What is a Tension Setting? | The Diamond Reserve

What is a Tension Setting?

If you’re looking for a modern spin on a traditional solitaire setting, a tension set engagement ring might be just what you’re looking for. This unique setting features a stone that is compressed between two pieces of metal creating the illusion of the gem floating in between the metal band pieces. It offers endless design options including stones, metals and the overall shape and detailing of the ring. Let’s unravel the enigma of these seemingly suspended stones and explore why they might just be the perfect setting for your next jewelry piece.

Defying Gravity: Unveiling the Mystery of Tension Settings

Imagine your diamond or gemstone held in place by nothing but the gentle embrace of two meticulously crafted metal bands, that’s the magic of a tension setting. Most ring designs use prongs, claps or baskets to hold a stone in place, other settings surround the stone completely or embed it into the metal. The tension setting is the only one that uses tensile force to hold a gem in place. This minimalistic design allows the stone to appear like it’s floating in midair within the band and enhances the brilliance and sparkle of the stone.

First created in the 1960’s, a tension setting uses pressure to clamp a gemstone between pieces of metal. The stone is placed into an opening in the shank or band of the ring where tiny grooves are cut into the metal. The stone remains in place by the tension created from both ends of the setting and appears to float in place. Initially clunky and rather unattractive, modern technology has allowed this setting to be more delicate and intricate in its design. 

It’s an illusion of levitation, a testament to the precision of craftsmanship and the beauty of minimalist design. Because there is less metal involved in a tension setting, the gemstone can be seen in full view and from different angles. With more surface area exposed, more light is able to interact with the stone creating even more sparkle potential than other settings. The tension setting is an eye-catcher for sure and a fairly uncommon setting that requires the expertise and precision of a skilled jeweler to create. 

Why Choose a Tension Setting for Your Engagement Ring?

Folks who want a non-traditional design might opt for a tension setting as it is both uncommon and stunning. Round and princess cuts are the most popular shapes for engagement rings, and they both work with a tension setting due to their even symmetry, however almost any shape can be used, including asymmetrical cuts like pear or heart shapes. 

This unconventional and lovely design concept offers several advantages:

  • Unparalleled Sparkle: With minimal metal interrupting the light path, tension settings allow your diamond or gem to radiate its full brilliance and fire. 
  • Modern Elegance: Forget clunky prongs or bezels, tension settings boast clean lines and a sleek silhouette, perfect for those who crave a modern twist on classic elegance.
  • Enhanced Comfort: With no sharp edges or protruding prongs, tension-set rings are incredibly comfortable to wear. No snagging on clothes or catching on delicate surfaces, just pure, unhindered sparkle.

While it may appear delicate and even fragile, a tension setting is quite secure and the amount of force required to dislodge or damage the stone would hurt any type of setting. Every type of setting and engagement ring requires some care but it’s the level of craftsmanship that is most important with a tension which can be more expensive because it requires specialized skill to create. 

Tension set engagement rings are available in the same metals as other rings from white, yellow and rose gold to platinum and offer endless creative design options from twists and spirals to split shank bands and multiple gemstones of any shape or size. If you’re looking for a setting that showcases your gemstone’s beauty with minimalist elegance, then a tension setting might be your perfect match. 

If you have questions about engagement ring settings, give us a call at 303-385-8449 or click here to schedule an appointment.