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Bezel vs. Claw Setting Engagement Rings: Which One Is Right for You?

Choosing between a bezel engagement ring and a claw (prong) setting can be challenging. In this blog, you'll discover the differences, pros and cons, suitable gemstones for each setting, care guides, and more to help you make an informed decision.
By Melissa Ban
12 min read
Bezel vs. Claw Setting Engagement Rings: Which One Is Right for You?

Choosing an engagement ring is a monumental decision, not just because of the emotional significance but also due to the myriad of styles available. Among the most popular are the bezel engagement ring and the claw (prong) setting engagement ring. Each offers unique advantages and aesthetic appeals. Let’s delve into the differences between these two classic settings to help you make an informed choice.

Popular Gemstone Choices for Bezel and Claw Settings


emerald engagement ring with bezel and claws setting
  • Bezel Setting: Diamonds in bezel settings offer a modern and sleek look while providing excellent protection. The bezel setting enhances the durability of the diamond, making it suitable for everyday wear.

  • Claw Setting: Diamonds in claw settings showcase maximum brilliance and sparkle. The open design allows light to enter the diamond from all angles, creating a dazzling effect.


emerald engagement ring with bezel and claws setting
  • Bezel Setting: Emeralds benefit greatly from bezel settings due to their softness. The bezel protects the edges of the emerald, preventing chips and scratches.

  • Claw Setting: While claw settings are less common for emeralds, they can still be used with careful consideration. The prongs must be strong and secure to protect the gemstone.


sapphire engagement ring with bezel and claws setting
  • Bezel Setting: Sapphires in bezel settings offer a sophisticated and modern look. The bezel setting provides excellent protection and highlights the rich colour of the sapphire.

  • Claw Setting: Sapphires in claw settings allow for maximum light exposure, enhancing their natural brilliance. This setting style is popular for engagement rings and other fine jewellery.


sapphire engagement ring with bezel and claws setting
  • Bezel Setting: Rubies in bezel settings are well-protected and showcase their deep red colour beautifully. The bezel setting adds a touch of modern elegance to the ring.

  • Claw Setting: Rubies in claw settings allow for maximum light exposure, enhancing their vibrant colour. The open design of the claw setting makes the ruby the focal point of the ring.

a bezel setting yellow sapphire with diamond engagement ring and a claws setting green sapphire with diamond engagement ring

Bezel Engagement Ring: Sleek and Secure

What is a Bezel Setting?

A bezel setting, also known as a rubover ring, encircles the diamond or gemstone with a metal rim, holding it securely in place. The metal can either fully surround the stone or partially wrap around it, offering a modern and sleek appearance. This design has been favoured for centuries due to its practicality and the secure hold it provides to precious gemstones.

Pros of Bezel Engagement Rings:

  1. Security: The bezel setting is one of the most secure settings. The metal rim protects the edges of the diamond, making it less susceptible to chips and scratches. This makes it an excellent choice for individuals with an active lifestyle. Whether you’re an athlete, a medical professional, or someone who frequently uses their hands, the bezel setting offers unparalleled peace of mind.

  2. Protection: Since the stone is well-protected, bezel settings are ideal for softer gemstones that might otherwise be prone to damage. Gemstones like emeralds, opals, and pearls benefit greatly from the added protection of a bezel setting. This protection ensures that your precious stone remains intact and retains its beauty over time.

  3. Sleek Look: The bezel setting offers a contemporary and streamlined look, perfect for those who prefer minimalist designs. The smooth, continuous line of metal around the gemstone provides a clean and elegant appearance. This setting is particularly popular among those who appreciate modern design and understated elegance.

  4. No Snagging: Unlike prong settings, bezel settings are smooth and don’t catch on clothing or hair, making them practical for daily wear. This feature is especially beneficial for individuals who lead busy lives and cannot constantly worry about their ring getting caught on fabrics or hair.

  5. Versatility in Design: Bezel settings can be crafted in various designs, from full bezels that completely encircle the stone to partial bezels that only cover part of the stone. This flexibility allows for creative and unique ring designs that can be customised to fit personal tastes and styles.

  6. Durability: Bezel settings are generally more durable than prong settings because the metal rim provides a strong and sturdy frame for the gemstone. This durability ensures that the ring can withstand everyday wear and tear without compromising its integrity.

Cons of Bezel Engagement Rings:

  1. Less Light: The metal rim can obstruct light from entering the stone from the sides, potentially reducing its brilliance compared to a prong setting.

  2. Cost: Due to the intricate metalwork required, bezel settings can be more expensive than claw settings.

Claw Setting: Classic and Brilliant

What is a Claw Setting?

Also known as a prong setting, a claw setting uses metal prongs to hold the diamond or gemstone in place. Typically, four to six prongs are used to secure the stone, allowing maximum exposure to light. This setting style is favoured for its ability to showcase the gemstone’s brilliance and sparkle.

Pros of Claw Setting:

  1. Brilliance: The claw setting allows for more light to pass through the diamond, enhancing its brilliance and sparkle. This is one of the primary reasons why claw settings are so popular. The open design ensures that the diamond captures and reflects light from every angle, creating a dazzling display.

  2. Classic Appeal: This setting is timeless and elegant, making it a popular choice for traditional engagement rings. The claw setting has been a staple in fine jewellery for generations, symbolising elegance and sophistication. It complements a wide range of diamond shapes and sizes, making it a versatile choice.

  3. Versatility: Claw settings can accommodate various diamond shapes and sizes, offering greater flexibility in design. Whether you prefer a round, princess, oval, or marquise cut, the claw setting can beautifully showcase your chosen gemstone. This versatility allows for endless customisation options.

  4. Cost-Effective: Generally, claw settings require less metal than bezel settings, often making them more affordable. This cost-effectiveness makes the claw setting an attractive option for those looking to maximise their budget without compromising on the ring’s overall beauty.

  5. Enhanced Stone Size: The minimal use of metal in claw settings can make the gemstone appear larger. This illusion of size is a significant advantage for those who want their stone to look as substantial as possible.

  6. Classic Elegance: Claw settings are synonymous with classic elegance. They are often featured in iconic engagement rings, adding a touch of timeless beauty to any ring design.

Cons of Claw Setting:

  1. Vulnerability: The prongs can wear out over time or get caught on fabrics, potentially loosening the stone. Regular maintenance is required to ensure the prongs remain secure. This vulnerability necessitates periodic inspections by a professional jeweler to ensure the ring’s longevity.

  2. Exposure: Since the diamond is more exposed, it is more susceptible to damage from knocks and bumps. This increased exposure can be a concern for individuals who are very active or work in environments where their ring may be subjected to rough treatment.

  3. Snagging: Prongs can catch on clothing, hair, and other materials, which can be inconvenient for everyday wear. This can be particularly problematic for those who wear their ring daily and engage in activities that involve frequent contact with fabrics and other materials.

  4. Maintenance: Claw settings require more frequent maintenance compared to bezel settings. The prongs need to be checked regularly to ensure they are not bent or worn down, which could compromise the security of the gemstone.

Which Setting Should You Choose?

Consider Your Lifestyle:

bezel and claws setting based on lifestyle
  • Active Lifestyle: If you lead an active lifestyle or work with your hands frequently, the bezel engagement ring might be more suitable due to its protective nature. The secure metal rim provides added peace of mind, ensuring that your gemstone remains safe in various activities.

  • Daily Wear: For those who prefer a ring that showcases maximum sparkle and don’t mind a bit of extra care, a claw setting might be ideal. The claw setting’s open design allows for enhanced brilliance, making it a stunning choice for special occasions and daily wear.

Aesthetic Preferences:

  • Modern Design: For a modern, sleek look, opt for a bezel engagement ring. The continuous metal rim provides a clean and contemporary appearance that appeals to those who appreciate minimalist designs.

  • Timeless Elegance: For a timeless, classic appearance, the claw setting is the way to go. Its traditional design has been favoured for generations and continues to be a popular choice for those who love classic elegance.

Gemstone Choice:

  • Softer Gemstones: Softer gemstones benefit from the protection of a bezel setting. The metal rim shields the edges of the gemstone, preventing chips and scratches, making it ideal for stones like emeralds, opals, and pearls.

  • Harder Gemstones: Harder gemstones like diamonds, sapphires and rubies can handle the exposure of a claw setting. The durability of diamonds makes them suitable for the open design of claw settings, allowing them to showcase their brilliance without compromising on security.

Customisation Options for Bezel and Claw Settings

Bezel Settings:

  • Full Bezel: A full bezel completely encircles the gemstone, offering maximum protection and a sleek, modern look. This design is perfect for those who prioritise security and a contemporary aesthetic.

  • Partial Bezel: A partial bezel covers only a portion of the gemstone, allowing for more light to enter while still providing significant protection. This design strikes a balance between security and brilliance.

  • Decorative Bezels: Customising the bezel with decorative elements such as milgrain detailing or engraving can add a unique touch to the ring. These embellishments enhance the overall design, making the ring truly one-of-a-kind.

decorative bezel with milgrain diamond engagement ring
  • Mixed Metals: Using different metals for the bezel and the band can create a striking contrast. For example, a platinum bezel paired with a yellow gold band offers a sophisticated and unique look.

Claw Settings:

  • Four-Prong Setting: A four-prong setting is the most common and classic style. It provides ample security while allowing maximum light to enter the gemstone. This setting is ideal for those who want a timeless and elegant ring.

  • Six-Prong Setting: A six-prong setting offers added security with two extra prongs, making it a popular choice for larger stones. The additional prongs provide a more secure hold, ensuring the gemstone remains firmly in place.

  • Double Prong: Double prongs at each corner of the gemstone add an extra layer of security and a unique aesthetic. This setting style is perfect for those who want a distinctive and secure design.

  • V-Prong: V-shaped prongs are often used for pointed gemstones like marquise or pear cuts. The V-prong design protects the delicate points of the gemstone, ensuring they remain intact.

  • Cathedral Setting: The prongs extend from the band in a sweeping arc, elevating the gemstone and creating a dramatic effect. The cathedral setting adds a touch of sophistication and elegance to the ring.

  • Custom Prong Designs: Customising the prongs with unique shapes or embellishments can add a personal touch to the ring. From diamond setting prongs to intricate engravings, the possibilities are endless. Browse our Bespoke Gallery for inspirations. 

pink diamond claw solitaire engagement ring

Maintenance Tips for Bezel and Claw Settings

Bezel Settings:

  • Regular Cleaning: Clean your bezel-set ring regularly to maintain its shine. Use a soft brush and mild soap to gently clean the metal and gemstone.

  • Professional Inspections: Have your ring inspected by a professional jeweler at least once a year. This ensures that the bezel is secure and the gemstone is firmly in place.

  • Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Keep your ring away from harsh chemicals, as they can damage the metal and gemstone. Remove your ring when using cleaning products or engaging in activities that involve chemicals.

  • Proper Storage: Store your bezel-set ring in a soft pouch or a separate compartment in your jewellery box to prevent scratches and damage.

Claw Settings:

  • Prong Inspection: Regularly inspect the prongs to ensure they are secure and not bent or worn. If you notice any issues, have them repaired by a professional jeweler immediately.

  • Gentle Cleaning: Clean your claw-set ring using a soft brush and mild soap. Be gentle around the prongs to avoid bending or damaging them.

  • Avoid Rough Activities: Remove your ring during activities that may cause it to get caught or damaged, such as sports or heavy lifting.

  • Regular Maintenance: Schedule regular maintenance appointments with your jeweller to check the prongs and ensure the gemstone is secure. This helps prevent potential issues and prolongs the life of your ring.

Final Thoughts

Both bezel engagement rings and claw settings have their unique advantages and can beautifully showcase your chosen gemstone. Ultimately, the best setting for your engagement ring will align with your lifestyle, aesthetic preferences, and the type of gemstone you select.

Whether you choose the modern elegance of a bezel engagement ring or the timeless brilliance of a claw setting, your engagement ring will undoubtedly be a cherished symbol of your love and commitment. By understanding the differences between these two settings and considering your personal needs and preferences, you can make an informed decision that will bring joy and beauty for years to come.

Remember, the key to finding the perfect engagement ring is to choose a setting that not only showcases the gemstone beautifully but also suits your lifestyle and personal taste. Both bezel and claw settings offer unique advantages, so take the time to explore each option and find the one that speaks to you. Book an appointment with our designers to discuss your dream ring. 

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