least utilized. Part of this may be the misunderstanding about its durability and fears of losing the precious gemstone.
The following are the frequently asked questions for beginner jewelry collectors. The tension setting certainly has quite a flair for its design. But will that be enough to make you decide to get it?
What is a tension setting?
Rather than the style of the setting, the term “tension” refers to the technique used to secure the gemstone to the band. Typically, the diamond only touches small areas of the ring’s metal band. This may differ depending on style, but some executions may leave you with what appears to be a floating diamond in between two metal bands. How’s that for a unique style?
How secure is a tension setting?
Due to the playful floating finish, some may wonder if it’s safe to have a tension setting for precious rings. After all, unlike the bezel or prong settings, where you know that the diamond won’t fall off easily, the tension setting may not look all that secure.
The pressure or tensile force exerted on the diamond by the metal bands will firmly hold it in place. In some cases, Brides.com reports that jewelry artisans may also include small grooves that are not visible at first glance. These grooves give the diamond or gemstone even more traction to keep it in place.
What is the purpose of a tension ring?
If there was a type of ring meant to merge modern aesthetics with modern solutions, it would have to be the tension ring setting. It features a dramatic flair with how the metal band ends spiral into each other. Then in the middle is the sparkle of the diamond, which is held securely.
For avant-garde jewelry designers, tension settings also allow them to let their creativity shine. Compared to other ring types, there’s a lot of room for experimentation. In fact, many factors need to be considered, including the amount of diamond surface to show, the uniqueness of the setting style, and even the resonance of the metal with the style.
What metal is best for tension setting?
One of the turning points of tension setting rings lies in the precious metal. Certain metals have been related to particular looks in metallurgy language, particularly for fine jewelry. Gold usually carries a traditional quality. Rose gold resonates with the language of youthful love and promise. Platinum, tungsten, and palladium all hold a more modern and sleek appearance, setting themselves apart from silver both in durability and price point.
When choosing a metal for tension setting, you may also want to consider these factors. Metals add to the overall look of the ring and not just with aesthetics. What they represent and how they can actually complement your lifestyle are key to long-lasting fine jewelry.
What should I consider for tension settings?
There are a lot of factors involved in buying any fine jewelry. But with the tension setting, there’s a lot more focus on the diamond, as this setting literally makes the diamond the star of the show.
With almost every side of the diamond out on display, the value of the diamond also takes center stage. High-quality diamonds tend to exponentially increase in price. The difference between flawless and near-flawless are quite minimal to the naked eye, but their price points can be very far apart.
Some diamonds can be made to look more high-quality than they actually are on paper. This can be done through the tricks of light made possible by certain setting styles. For instance, the bezel setting can hide impurities at the bottom of the diamond. The pave setting can make a relatively mediocre diamond shine brighter with smaller diamonds of the same caliber lined up along the band.
These different tricks can bring a world of difference to diamonds less than the coveted flawless grade. However, the tension setting puts the diamond in the spotlight. As the diamond seems to float on your finger, there is no way to hide any inclusions. There is also very minimal to almost no way to reflect light in the same way other settings can do. Your ring becomes highly dependent on the diamond–and if you have a high-grade gemstone, then this may be the perfect way to show that off.
Pros and Cons of Tension Setting
Did tension setting pique your interest? Are you now on the lookout for this style? Before diving headfirst into buying a ring like this, check out the most common advantages and disadvantages when wearing this ring. Like with other styles, a tension diamond setting can be more fitting for different types of fine jewelry. Find out if it’s really the best fit for you and take it from there.
See the diamond from all angles.
If you are buying a sparkling diamond, you would want to showcase every millimeter of that gemstone. Some settings tend to cover a vast surface area of diamonds and other gemstones.
Compared to other setting styles, the tension setting tends to be the most effective in showing off the diamond in all its beauty. From table to base, your diamond can sparkle at its maximum capacity. For the most part, you are not even limited to the diamond shape to use this setting on.
Jewelry experts would suggest having your most significant diamond cuts set via the tension style. This fine jewelry piece may become your standout piece yet.
Avoid it for smaller diamonds.
That said, however, the downside for tension settings is that not all diamond sizes will benefit from this. Not everyone can afford a whopping-sized diamond, and not even everyone wants a very big diamond to begin with. If you fall under this category, going with a different style might be better.
For starters, a small diamond will look even smaller when finished with a tension setting. Unless you want the stronger and more durable metals–which tend to be more costly than other setting styles–you may need thicker bands for softer metals. That’s because a thicker band achieves better tension.
Sadly, thicker bands can easily engulf your gemstone. Rather than letting a charming slight diamond sparkle with a more delicate setting, it might just be unnecessarily overpowered.
Unique setting, custom look
Nevertheless, one of the strong points of this diamond setting is its strong signature style. Classic settings like the prong and bezel may give a very traditional and old vibe. But if you want something modern and fresh, try out a tension setting.
Additionally, this may be among the most highly customizable styles to go with. Tension settings can be a flair of swirls or hard corners, depending on your preferred style. You can go with a plain band or line it up with diamonds for a more elegant and ornate feel, like in cathedral diamond rings.
If you want a very unique setting with a highly pliable design, you can’t go wrong with tension settings. Best of all, they also make for great engagement rings and wedding bands! Now you can match your bridal jewelry seamlessly.
Choose your metal
Like other ring settings, the tension style can accommodate most precious metals. Some jewelry enthusiasts prefer white gold, platinum, or silver to accentuate its modern appeal.
However, despite the range of metal types that can be used for this setting, not all metals will be an intelligent choice. Because tension setting requires a certain amount of force to be exerted on it to properly hold the gemstone in place, softer metals may require more surface area. This results in thicker ring bands to ensure the diamond is properly set.
Thicker metals can compromise the overall appearance of the diamond. So if you want a thinner band or prefer to set a small diamond in softer metals like rose gold and gold, you may want to try other setting styles. This metal-matching concern usually goes for tension ring setting only. If you can opt for sturdier or sustainable metals, then go with this setting type.
A talented and trusted jewelry maker is a must.
As time passes, jewelry enthusiasts tend to build a working partnership with specific jewelry makers and artists. They may return to a particular professional for the style, the sourced materials, and even the collaborative experience of making jewelry.
This may be even more of a necessity when dealing with tension settings. Tension setting can be either very strong or very fragile as a secure setting–and a lot of that can depend on your jewelry maker. According to My Diamond Guide, tension settings may not be a favorite among professional jewelry artists, as the durability tension setting may be the easiest to compromise.
The technology needed to create tension setting diamond rings is quite complex and advanced. To an extent, this is why tension setting rings remain popular. However, those with malicious intent who may want to use warranty to gain more from the transaction may also target tension setting rings.
Because you don’t need specialized materials to remove gemstones in a ring forcibly, this can be an issue when putting it back in the store for repair. But if you have a trusted jewelry maker and are a long-time client, your record of transactions and already-built working partnership will mean quite a lot of tension ring warranties.
Resizing can be a chore.
Over time, whether it’s your engagement ring or wedding band, you may find yourself reading a resize. Weight changes throughout one’s lifespan are widespread, and your ring fingers won’t always be spared.
Given the sentimental value of this precious bridal jewelry, you want them to grow with you over time. Sometimes, this can be literal, and you need to resize them. This may be one of the disadvantages of having a tension setting wedding or engagement ring like the one in this Smyth Jewelers review.
Tension setting may be the epitome of customized jewelry when discussing size. They are fitted to the size of the unique owner so any readjustments would require a lot of work. Resizing for tension settings typically requires specialists, but even this method will require more of your budget. Some jewelry owners may go with making another ring, making it harder for those who have put a lot of sentimental value into the existing ring.
Want to know more about unique setting styles for rings? Check out the “Cluster Setting Engagement Ring: What You Need To Know.”