Sometimes, the greatest impact is made with the simplest of designs – even when it comes to engagement rings and wedding jewelry.
Just like the simple and unadorned solitaire engagement ring remains a staple of the world of bridal jewelry, the flush setting also demonstrated quite how much beauty can be achieved when decoration and intricacy is thrown out the window, and replaced by an impression of effortlessness.
That’s not to say that the flush setting is simple to make. The lack of embellishment on this style of ring means that the wearer’s eye would be easily drawn to any tiny mistakes, which means that it takes a lot of skill and attention to detail to keep metal worked so hard looking so untouched.
Still, as far as engagement rings go, the flush setting remains pretty divisive. If you’re inexplicably drawn to this design, there are a few things you ought to know about it first…
A flush setting refers to a band that has had one or more diamonds embedded within the metal, so that the tops of the diamonds are ‘flush’ with the smooth, polished surface of the band.
While the effect is sleek, simple, and minimalistic, actually creating a flush setting is pretty complex stuff. The jeweler has to create a hole in the metal – no easy task when you’re working with something as precious as gold, or as resilient as platinum or tungsten – then add the diamond, and rework the metal until it creates a lip over the very edge of the diamond in order to keep it secure.
This lip also needs to be incredibly even, or the diamond won’t sit flush with the metal and the striking impact of the ring will be lost.
As a result, the flush setting is a great representation of both strength and delicacy. The jeweler has to go pretty tough on the materials they’re using, without leaving any sign of their struggle behind.
This is a bold choice, primarily for the fact that, in a flush set ring, the band itself is the main focus. If your bride-to-be is a minimalist at heart, however, then a flush setting engagement ring or wedding band could be the perfect choice.
This setting is also very popular among men looking to add a little something extra to their band, without going overboard. It gives the perfect opportunity to make a statement in a way that doesn’t try to revolutionize the more traditional design of the groom’s wedding ring.
Way back in the Victorian era, lords, and noblemen with jewels to protect from highway robbers would choose to embed their diamonds deep within gold and other precious metals, in an attempt to hide their wealth.
We can’t say for sure whether or not it worked, but it is fascinating to think that this particular design – a design that seems to screen modernity and stylishness – has been around for two hundred years or more.
This design also goes by a number of different names, such as belcher ring, ‘shot’ or flush mount setting – or., because of the unique way the jeweler has to position the metal over the very edge of the diamond, the hammer style setting.
Yes, you will still experience a fair amount of sparkle from your diamond, but nowhere near as much as you would if the same diamond were set in a way that exposed more of it to the light source.
The top of a traditional round cut diamond is typically known among jewelers as the table. Where it widens is known as the crown, while below that you will find the pavilion, and the sharply pointed cutlet is at the bottom of the diamond. There are many different ways light can enter a diamond, and the interplay of light entering and exiting through the table, crown, and pavilion is what makes it sparkle so distinctively.
Why is this important? Because, in a flush setting, only the table of the diamond is exposed to the light. It will glimmer and flash when the light hits, but that diamond won’t behave anywhere near its full potential since a large percentage of it remains buried in metal.
This is definitely something to consider, especially if you’re investing thousands into your diamond. It’s a similar issue posed to those interested the bezel setting since, again, a large part of the diamond is buried from any potential life sources.
There’s nothing wrong with dimming your diamond’s sparkle, so don’t let that deter you – take a look at a few of these rings at your consultation with your jeweler, and see what you make of that modest shine.
Any diamond cut can be used within the flush setting, although keep in mind that cuts offering less sparkle will be even more muted within this design.
Round, fancy, or step cuts all create significantly different effects when embedded within the metal. The effect can be very striking or very subtle, depending on the size of the diamond compared with the size and thickness of the band – and how the cut reacts within the metal.
For this reason, it’s worth putting a lot of thought into your choice of metal – or mixed metals. Diamonds set within yellow gold can take on a warmer hue – particularly when there is more contact between the metal and the gemstone – whereas diamonds set in white gold or platinum will seemingly shine a little brighter, thanks to the crisp, white shine of these precious metals.
This impacts all diamonds, no matter what ring they are place in, but much more noticeably in flush or bezel settings, where the diamond remains level with the band.
Very secure – in fact, probably one of the most secure ring settings you could choose, and an excellent option for anyone who leads a busy life, and is worried about the damage that might do to a more delicate ring style.
We’re not saying that the Victorian noblemen were on the right track when it came to protecting their precious jewels on the highways, but there’s definitely plenty of practical advantages to choosing this setting over some of the more ornate options.
With a skilled jeweler behind it, a flush setting engagement ring will be incredibly secure, and the diamond very unlikely to work itself loose or fall out.
Similarly, it’s much less likely to get chipped or scratched, since no part of the diamond is exposed to the knocks, bumps and scrapes that more prominent settings go through each and every day.
If you or your partner has a physically demanding job, for instance, then the flush setting is absolutely something to keep in mind.
When a ring is described as being flush fit, it typically means that it has been specifically designed to fit perfectly against another ring – in this instance, an engagement ring and a wedding band.
This is not to be confused with a flush setting, although they sound pretty similar.
Some rings and setting styles make it difficult to get that flush, comfortable fit when worn alongside a wedding band. For instance, finding wedding bands for halo engagement rings, which are much bulkier and more ornate than a flush setting, can be tricky, but it is still possible to create a flush fit between the two pieces.
This is one of those styles we would urge our readers to exercise plenty of caution over. It’s a memorable and eye-catching style, but that may not be for the reasons your bride-to-be would like.
Love it or hate it, there’s no hiding from the fact that the flush setting is about as far as you can get from the traditional style of engagement ring – that sparkling, prominent diamond that first pops into our heads when we think of proposals and blushing brides.
Flush setting engagement rings are pretty rare. Are they impossible to get your hands on? No – not at all – but just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
If you love the design, but have any qualms over whether or not your intended will feel the same way when you’re down on one knee and opening that ring box for the first time, then consider putting on the back burner until the time comes to pick out your wedding rings.
The flush setting is a versatile design for brides or grooms, and offers a great opportunity to incorporate a little something extra into your wedding band without pushing the boat out too far. Use this setting with caution, take a good long look at styles featuring this design when you make your consultation with the jeweler, and work out the best way for you to incorporate this technique into your wedding set.