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Pros & Cons of High Set vs. Low Set Rings

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As you’re picking out the perfect ring, you have a lot to consider. But there’s one very important detail that many people overlook when picking out a ring: their setting profile. Although there are lots of different ring settings to choose from, generally, they come in two profiles. Either a high set profile or a low set profile. There are pros and cons to each setting profile, and it’s important to carefully evaluate which you prefer.

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Above: Low setting to the left, and high setting to the right

First of all, let's clarify: what is a ring setting?

Ring setting refers to how gemstones are set, or mounted, into a metal band. The setting is meant to highlight the beauty of the gemstone.

Whether a ring is high set or low set depends on where its center stone lies. If you look at a ring from the side and its center gemstone is elevated high off the band, it’s a high set ring. If its center stone is fairly close to the band, it’s low set.

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Pros & Cons of the High setting

A ring with a high setting gives the gemstone an extra sparkle and brilliance because there’s more room for light.

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Above: Ice Blue Solitude is set with single prongs in a high setting, ensuring that it stacks perfectly with other rings

Many people love high set rings because they have more wow factor. When your gemstones are raised up off of your band, they’re more eye-catching. The ring tends to look more elegant and stylish when viewed from the side. Gemstones can also look even more brilliant in high settings, since they can capture and reflect more light. Moreover, the high setting can give the illusion that the gemstone is bigger than its actual size.

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Another reason people love high ring settings is their flexibility. High settings work beautifully with many ring styles, as well as with both large and small gemstones. High settings can also make it easier to create a ring stack. If your ring setting is raised off of your band, your band won’t curve out, allowing you to easily rest other rings flush against it.

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Above: High set rings often have prongs that are long and curve elegantly upwards. You can also pair it with a wedding band easier.

While high ring settings are glamorous and versatile, they also come with some potential drawbacks. High settings are more prone to damage, because it can more easily get scratched, loosened, or the prongs can get damaged. If you’ve ever smacked your hand against a kitchen cabinet or got your ring ring caught on something as you walk by it, you’ll understand what we mean. Rings with a high setting can also damage other things if you’re not careful, like furniture, hair and sheets.

High prong set rings are also more likely to snag clothing. Some women don’t mind this as much, but others might find it annoying. Then, you’ll generally need to take high set rings off when you do certain common tasks, like cleaning or gardening, in order to avoid damaging your ring and/or to use your hands more comfortably. How you feel about needing to take off your ring is very personal. But it’s worth pointing out that people with more active lifestyles may find this more irritating than others, since they’ll need to take off their ring more frequently.

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Pros & Cons of the Low setting

A gemstone or diamond ring with a low profile setting means that the stone is lower, flush with the metal. If you turn the ring to the side, you’ll notice the featured gemstone sits down low, and when wearing it, it is nestled snugly against your finger. Centre stones are better protected in a low setting.

Planning to Pop the Question? Give it a Pop of Color

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The main advantage of low set rings is how comfortable and low maintenance they are. Low profile settings are less likely to get damaged from an accidental bump or scrape, and less likely to get snagged on your clothing. Generally, they’re just more durable and wearable in the long run. If you have an active lifestyle, or you work in a career that requires extensive use of your hands, low profile rings might be your preferred choice.

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Above: Our elegant Three Stone Swan with a low setting

Though low set rings are very comfortable and wearable, they do come with cons. One con of low set rings is that they have less visual impact when compared to high set rings. Gemstones may look less sparkly and eye-catching when they are close to your band. Additionally, low set rings often curve out on their upper shank, which means you would be limited to curved stacking bands if you want a flush fitting ring stack. Our versatile Snake TailSwan Tail are the perfect solution is stacking is important to you, as these ring designs stack perfectly with just about any ring.

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Above: Big Asscher Swan surrounded by our elegant Swan Tail to the left, and Diamond Snake Tail & Star Girl Love Band to the right

Which Setting is Best?

Ultimately, whether a high profile ring or a low profile ring is right for you is very personal. Neither of these design options is inherently better than the other, but one may be a better choice for you depending on your aesthetic tastes and lifestyle.

If you have any questions about ring setting profiles, please feel free to reach out. Additionally, if you’d like to try on some high set and low set rings to get a feel for their differences, stop by our showroom here in Oslo.

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Big East-West Oval Swan is the perfect ring for the girl who wants to rock a large gemstone without the high setting

Read Danuka’s Mythbuster on Engagement Rings Here.

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