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What is a Bezel Set Diamond?

Sherry GeeMarch 10, 2010

Overview

Bezel settings aren't confined to a ring or a classic round diamond cut--any size or shape of diamond can sit in this setting in a variety of jewelry styles. Adding stones around a diamond can make it appear even larger, and features such as straight or scalloped edging can individualize a piece even more. A diamond necklace, bracelet or ring with a bezel diamond emphasizes the stone's size and offers more protection from harmful elements than other settings.

Types

Solid or full bezel settings have a band of metal that wraps completely around the stone, generally revealing just the top of the diamond covered on the edge by a very small lip. In a ring with this setting, the wrapped diamond sits above the band, giving the piece height and dimension. In a pair of earrings or necklace--such as that highlighted in RedEnvelope's What Fills Her Heart Diamond necklace--the diamond looks sunken but striking in the metal. You'll typically see a full bezel setting in earrings, bracelets and necklaces as well as in rings. A partial bezel, on the other hand, has two V-shaped openings in the metal on either side of the diamond, allowing more of the stone to show and a bit more light in to showcase the diamond's beauty.

Benefits

A bezel-set diamond is more fully protected from knocks that can cause damage to those in more fragile settings, such as a diamond set in prongs. Because metal surrounds the stone, a bezel-set diamond is less likely to chip, break or scratch. If a diamond has such flaws to begin with, bezel settings help hide them, especially if the flaws are around the stone's edges. A bold bezel ring can also complement hands that are larger or square in shape, making them seem more refined.

Considerations

Bezel-set diamonds are ideal for those with active lifestyles. Because a jewelry item with this setting is less prone to snag on clothing to catch on other items, you're less likely to risk breaking a fragile pair of earrings simply by doing what you do each day. The recessed diamond setting can also be more comfortable to wear for those who do a lot of work with their hands..

Misconceptions

A bezel setting covers about 10 percent of a diamond, jewelry designer Kirk Kara says on WeddingChannel.com. But this doesn't mean a piece of jewelry with this setting will lose part of its shine. A diamond doesn't let light in from the back as it is, so a sunken setting does not affect its brilliance. A diamond's cut and clarity, together with dirt and other debris, are what most determine how well a diamond reflects light, so proper care and cleaning is key.

Care and Considerations

Wiping the diamond piece regularly with a soft cloth helps remove dust, dirt and oils that accumulate from everyday wear. If the diamond piece is one you wear regularly, it should be soaked every week or two in cold water mixed with a mild soap or with a couple of drops of ammonia-based cleaner, the Gemological Institute of America says. You can use a soft toothbrush to gently scrub the back of the bezel setting, especially in a partial bezel, to remove built-up dirt or debris. Store any pieces in a cloth jewelry roll or stacking box with fabric compartments. RedEnvelope's storage options include cloth or silk-lined options to keep other jewelry from marring your bezel-set piece.

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