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.
One side of the stone slides into an undercut cavity in the inner side of the metal. This is the ‘channel’ that gives the technique its name. The stone is then sunk into the metal on the opposing side. The material is then hammered down over the stone, securing it in place. It is often used with square or rectangular stones. Those can be set right next to each other, but it works with round and oval stones as well.
The precision required in cutting the channel and the recess on the opposite side, makes this the most challenging setting technique to execute. Especially with round stones, the tolerances are very low. A cut made slightly too deep, or not exactly at the required place, will result in stones that are not level or are not spaced correctly. It may even become impossible to tighten the stone fully, so they will tilt or slide inside the jewel.