High Setting vs Low Setting Engagement Rings

Table of Contents

  • What Is a High Setting Engagement Ring?
  • Pros of Choosing a High Profile Setting
  • Cons of Choosing a High Profile Setting
  • What Is a Low Setting Engagement Ring?


Are you on the hunt for the perfect engagement ring? Among all of the designs that you might have your eye on, there is a major factor to consider – do you want a high engagement ring setting or a low engagement ring setting?

A high profile vs low profile engagement ring While it might not seem like a huge decision, this simple element can impact things like stone durability, wearability, and overall sparkle. But don’t fret, in this helpful guide, we’ll fill you in on everything that you need to know so that you can feel confident in your decision.

What Is a High Setting Engagement Ring?

Often simplistic in design, engagement rings with a high set design allow your diamond or gemstone to sit high, resulting in the ultimate wow factor. Determining whether your ring is high set or low set is as easy as looking at the ring’s side profile. If the stone protrudes higher than your finger, the ring has a high profile.

A high profile yellow gold ring

Pros of Choosing a High Profile Setting

The greatest benefit of a high profile setting is the way that the design showcases your center stone of choice. Gems in a high setting often appear more brilliant than their low set counterparts. Stones in this style appear extra sparkly because there’s more room for light to filter through and interact with the gemstone’s facets.

Additionally, high profile settings are versatile, working well with many different designs. This is especially helpful when searching for a matching wedding band as the higher profile allows for more room for the band to sit snugly against your engagement ring.

Cons of Choosing a High Profile Setting

Unfortunately, a diamond placed in a high profile setting is much more prone to damage than one in a low profile setting. Additionally, engagement rings in this style are more likely to snag during day-to-day wear on things like sweaters, furniture, hair, and stockings.

High profile settings aren’t ideal for those with super active lifestyles. It’s important to keep in mind that you’ll need to remove a high set engagement ring before partaking in activities that require heavy use of your hands.

What Is a Low Setting Engagement Ring?

Unlike a high set engagement ring, rings with a low profile are often much more ornate in design. The center stone is not the only attraction in low set engagement rings, instead, things like fancy filigree and dazzling accent stones(also known as pave diamonds) share the spotlight.

A low profile white gold ring

Pros of Choosing a Low Profile Setting

If you have a particularly active lifestyle or spend a lot of time working with your hands a low profile setting will be your best choice. Unlike those in a high engagement ring setting, stones in a low engagement ring setting are less likely to scratch or obtain damage from daily wear and tear.

Cons of Choosing a Low Profile Setting

The only real con when choosing a diamond engagement ring with a low setting is reduced brilliance. While high wedding ring settings allow the center diamond to appear even more brilliant, a low setting can limit a gemstone’s natural sparkle. This is especially true if the diamond is of a lower carat weight.

Does a High Setting Make a Diamond Look Bigger?

As we established above, yes, a high setting can make a diamond look bigger. This is especially true if you pair a high setting with a thin ring shank or band. However, if your stone is 0.5 carats or less a high setting can emphasize the small size of the stone so keep this in mind if you’re trying to create an illusion of a larger diamond.

If high profile rings aren’t you’re style but you still want to create the illusion of a larger stone don’t fret. There are other ways to trick the eye. When it comes to engagement ring designs, try a glamorous halo setting. In halo engagement rings, several accent stones encircle the center stone resulting in a piece that looks larger-than-life. Alternatively, a three stone engagement ring setting can create the same effect. In this design, a center gemstone such as a captivating asscher cut is paired with two side stones for extra sparkle.

Another element to consider within your engagement ring setting is metal. While white gold or silver is traditionally believed to enhance the appearance of one’s center stone by reflecting a diamond’s size this isn’t necessarily true. The Gemological Institue of America(GIA), said it this way, “The logic seems sound until you consider that a rose gold or yellow gold band could serve as a dramatic counterpoint to the diamond, making it look bigger. So a white metal band is not a foolproof solution.”

By now you’re getting an idea of which style you prefer. Below are the most common settings for high profile and low profile engagement rings.

Top High Profile Engagement Ring Settings

One of the most common of all engagement ring settings, the stylish prong setting is versatile pairing nicely with many diamond shapes. In this style, the center stone is held in place by either four or six prongs. Four prong settings allow for more white light return, while six prongs offer more security.

A mixed metal engagement ring stack Similar to the prong setting is the trellis setting. Somewhat vintage in appearance, rings in this style consist of four prongs weaved together in a cross pattern, securely holding the diamond in place.

If you’re looking for something sophisticated, try a classic cathedral setting. In this design, the gemstone is mounted above the shank of the ring where it’s held in place by metal arches.

Top Low Profile Engagement Ring Settings

A fan-favorite across the board, the classic solitaire setting is a minimalist’s dream. In this style, the center stone is held to a sleek metal band using claw-like prongs in a basket setting. Solitaire engagement rings offer maximum brilliance and are easy to maintain. What’s more, this style is rather affordable since there is only a single gemstone in play.

A low profile ring in an east-west setting A bezel set engagement ring is ideal for those who want to keep their center stone as safe and secure as possible. Bezel Setting engagement rings consist of a ring of metal that holds the stone in place. However, the encasing metal does slightly cover the edge of the stone resulting in less brilliance than you might find in other engagement ring settings.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for a low profile engagement ring setting that will turn heads try a tension style setting for your forever adornment. In this unique design, the gemstone is held in place using the bands of the ring itself. The diamond looks as if it’s floating between the two bands creating an ultra dazzling look as light easily passes through the stone.



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