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the scarlett engagement ring

When you’re shopping for engagement rings, you’ll spend a lot of time focusing on things like ring shape, band style and center stone. Chances are you probably haven’t put hours into thinking about the height of the setting. But the reality is that this often-overlooked element actually has a huge impact on the aesthetic and functionality of your ring, so you want to make sure you pay attention.

In this guide, we’ll cover all the details of setting height to help you determine how high or low to go when looking at ring designs. Most of our affordable engagement rings feature a medium setting to help ensure sparkle without getting in your way. However, there are other setting types for those who want something a little different. While a medium setting is a popular choice, as it combines elements of bold style and functional minimalist choices, the right setting is really up to the wearer.

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Different Setting Heights

When we talk about high and low settings, we’re talking about how much the stone protrudes from the band or how high up the prongs prop it. These different style settings have their pros and cons, so make sure you’re aware of what each comes with before making a purchasing decision. 

A high-setting engagement ring will have a higher profile, meaning the stone will be propped up higher and protrude more from the band. On the other hand, a low-setting ring will sit a lot closer to the band and create a more flush look. Some ring settings aren’t propped up at all and are flush or set into the band, such as bezel-set rings.

Setting heights vary because they affect brilliance — higher settings let more light in to enhance shine — and functionality. Choose a prong setting, like most of the engagement rings for sale at Modern Gents, to get the most sparkle for your buck. The prong setting holds up the stone and lets light in from below, highlighting the many facets and magnifying the sparkle.

the alexandria ring

High Setting: Dialing Up the ‘Wow’ Factor

Choose a high profile engagement ring if you want a style that commands attention and stands out in a crowd. In general, high-set engagement rings tend to bring more sparkle because they are propped up more, allowing more light to come through at every angle. If sparkle is your main objective — no shame in that! — then go for a higher setting. This is the perfect choice for the lady who wants a pizzazz-packed ring that’s a bit more on the flashy side. If you’re looking for extra bling, a high setting has a bolder front and side profile and suits bold yet classic choices, like solitaire engagement rings. For maximum brilliance, skip the solitaire setting and opt for a halo engagement ring.

the layla rose gold ring

Low Setting: Pretty, Classic and Subtle

If you love the look of a sparkly stone but don’t want anything getting in your way throughout the day, go for a medium or low-setting engagement ring. These rings sit closer to the band (and your finger), creating a more flush, seamless look. A low profile engagement ring doesn’t have the same “wow” factor, but it does suit everyday life better with its subtler stylings. That means low profile settings won’t stand out quite as much, making them a great choice for those who love the minimalist engagement ring look or want something a bit more subtle. However, on the other end of the spectrum, those looking for large stone engagement rings will want a higher setting to accommodate the size of the rock along with any other side stones.

Profiles and Functionality

Not only does the profile of your stone affect the style of the ring, but it also impacts how it functions in your day-to-day life. Naturally, a higher setting is much more likely to get caught on things, including your hair, gloves, etc., and that can be quite annoying if you’re someone who has an active lifestyle. Kids, pets and machinery can be risky when you rock a rock that protrudes a lot. Another thing to consider with high settings is that all those snags (if you aren’t careful) can bend your ring. While it’s unlikely to be bent noticeably, it’s still bad for the long-term health of the ring to continually get snagged. Taking it to a jeweler once or twice a year for an inspection and cleaning is going to be essential for those wearing higher settings — even those that are more secure, like a cathedral setting.

On the other hand, low profile rings tend to be quite a bit more subtle, ensuring that they stay out of your way while you’re using your hands. If you have to wear gloves a lot or come into contact with hair, fibers or anything else that could get stuck in your ring, we’d recommend sticking to a lower profile. You might also consider choosing the ring you prefer and then wearing a silicone ring while working, exercising or working with your hands. The nice thing about having a silicone ring is that you can choose any setting of engagement ring and wear the silicone ring for everyday life. No sweaters will get snagged on your silicone ring!

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No matter which setting you choose, you can still mix and match with different metals and stones. While you’ll want to keep in mind what flatters your skin tone best, any setting can look good with any color ring — from classics like silver and yellow gold to more modern choices like rose gold that push the boundaries of ring styling.

the enchanted ring

Choose a Ring You Love

At the end of the day, as long as you choose an engagement ring that honors your special romance and suits your sense of style, you’re doing it the right way. With so many engagement ring styles to choose from, it’s easier than ever to find the perfect ring for you — whether a low or high profile settingBrowse our complete array of dazzling engagement rings to see some brilliant examples of rings featuring higher settings, lower settings and everything in between.

Discover the Different Types of Engagement Rings