High Set vs Low Set Engagement Rings

Welcome to the exciting world of engagement ring shopping. If you are reading this blog we can safely assume that you’re well into the educating yourself stage and so, much kudos to you! It may feel overwhelming with all the new terminology you are uncovering, who knew there was so much to consider! The center stone, the carat weight, the 4 C’s, the semi-mounting just to name a few. Not to overwhelm you further, but another factor to consider is the ring height, and most women do in fact have a preference on this.

How Can You Tell?

In a high profile setting, the distance between the culet (tip of the diamond) and base of the shank is longer than in a low setting where the culet almost touches the base.

Setting a diamond into a mounting essentially means that it becomes one with it; depending on the size of the stone and how it is set it may get lost in the ring. When looking at the side profile of the ring you can notice how the stone is being held in the setting. If it sits low, closer to the band, it’s called a low setting, but if the stone is held up high and you can see space between the culet (bottom tip of the diamond) and the band, it’s considered a high setting.

Both options are beautiful but let’s explore the pros and cons of each.

High Setting or High Profile


Contemporary Settings Set From Highest (Left) To Lowest

If you have an amazing show-stopping stone of exceptional quality and brilliance and a simple setting such as a solitaire, setting it high will make it seem even bigger and brighter than it already is. Less metal covering the bottom of the stone means more light can filter in and make that stone really sparkle. It’s literally putting your bling on a pedestal and all the rest is the supporting crew. Many women prefer this option for obvious reasons. This way of setting the stone also tends to look more modern and contemporary. The con to this is that when a stone is set very high it can get scratched, loosened, or the prongs can get damaged. Rings with a high setting can also damage other things if you’re not careful, like furniture and snag on clothing, hair and sheets. Those with a very active lifestyle or a career that uses their hands a lot (think doctor, chef or masseuse), can still get a high set engagement ring, but should take extra care not to dent, chip or scratch it; in fact, it’s best to not wear the ring at work and maybe just wear the wedding band.

Low Setting or Low Profile

Vintage Inspired Settings Set From Highest (Left) To Lowest

Low setting or low profile engagement rings look great in vintage type settings but this is not a hard set rule. Because these settings tend to be more ornate, the center stone is not the only attraction; the overall setting and stone together make the statement. Low set engagement rings are generally preferred by those with a more active lifestyle or hands-on career, because you’re less likely to scratch the stone or hit the ring on hard surfaces. The stone is also less prone to get damaged as it is well set inside the setting and so better protected. The cons to this setting is that the stone brilliance is not maximized and the stone, especially if small, can get lost inside the setting.

Setting height is not the most important feature in an engagement ring but from a practical aspect it most definitely deserves consideration. There are many beautiful ring options available in both setting types, so consider the wearer’s lifestyle and preferences when choosing an engagement ring that will best suit her individual style needs.

Shop all Gabriel & Co. engagement rings here.