What is a tension setting?
In the world of jewellery design, there are many things to consider – including the setting of the gemstone of choice. One of the most modern and visually striking choices of setting is the tension setting. This unique method of securing a gemstone in a ring creates a captivating illusion, making it appear as if the gemstone is suspended in midair. Let’s get into what a tension setting is, and what makes it an excellent choice.
Tension setting: the basics
A tension setting, also known as a tension-style setting, is a contemporary and innovative technique used to hold a gemstone securely in place. Unlike traditional settings that use prongs or bezels to encase the gem, a tension setting relies on the pressure applied by the metal band to keep the gemstone in position.
The illusion of suspension
The defining feature of a tension setting is that it gives the illusion that the gemstone is floating within the ring. The metal band is carefully crafted to exert pressure on the gemstone, effectively “squeezing” it between two open ends. This makes it appear as if the gemstone is floating and creates a highly unique visual effect.
The pros of tension settings
1. Uninterrupted brilliance
- Tension settings offer an unobstructed view of the gemstone. Since there are no prongs or bezels covering the sides or top of the gem, light can enter from all angles, enhancing the gem’s brilliance and sparkle.
2. Minimalist aesthetics
- Tension-set rings are known for their sleek and modern design. They often have clean lines and a modern feel, making them an excellent choice for those who appreciate contemporary design.
- Tension settings are meticulously engineered to provide a secure grip on the gemstone. Pro jewellers are the only ones who can create these types of settings, so they are professionally crafted. This means that your precious stone is very safe, and unlikely to come loose.
Considerations for tension settings
While there aren’t necessarily any cons for choosing a tension setting, there are some things to consider.
1. Gemstone selection
- Not all gemstones are suitable for tension settings. Gemstones with high hardness and durability, such as diamonds, sapphires, and rubies, are the most common choices. Gemstones with lower hardness levels may not work with a tension setting, as the metal may not be able to be clamped tightly enough around the stone.
2. Resizing challenges
- Tension-set rings can be challenging to resize due to their unique design, some tension setting rings cannot be resized at all. With a tension setting, it really is essential to get the size right from the beginning.
3. Regular maintenance
- Tension settings may require periodic maintenance to ensure the security of the gemstone. A professional jeweller can inspect the setting for any signs of wear and tear, but this extra consideration is something to think about when opting for your setting.