Diamond shopping can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a bit overwhelming when you consider how many choices you’ll need to make. In addition to deciding on the type and size of diamond you want, you’ll also have to choose which type of setting you want to put your precious stone in – and there are several to consider. Here’s a closer look at some of the different setting options, as well as the benefits and drawbacks associated with each.

Prong – This is by and large the most common diamond setting. These settings use little claw-like prongs to hold the diamond in place. The prongs may be rounded, flat or pointed, and usually come in either four- or six-prong sets. One of the reasons this setting is so popular is because it allows a great deal of light to pass through the diamond, enhancing its brilliance. One of the downsides of a prong setting, however, is the tendency for the prongs to snag on items. Prongs also should be regularly inspected to ensure their integrity.

Halo – Halo settings are another popular choice that features smaller stones encircling a large diamond. This gives the illusion of a large diamond and increases the sparkle of the ring overall. A halo setting is a great option for rings containing smaller centre stones, or when you want to mix and match other gemstones with a diamond.

Pavé – Pavé settings, also known as bead settings, consist of small diamonds set in a row. The tiny prongs holding the diamonds together are so small that they’re barely visible, giving the look of one continuous band of diamonds. This is a good choice for someone who wants a band with more sparkle, rather than a solid band. Keep in mind, though, that pavé set rings can be more difficult to size.

Bezel – After the prong setting, the bezel setting is the second most popular choice for diamond ring-wearers. Ideal for people with active lifestyles, bezel settings fully or partially encircle the diamond with a thin metal rim to keep it secure. Bezel setting are highly preferred because they won’t snag and because they are known for providing maximum security for the centre stone.

Tension – Tension settings hold diamonds in place without the overt assistance of prongs or metal rims. Rather, the diamond is secured by the pressure, or tension, produced between the offset ends of the band. This makes the stone appear to be suspended between the ends of the band. To ensure the stone’s security, a prong or rim is usually employed in an inconspicuous place that doesn’t interfere with the “suspension” look.

Channel – At first glance, channel set diamonds are very similar in appearance to pavé set stones. These diamonds are set closely together within the ring band, fitting into the channel grooves the jeweller creates in the band. With no prongs, there is no worry of the ring snagging on clothes and other items.