The bezel setting (also known as Rubover) is arguably the less popular option for engagement rings compared to claw settings. However, this underdog style is resurfacing as a desirable ring characteristic for modern brides. Though the overall aesthetic of a bezel setting feels modern at first glance, it actually nods to thousands of years of stone-setting history, making it all the more worthy of incorporating into your engagement ring's design.
What Is a Bezel Setting?
The bezel setting is characterized by a ring of metal that holds the ring’s stone in place. This encasing of metal slightly overlaps the edges of the stone, which helps keep it safe.
The History of Bezel Settings
“The bezel setting has probably been used since the beginning of jewelry design and stone setting,” jewelry designer Emma Clarkson Webb tells Brides. This simple design is “the oldest type of setting.” Modern celebrity endorsers of this engagement ring style include fashion It girls like Poppy Delevingne and Mary-Kate Olsen.
Meet the Expert
Emma Clarkson Webb is a London-based bespoke fine jewelry designer who specializes in one-of-a-kind pieces. She launched her eponymous brand in 2015 following her return from Hong Kong where she had been working as a bespoke designer focusing on diamonds.
Since bezel settings are rooted in history, it’s a style you’ll often spot in antique jewelry, however, there are plenty of modern interpretations of bezel settings giving it multiple folds of versatility.
What to Look for in a Bezel Setting
Bezel settings are great for several reasons. First, “the bezel setting is often used in particular for precious and fragile stones,” Webb says. This is thanks to the protection it provides. “A massive pro is the security of the stone because the metal fully surrounds the gemstone meaning that it is incredibly protected against daily wear and tear,” Webb adds.
Additionally, “bezel settings create a trick of the eye to enhance the size of the stone,” Webb notes. “They create an illusion that the stone is larger than it actually is, particularly when the color of the metal is matched to the color of the stone.”
Though it can adapt to different stone cuts, Webb notes that a round brilliant cut works especially well in a bezel setting. As for pricing, bezel settings “tend to be more expensive as they are more labor-intensive for the jeweler to set the stone and subsequently require more metal weight.”
A bezel setting can often appear chunkier compared to its claw setting counterparts that expose stones more. If you’re wanting to create a modern, architectural look, bezel settings are a smart pick. However, choosing a bezel setting doesn’t mean it necessarily has to look chunky. "I often like mixing the bezel with a claw setting to provide a more interesting design,” Webb mentions.
And now, scroll through bezel-set engagement rings you'll love.
Jemma Wynne Toujours Emerald and Diamond Ring
A one-of-a-kind emerald and diamond ring that feels equal parts timeless and modern.
SHOP NOW: Jemma Wynne, $7,560
Nora Kogan Grace Ring
This antique diamond shines bright in a bezel setting alongside a diamond-encrusted 14k solid yellow gold band.
SHOP NOW: Nora Kogan, $18,800
Pamela Love Sapphire Ring
A bezel setting can complement the complexities of a sapphire stone, like on this deep blue ring from Pamela Love.
SHOP NOW: Pamela Love, $3,600
Mociun Theia Ring
Antique white diamonds and kaleidoscope Montana sapphires feel especially dazzling in this minimal bezel setting.
SHOP NOW: Mociun, $18,200
Michelle Oh Artemis Moon Ring
Contrast a contemporary salt and pepper diamond with an old school bezel setting.
SHOP NOW: Michelle Oh, $2,462
Ashley Zhang Pear Cut Diamond Rolling Ring
A fashion-forward pick featuring a pear-cut diamond and a 14k gold band.
SHOP NOW: Ashley Zhang, $2,800
Jennie Kwon Sapphire Loop Ring
This beautiful diamond-paved band gives the bezel-set sapphire in the center room to shine.
SHOP NOW: Jennie Kwon Designs, $1,277
Porter Gulch Oval Sapphire Bezel Solitaire
The bezel setting around this light blue Montana sapphire feels delicate and romantic as do the eight white baguette diamonds along the band.
SHOP NOW: No. 3, $2,950
Natalie Marie Ava Vintage Cushion Cut Diamond Trio Ring
This diamond trio looks elegant and stylishly understated in a bezel setting.
SHOP NOW: Natalie Marie Jewellery, $2,548
Anna Sheffield Bezel Set Rosette Ring
A tonal engagement ring that’s perfect for the bride who doesn’t want platinum silver.
SHOP NOW: Anna Sheffield, $5,500
Ila Prevalence Signet Ring
This unexpected marquise engagement ring would look especially striking with a three-stone wedding band.
SHOP NOW: Catbird NYC, $2,442
Single Stone Corinne Filigree Solitaire
A glistening ring that catches the light at every angle.
SHOP NOW: No. 3, $8,500
Grace Lee Oval Rose-Cut Diamond Bezel Ring
A dainty engagement ring featuring a rose-cut oval diamond set in a simple 14-karat gold octagonal bezel setting.
SHOP NOW: Grace Lee, $7,580
M. Hisae Old European Masumi Ring
An example of why the bezel setting is a fitting choice for an architectural-inspired modern bride.
SHOP NOW: No. 3, $4,780
Emma Clarkson Webb TinTin Ring
This breathtaking ring accentuates the emerald center stone with a bezel setting that gives the mood of the ring an elegant old-world feel.
SHOP NOW: Emma Clarkson Webb, price upon request