How to Choose a Diamond Side Stone for an Engagement Ring

The side stone in the diamond ring is used to enclose the center stone and enhance its beauty. We’ve provided some tips here to help you choose the best side stone for your ring.

Choosing a Side Stone: How Much?

When deciding on a ring design, the first thing you need to consider is how many side stones you actually need.

One of the most common choices is a three-stone setting: a central diamond and two side stones.

Another popular design is the 5 gemstone setting.

Of course, the exact number of gemstones depends on you and your personal taste, but there is one thing to remember: the more gemstones in the ring, the more complex its structure will become, since there needs to be a setting for each stone.

And this also means that your ring will have more delicate parts that may need to be repaired in the future.

So, keep in mind that the more gemstones you have, the more difficult the task of cleaning and maintaining your jewelry can become.

Select the Size of the Side Stone

When choosing a side stone size, consider how balanced the final design will be.

Usually, the central diamond is the largest and most prominent, while the side stones are used to emphasize it. Therefore, they should not be too large to compete with the center stone.

On the other hand, if there are only a few side stones next to the central diamond, they should not be much smaller than the central diamond, otherwise the overall design will appear disproportionate.

Select the Color of the Side Stone

When choosing a side stone color grade, it is best to have the same color grade as the center stone. Otherwise, the color mismatch will be noticeable and unsightly: if your side stones are a few grades lower in color than the center stone, they will appear yellowish next to them.

Generally speaking, the color difference between the side stone and the main diamond should not exceed one grade.

Select the Clarity of the Side Stones

It is best if the side stones in your ring look clean, i.e., there are no blemishes visible to the naked eye.

However, that doesn’t mean you have to go for the highest clarity grade possible – these diamonds will cost you a lot of money.

In fact, you can choose diamonds graded as low as VS (very slightly included) or SI (slightly included) and find affordable gemstones that look fairly clean within these grading ranges.

Even a gemstone with some visible inclusions can help you, as long as you manage to set it so that its imperfections are masked by the setting.

One thing to keep in mind when choosing clarity: the larger the side stone, the more noticeable its inclusions are, if only because of the greater number of inclusions. That’s why it’s more important to clean a big stone than a small one.

Side Stones and Inlays

When choosing side stones, you should also consider how you will set them in your ring.

This is important because the setting will determine how well the diamond is protected from impact, how easy it is to clean the diamond, how easy it is for the stone to fall off, how often the setting will need to be repaired, and how visible the diamond will be.

For example, prong mounts are more reliable than invisible mounts and are easier to maintain than channel mounts.

On the other hand, channel settings can provide better protection for your diamond, albeit at the cost of reducing its surface visibility.

Edging is one of the safest ways to set them, but they also hide a large part of the gemstone.

The bottom line is: every type of setup involves a trade-off between security, stone visibility, durability, and ease of maintenance, so you’ll need to determine how important each factor is to you and choose the one that best suits your needs.

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