In prong setting, the stone is held by two or more metal ‘claws’ called prongs. Most people will know this setting from engagement rings. Usually a single stone (called a ‘solitaire’) will be held by four or six metal wires bent over the stone.
In bezel setting, the stone is held inside a raised metal ‘tube’ that has roughly the same shape of the gemstone itself. The stonesetter sinks the stone down into the metal tube by removing metal from the inner wall. After that, the outside wall of the tube is bent or hammered over the stone.
Flush setting often looks very similar to bezel setting. The only distinction is that instead of being set in a raised ‘tube’, in flush setting the stone is set into the metal itself. For smaller stones, this means that the top of the stone will be flush with the metal surface, often even below it. Larger stones however, will sit above the metal anyway.
Pavé setting uses small splinters of metal (called beads) to hold the stones in place. These beads are raised out of the metal of the jewel itself with a fine chisel.
Castle setting is a bead setting technique similar to pavé, but used for stones that have nearly the same diameter as the material they are set into. The sides of the stones are visible and the metal there is finished into a lace-like pattern. This pattern looks like the battlements of a fortified castle.
Channel setting holds the stones by two opposite sides. They appear to ‘float’ in the jewel between two vertical bands of metal. This style looks quite modern and minimalistic.
Invisible setting is a technique where specially shaped stones are ‘clicked’ into a metal latticework that sits completely underneath the stones. With square or rectangular stones, it allows the creation of one uninterrupted surface of stones without any visible metal at all.
In tension setting, a stone is held by the mechanical force of a metal band that was ‘stretched open’ and released back onto the stone, with the stone’s sides lodging into grooves on either side of the band.