What is a pavé diamond?
First of all, it’s super fun to say: “PAHV-ay.”
The crazy thing is that if someone pronounces it “pavé” like a road, there’s actually some sense to that.
It comes from the French word meaning “pavé.”
You can think of it like the band of the ring is paved with diamonds—like streets paved with gold!
A pavé setting has small diamonds (also called accent diamonds) completely or partially covering the band, lining it all around.
There are many varieties of pavé diamond settings, which we’ll discuss below.
Why Choose a Pavé Diamond Ring?
Basically, the large number of diamonds speaks for itself. Why not have a band that is completely covered in diamonds?
What these pavé diamonds do is to highlight the main stone in the setting.
Not only does the pavé setting make the main stone look bigger, but it makes it shine more.
Another thing to keep in mind, while looking at the main stone, is that a pavé band looks good with a solitaire main stone, three-stones, or halos.
It’s a timeless look with an elegance that is also unique.
Which Diamond Shape Can Be Used in a Pavé Diamond Ring Setting?
One of the great things about pavé diamond settings is that they are very versatile in terms of the shapes of diamonds they work with.
Here they are:
Emerald Cut With Pave Diamond Engagement Rings
This classic cut may be the first ever diamond cut.
It’s a rectangle, and the contrast from the tiny stones is perfect. The pavé setting goes with this shape as well as any other, and you can quote me on that.
Classic Round Cut Halo Setting
This is the style that foregrounds geometry the most. The eye is simply mesmerized by all the circles.
There’s a subtler type of contrast here, and it works.
Marquise Diamond Pavé Engagement Ring
Marquise cuts are like an American football, an oval with points on both ends.
You could have just the main stone in this shape or the pavé stones too. It’s up to you!
Cushion Cut With Pave Diamond Engagement Ring
The reason this has its quirky name is that…well, it’s unclear. It actually should be a pillow cut, because the stone looks quite a bit like a pillow.
Whomever named it cushion cut didn’t want to be too on the nose. Anyway, the square with rounded corners is a unique cut for a pavé diamond setting.
Oval Cut Diamond Engagment Ring with Pavé setting
This one looks old fashioned to some eyes, with a Queen-of-England ambience.
There’s something about an oval that says “home” or “tradition.” Check it out.
Various Styles of Pavé Diamond Settings
Pavé diamonds are not a one-size fits all affair. They have all sorts of varieties, and nothing would give me more pleasure than to grant a few words to each of them…right now.
Micro Pavé setting
Woah, girl, impress your friends and enemies with this wonder of nature.
Or science. Who knows? The micro pavé takes a break from the “big rock” idea and goes to the other extreme completely, giving you a band brilliantly covered in tiny diamonds.
These micros are often as small as 0.01 ct and rings may have upward to 100 of them!
The benefit to going into the Miniature Kingdom this way is an incredible sparkle.
Micro pavé settings give you sparkle right down to the shank of the ring.
French Pavé setting
If something comes with the label “French” it has to be really funky, yeah?
Well, French pavé diamonds deliver, since the pavé diamonds are embedded into little “V” patterns etched into the band.
This cuts down on the ratio of metal to diamond in the ring, creating a more awesome overall sparkle.
U-cut Pavé setting
This setting has little grooves in the band into which the pavé diamonds are set.
From the side, they make a letter U, so U-cut it is. The lovely simplicity of this style has made it popular.
Petite Pavé setting
This name might be a tad misleading—what’s petite is the prongs holding the pavé diamonds in the petite pavé setting.
This makes each of these little gems stand out more. It’s fair to say that this design heightens the shine of the pavé diamonds.
Shared Prong With Pave Diamond Engagement Ring
One thing to know about a pavé setting is, one stone, one prong. That’s disrupted with the shared prong setting, in which two neighboring stones are held down by the same prong.
This causes the stones to seem a bit more uniform. Some people feel that the way the light hits the top of the stones this way makes for an awesome shine.
This is a very distinctive look, with each stone having a four-corners prong format holding it in place.
You can see the top of each prong making up a square over the round stone.
This is actually the most common style.
This style stands apart from any other pavé setting. It has vertical bars coming up between each stone, holding them in place.
While a bit intrusive, it could seem urban and funky, too. These are used for rings with three stones or baguette-style bands.
This is a minimalist style that is somehow rugged and elegant at the same time.
There are no prongs in this setting; rather the stones are held in place by cylinders of metal.
This makes them popular with men, but women love the bezel setting of pavé diamond rings as well.
Pros and Cons of Pavé Diamond Settings
Pro of Pavé Diamond Engagement Ring #1: Emphasis of Center Stone
Whether you’re going with a halo setting or any style of pavé setting for your engagement ring, the center stone is really what’s important.
The center stone is really what people look at. But the great thing about using a pavé setting for the band is that it creates a situation in which the band can only help rather than hurt.
It may seem logical that the best way to accentuate the center stone is to have a plain band.
The problem with that is that there’s no contrast—it’s just a big rock on top of a band.
When you have a bunch of small stones it creates a texture for the large one.
The center stone seems to grow out of the others, and because there are many tiny stones, it looks bigger.
It’s proven fact that a stone of a particular size will look bigger in a pavé setting than in another setting.
In some settings in some light, the sparkle of the small pavé diamonds adds sparkle to the main stone.
You can see that lining the band with all these support stones has very real benefits.
Pro of Pave Diamond Engagement Ring #2: Boosts a lower-set stone
Sometimes the band comes up near the top of the stone, almost squeezing it rather than holding it up.
That is what’s meant by a low-set stone. The stone lingers among the band rather than hanging up high above it all.
Naturally, in some cases, one can feel that the stone gets a bit lost when set low.
The pavé setup helps this by having the tiny pavé stones there to dutifully shine their light onto the main stone.
Pro #3: Availability of Vintage Styles
Perhaps due to the fact that the pavé format has been around for a while, and perhaps because of its classic look, you can find all sorts of vintage rings in pavé style, including settings with round brilliant diamonds.
That allows you to take things to a whole new level of classicism and elegance.
You can find art deco rings and any number of different antique styles.
Pro of Pavé Diamond Engagement Ring #4: Popularity
There’s no doubt that pavé settings are in right now. When you’re getting an engagement ring, it’s obviously more than special.
It gives you an excuse to really splurge.
That leads a person to a band that’s just popping with little shiny stones.
What else is splurging all about?
Con of Pavé Diamond Engagement Ring #1: Maintenance Issue
You’re supposed to be the only one that’s high maintenance around here, right?
Well, one issue with pavé setting diamonds is any re-sizing that may need to be done.
Any time you need to get a ring re-sized, the first thing that has to happen is the jeweler has to cut into the ban.
In some cases, a little length of metal will then be inserted. Well, how does that happen with little stones all around?
Sometimes a jeweler will introduce a workaround, so it’s not completely impossible, but it’s a lot of work.
The workaround that’s easy for you to introduce is getting an accurate size just to be sure.
Con of Pavé Diamond Wedding Bands #2: Possibility of Losing a Side Stone
It’s important to regularly soak your ring, and that can actually have an unintended side-effect: it can loosen the stones of the band.
Well, that’s not good, right? While it’s not extremely common for the side stones to actually fall out, it does happen.
Con of Pavé Diamond Wedding Rings #3: Complexity Requires Carefulness
One thing that’s super-important about buying a pavé diamond setting is to make sure it’s perfectly even.
If you get one that it’s uneven, it could become damaged. That means you really have to inspect it, maybe bringing in someone with an expert eye.
Don’t be afraid of offending the jeweler.
Q. Do Pavé Diamonds Fall Out Easily?
A. I wouldn’t say “easily.” Channel or bezel settings may lead to a bit more slippage than other pavé settings involving individual prongs with each pavé stone.
Q. Are Pavé Diamond Rings Setting Stones Secure?
A. Generally, yes. As we’ve outlined, some styles of pavé settings have prongs for each stone, while others have a prong for two stones.
Naturally, they shouldn’t come out of the store rocking and rolling all over, but after a couple of years, after dozens of washings, they will loosen up.
Q. How Can You Tell if Pavé Diamonds are Real?
A. The quick answer to this is just that it’s a fact that diamonds used in pavé settings are real diamonds.
However, it’s always a good idea to be skeptical. If you’re worried that a diamond in a pavé setting is moissanite or cubic zirconium, there’s an easy test.
Look at the stone under good light. You should be able to see a bit of color.
If the stone is completely clear, it is one of these imitations. They are created in a lab, and that’s why they’re so incredibly clear.
However, I should say one more thing. Some people hear the phrase “pave diamond ring” and think that it refers to a particular type of diamond, the pavé.
That’s why some folks ask if pavé diamonds are real. But that’s not looking at it right.
Remember that “pavé” is simply a name for a setting—it’s not a pavé diamond, but a pavé diamond ring setting.
Q. How Do You Clean Pavé Diamond Rings Settings?
A. For routine maintenance, you can go the route of soaking the jewelry briefly, then rubbing with a cloth.
If you are brave enough to gently massage the little diamonds with an old toothbrush, that’s an option as well.
When the jewelry requires more thorough cleaning, you may use an ultrasonic cleaning device, which blasts away tiny particles.
No ultrasonic cleaning device? you may find a jeweler with one.
Whether a French pavé engagement ring, a micro pavé setting, or anything in between, you can clean pave diamond ring settings the same way you’d clean any stones or any jewelry.
It’s important to remember, though, that delicacy and care are very important, since you don’t want to loosen the delicate and precious stones.
Tags: pave diamond settings, pavé rings, pave setting, pave diamonds