A bezel setting is a decorative frame that surrounds a gemstone in the center of a circle, watch face, or necklace. The bezel can be finished in an array of materials: gold-plated, platinum-plated, or silver. The easiest way to tell what kind of metal you’re looking at is to look for the word “plating” on the price tag.
The Complete Guide to the Bezel Settings for Every Style.
A diamond is the most versatile and widely recognized jewelry setting. They are available in most metals and finishes, so what you should look for when purchasing a diamond is its clarity grade. The two primary grades of diamonds are SI1 (fancy) and SI2, according to their luster or sparkle. A diamond’s brilliance grade will change depending on how they are set. The most common diamond bezel setting is the Prong setting, which can range in price and bling depending on the clarity grade of the diamond itself. A good rule of thumb is to invest in a fancy-color diamond (like rose, pink or blue) when using this setting to get the most bang for your buck.
Emeralds are beautiful stones often held in high esteem due to their rarity. When purchasing a new and expensive ring setting, it’s essential to invest in one made with the highest quality of materials and craftsmanship. The most common emerald bezel setting is the friction-set bezel setting that’s done by hand and takes significantly more time than machines can. On the other hand, a machine-set bezel setting is the most popular option. It’s cost-effective and can be done in about five minutes, depending on the quality of the diamond used.
Rubies are another stone that symbolizes luxury and wealth. They’re easily one of the most expensive gemstones, although not nearly as rare as diamonds. Regardless, a decent ruby ring setting is hard to find. The most common bezel setting for rubies is the Flush Mount setting, which comes in three quality grades, from cheap and flimsy to strong and durable.
Tourmalines are a mixture of Si3+ boron oxide, Al2O3, Fe3+ manganese oxide, and other natural mineral compounds that give them their unique look. The most common bezel setting for tourmalines is the channel setting, created by cutting grooves around the gemstone. Ring settings made of tungsten carbide are usually used for this type of stone because of their durability and lightweight.
Citrine is also a gemstone often mixed with quartz to create a beautiful yellow-orange color. Since citrine is rarer than tourmaline and generally less expensive, it’s common to use a colorless or rose-cut citrine setting for an inexpensive ring.
Sapphire is one of the most popular stone types used in bezel settings. It’s challenging and may be more expensive, depending on the quality and size of the stone. Sapphires can range in color from blue to pink, purple, yellow, and white. Since they’re precious stones, some people have debated the ethical treatment of the sapphires used in bezel settings. Some companies will use more expensive and rare sapphires, while others will use more common stones and charge the same price tag.
Opals are buried in a crystal matrix inside euclase or another type of opioid material. They are challenging to work with because they’re fragile and easily broken. Opals are often set in sterling silver or 14K gold.
Coral too can be cut in various ways, including square and rectangle cuts, slabs, and beads. They’re available in a rainbow of colors, the most popular being the pinkish-orange color called “coral true or “red coral.” Coral is very fragile and breaks easily under pressure.
A dark purple variety of quartz called amethyst is quarried from Brazil and Uruguay. It’s usually colorless and can be found in formal settings made of gold and silver.
10. Quartz (clear)
Quartz is also a prevalent bezel settings due to its durability, universal appeal, low cost, availability in every color imaginable, and ability to be set into different jewelry styles. Polished quartz is usually colorless and can be found in formal settings made of gold and silver.
Topaz is a beautiful colored stone often made into rings and settings encrusted with diamonds.
A trendy gemstone bezel setting, it’s often used in wedding settings. Iolite is different from sapphire as it contains no trace of iron or titanium, and its color is determined simply by its chemical impurities, like chromium and iron.
13. Rose quartz
This form of quartz is mined from the Urengoy Mountains in Russia and is a finely-grained pale pink variety that contains trace amounts of iron. The stone is commonly found in settings mixed with other gems or set into a bezel settings.
Turquoise comes from the euclase mineral, a complex and brittle form of copper, nickel, and calcium carbonate (or chalk). It’s found in arid regions like the Sinai Peninsula, Iran, and parts of the southwestern United States. Usually a bright blue color, some turquoise can be shades of green or brown. The most common bezel settings for turquoise is a channel setting with silver.
Layers of calcium carbonate form pearls in mollusks such as mussels and oysters. The main difference between natural and cultured pearls is how they’re made. A cultured pearl is made by inserting a bead inside an oyster to trigger a biological reaction resulting in a pearl’s formation. Pearls usually have nacre and luminosity because of how their layers line up.
A good rule of thumb is choosing a setting made of rose gold or silver because it’s the most affordable material used for pearl gemstone bezel settings.
16. Coral (white)
A scarce stone that tourists and locals typically collect, coral white is primarily mined in Indonesia and the Philippines. It contains iron, making it very brittle and easily chipped, so it doesn’t have the same market value as other types of pearls.
A deep blue stone primarily found in Afghanistan, it’s made with a mixture of minerals and trace amounts of copper. It’s often confused with azurite, a deep blue stone, but lapis has a much more intense color. Lapis is set in formal bezel settings made out of silver and gold.
The lapis lazuli bezel settings became popular during the Indus civilization (2500 BC). The most common bezel settings for lapis lazuli is a channel setting with gold.
18. Citrine (green)
Citrine naturally occurs in two different forms: rose and yellow-orange. It’s an orange-yellow to pinkish-orange color commonly sold as a mix of the two colors and then sold as “coral” or the more popular “citrine true,” depending on what it’s mixed with. Since citrine is a less expensive gem, it’s often used to make more affordable settings in the market.
19. Rose (pink)
Lapis lazuli also occurs in a pink color called “rose,” which is found in Afghanistan. It’s one of the prettiest but least valuable gemstones, and it’s typically sold as a mixture of lapis lazuli and other gems like corundum (ruby).
20. Euhedral tourmaline
Tourmaline is also a beautiful gemstone that’s mined in Africa. A euhedral crystal is cut into various shapes and sizes, with square, rectangular, and teardrop cuts being the most popular. To cut this stone, it’s usually heated to the point of melting so that the carbon atoms in the crystal align perfectly with hot blades. Tourmaline can be green, pink, blue, or black. All of them contain traces of iron and magnesium.
In 2013, a bust-sized tourmaline was sold at auction for $347,000. The stone weighed over 70 pounds (32 kg) and had a hefty price tag of $350 per carat or $22,800 per pound (1 kg).
Zircon is a synthetic gemstone made using cubic zirconium, calcium, and cerium or manganese. Since it’s a trendy and affordable stone, it’s commonly used in many style bezel settings like the channel setting, prong setting, and pave setting.
Aquamarine is mined from Sri Lanka, Brazil, and Zambia. It’s a blue and green gemstone mostly sold as an opaque gemstone, but sometimes it’s cut into cabochon shapes.
23. Spessartine (green)
A burdensome stone called spessartine is mined in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, China, and Mexico. The bezel settings can be used in several different styles, with the most popular being the pendant or channel setting, which is usually made of gold or silver.
Chrysoprase is a pretty green stone mined in Australia, India, and Brazil. It’s typically sold as a mixture of chrysoprase and jasper or as a combination of citrine and quartz. The bezel settings for it is generally set into gold or silver.
25. Rhodolite (pink)
Rhodolite is a pretty bluish-violet-colored stone that’s mined in Madagascar and Mozambique. It has a higher value than other types of gemstones since it’s made with a mixture of minerals and trace amounts of manganese and iron. The most common rhodolite bezel settings is a silver or white gold channel setting.
It is a mix of pink beryls and purple morganite mined in Madagascar. It’s generally sold as a mixture of the two stones, and sometimes it’s sold as “rhodolite,” which is why it has the same channel setting used for rhodolite.
27. Tanzanite (blue)
Tanzanite is a beautiful blue stone that mostly comes from Tanzania. It’s mined in a minimal amount, making it a popular blue-colored gemstone. It’s typically sold as “blue zoisite,” a mix of the two minerals that make tanzanite. Even though tanzanites are inexpensive, they’re often sold as tumbled stones instead of in bezel settings.
28. Trapiche emerald
Trapiche emeralds are also commonly found in Brazil, but they can also be found in Colombia and Uruguay. They’re mined in volcanic rock and are widely sold as transparent emeralds or “tanzanite.” The most common bezel setting for trapiche emeralds is a channel setting with silver or white gold.
29. Tiger’s Eye (pink)
Tiger’s eye is a pink-colored stone that’s primarily found in Colombia and Tanzania. It’s generally sold as a mixture of quartz and other gems like calcite and tourmaline, or it’s mixed with a green-colored stone called chrysoprase.
Tiger’s eye is a trading name for brown quartz or crazy lace agate that contains bands of chatoyant stripes and spots. It’s commonly used in a channel setting with gold and silver.
30. Rubellite (pink)
Ruby is a trendy stone that’s mined in Burma and Tanzania. It comes in various colors from blue, green, and brown to red, but it’s mostly sold as pink rubies. The pink color comes from the chromium oxide in the gemstone. When rubies are sold as tumbled stones instead of bezel settings, they’re usually sold by weight instead of per carat. In 2013, a 24.78-carat ruby was sold at auction for $3.3 million, which works out to about $306 per carat or $3250 per pound (1 kg).
31. Diamond (white)
The world’s most popular and valuable gemstone is made with a mixture of carbon and other trace minerals like silicon, iron, and nickel. This hard stone comes in clarity grades ranging from flawless to slightly included diamonds to heavily had diamonds. Diamonds usually are sold as loose stones or in the channel setting with gold. In 2013, a diamond ring was sold at auction for $17.1 million, which works out to $10,000 per carat or $13600 per pound (1 kg).
32. Lapis lazuli
It is a beautiful stone primarily mined in Afghanistan (Charsada locality) and Pakistan. It’s a mix of lazurite, calcite, and pyrite, making it white. It can also be found in blue, green, or brown colors, and it’s sold as a mixture of the three stones or as one stone with different color shades. Other lapis lazuli stones contain small amounts of pyrite and calcite; these stones are considered rarer. In 2012, a lapis lazuli necklace was sold at auction for $35.3 million, which works out to $4600 per carat or $5000 per pound (1 kg).
Amber is a famous stone made with a mixture of tree resin, fossilized plants, and dinosaur feathers that have been compressed over many years. It’s primarily sold as beads and in bezel settings, but you can also find it in other settings like the channel and prong settings. This stone is very popular with men.
There are many different types of stones that you can use in a bezel setting, but remember that the main goal is to catch people’s attention. If a gemstone is too common, or if it has nothing special, the bezel setting will not have the same effect as a pretty and valuable stone.