A pavé setting features tiny diamonds or gemstones that are embedded into the shank or band of a ring and held in place by tiny prongs or beads that create the appearance of a line of continuous sparkle. Pavé comes in a few different styles and can easily be combined with other settings to maximize the brilliance of your center stone.
What is a Pavé Setting?
The word pavé (pronounced pah-vay) comes from the French word to pave (a road) as the style resembles a cobblestone street; in this case you’re quite literally paving your ring with diamonds. The stones are usually so closely set that the metal beneath them can’t be seen. Ultimately the goal of this setting is to create the illusion that the surface of your ring is covered with sparkling, freestanding stones.
Pavé is a general term used to refer to any type of setting with pavé-set diamonds on the band, and comes in three different types or sizes, micro pavé being the smallest and standard pavé being the largest.
- Micro pavé uses very small diamonds (typically less than 0.01 carat) that are uniform in size and set using tiny prongs. These settings often use more than 100 teeny diamonds.
- Petite pavé uses smaller prongs allowing more diamonds to be seen.
- Standard pavé uses larger diamonds than micro and petite pavé, with fewer set diamonds in total and the prongs will be more prominent.
Cut-down, V-cut and fishtail are variations of single row pave where the metal on both sides of the diamonds slopes away. The difference is in the way the metal on both sides of the pavé is finished.
- Cut-down pavé is a single row of stones with small arches and/or vertical slits on both sides. This technique results in grooves that are scalloped, U-shaped or V-shaped when viewed from the side.
- For fishtai pavé, the metal faceting echoes the look of a forked tail of a fish, hence the name.
Because there are so many different ways to utilize pavé it lends itself well to all kinds of settings and custom designs.
Why Choose a Pavé Setting?
The most common reason to opt for a pavé setting is to create even more sparkle. Because of the added shimmer, a pavé setting on the band can make a center diamond or gemstone look larger than it actually is, giving you more sparkle for less money. Some people also prefer the more delicate look it creates as opposed to a ring with larger side stones. Pavé in a halo setting, where small diamonds encircle a larger stone, can also make a center stone look bigger and add extra shine.
Be mindful that the type of pavé you choose may make your ring difficult or impossible to resize, and that it will be a little more delicate than other settings. A pavé ring may also need to be cleaned more frequently.
The pavé setting is extremely flexible and works beautifully within modern or vintage-style engagement rings. You could choose a full band of pavé or a semi which is probably the best choice if you anticipate your ring ever needing to be resized. You can have diamonds stacked in rows on a wider band, or a thin, delicate band, a split shank or even a crisscross design. Settings can also be adapted to display other complementary design elements like filigree and milgrain. Whatever pavé you choose will create an enhanced field of sparkle.
When these various elements come together, truly beautiful custom creations are made. Whether you’re looking to design a custom ring with a little extra sparkle, or have questions we’re here to help! Give us a call at 303-385-8449 or click here to schedule an appointment!