Diamond Education | Tension Setting

What is a tension setting?

A tension setting is just as the name suggests. It refers to a diamond ring setting where the diamond is held in place by pressure rather than under a channel, with prongs or a bezel setting. The diamond appears to float or be suspended in air, flanked by just the ends of the ring. Although it may not seem like it, the tension setting is a secure setting type for your custom Sylvie Collection diamond engagement ring or wedding ring.

This unique setting will certainly attract second looks, as it seems the gemstone is poised in midair. Tension rings use the pressure of compression to hold the gemstone in place and when strong metals and gemstones are used, a pressure of 12,000 pounds per square inch is exerted on the gem.

Since there is a lot of tension between the diamond and the metal in this setting, it is important to use stones and metals of only the highest quality. Gemstones that can hold up to the pressure exerted on them should have at least a 9.0 rating on the Moh’s Hardness Scale, meaning diamonds, rubies and sapphires are the best choices. A high clarity grade also helps because too many inclusions can work against the gem, making it weaker and prone to cracking.

Titanium and stainless steel are the strongest metals that work best for a tension setting. However, platinum, gold and silver may also be used. Keep in mind that they are softer metals than titanium or stainless steel so they may be a little bulkier in design.

When choosing the metals and stones for your engagement ring, keep the following notes in mind:

  • The diamond should have a GIA clarity grade of VS2 or above.

  • All gemstones should have an excellent to good clarity rating.

  • Quality tension rings will last a lifetime without need for repairs.

  • In most cases, it can be costly and time consuming to resize a tension set ring.