If you consider an engagement ring design incomplete without optimal sparkle, then you should be searching for one with a pavé setting. This popular technique adds an extra element of radiance without distracting from your center stone and an artisanal touch that's equal parts bold and romantic.
What Is the Pavé Setting?
The pavé setting is a ring setting that features small diamonds along the band of the ring. The French word translates to "paved," and this jewelry technique was named as such because it resembles a paved or cobblestone road.
We spoke with experts Anna Sheffield, Olivia Landau, and Nicole Wegman to discover everything you should consider before selecting your pavé-set ring. Ahead, learn about the pros and cons, what goes into crafting a high-quality pavé setting, how to care for your diamond, and why this style supports the argument that more sparkle equals more fun.
Meet the Expert
- Anna Sheffield is a jewelry designer and the founder of Bing Bang, a collection of modern minimalist jewelry that was established in 2002.
- Olivia Landau is a jeweler and the founder and CEO of The Clear Cut.
- Nicole Wegman has blurred the distinct line between jeweler and influencer as the founder and CEO of Ring Concierge.
The History of Pavé Settings
Pavé settings have been around for hundreds of years with notable designs dating back to the Georgian era. “You’ll see jewelry from this time with diamond and even other stones like turquoise pavé set in the design of rings, lockets, brooches, earrings, and precious objects,” explains Sheffield. The technique is achieved when a hole (or divot) is carved in the material and the tiny gemstone is inset. “Next, a metal tool is used to make eensy beads, or another type of prong, to push up and over the stone to hold it in place,” Sheffield explains. “There are a number of ways to do this, stylistically, and slight differences in how they look in the end. But the gist of it is that pavé adds a diamond or gem outline or all-over surface covering to the piece.”
Pros and Cons of Pavé Settings
The reason to go for a pavé setting comes down to two words: more sparkle. "Pavé settings are a great way to add additional sparkle [to your ring]," says Wegman. "The diamonds are set in a way so there is minimal metal, keeping the focus on the center stone. They can also be set on very thin bands, keeping your ring delicate in appearance." Pavé settings do a wonderful job of adding more bling to an engagement ring "without taking the spotlight away from the center stone," adds Landau.
An obvious disadvantage of the pavé setting is its delicacy. While the prominent design of pavé-set rings are often favored by brides-to-be because it accentuates the diamonds, it requires more maintenance than other styles. “Like all fine jewelry, pavé settings can be delicate and since they have so many tiny stones set into the design, if your ring takes a hard hit it may cause a stone to come loose,” Landau explains.
As for the price tag, “The majority of costs for jewelry made with pavé is found in the labor,” Sheffield notes. “Skilled setters are requisite for this type of work. Not only is their artisanship valuable, but it is also more expensive (and well worth it).” Landau adds that it can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to around a thousand dollars more than a classic solitaire setting.
What to Look For In a Pavé Setting
- What stones, cuts, and materials pair best with pavé settings? “I love incorporating pavé into an engagement ring by adding a hidden halo, which is made by adding pavé to the basket bar (which supports the prongs on your ring) around the sides of your center stone,” says Landau. “It’s a nice little touch that you don’t see from the top of the ring but makes the sides of your ring just as special and sparkly as the rest.”
- What types of settings pair well with pavé-set rings? “Pavé is a beautiful complement to any setting, in my experience,” Sheffield says. “We have paired pavé with bezel set center stones as well as those in prong settings.” There is also a technique called micro-pavé, which is comprised of even tinier diamonds and achieved with the aid of a microscope. “I call this look ‘diamond-dusted,’” Sheffield notes.
- Wearability? Wegman warns that the small prongs holding the stones in a pavé-set ring are more likely to bend if too much pressure is added. "For this reason, we highly recommend taking extra caution when wearing this style. But not to worry, replacing lost stones is super easy!"
How to Care for Your Pavé Setting
Due to the more fragile nature of pavé settings, experts recommend removing your ring before participating in activities that may cause harm. It’s not out of the ordinary for these damages to happen and thankfully the repairs are relatively easy for jewelers. When in doubt, take off your ring if you are going to be partaking in any high-contact activities.
As for cleaning, Sheffield recommends getting your pavé setting steam cleaned and limit your use of a polishing cloth “as the fibers can snag the tiny prongs.” You can also fill a bowl with warm water and a squeeze of dish soap, Landau adds. “Soak your jewelry in there and scrub with a clean toothbrush to get into all the nooks and crannies. Then rinse in a bowl of warm water (without soap) and set to dry on a clean paper towel.”
Ahead, 20 beautiful engagement rings featuring a pavé setting.
Brilliant Earth Luxe Viviana Diamond Engagement Ring
This stunner speaks for itself. Featuring scalloped pavé diamonds in an array of metals, this brilliant round solitaire exudes so much shine.
Price at time of publish: $1,790 for setting only
Bliss Lab Illuminate Ring
It's no doubt that this piece catches the eye with that unforgettable double band. This modern ring silhouette with timeless design details frame this captivating oval stone oh-so-beautifully.
Price at time of publish: $18,590
Meadowlark Luna Ring
This is what happens when you combine two gorgeous diamond center stones and a pavé band: pure brilliance. If you're seeking a classic style with a twist, a ring like this is the perfect choice.
Price at time of publish: $8,347
Porter Gulch May Ring
This exquisite ring gives off a vintage aesthetic thanks to its tilted princess cut diamonds and pavé band. The gorgeous contrast between the yellow gold and brilliant stones is just an added bonus.
Price at time of publish: $9,675
Allurez Twisted Infinity Round Diamond Engagement Ring
The movement of this mesmerizing twisted band is the focal point of this round solitaire diamond. With a variety of metals to choose from, you can personalize this ring to your own distinct style.
Price at time of publish: $2,448
Jennie Kwon Diamond Reese Equilibrium Ring
Featuring an oval center stone and several smaller diamonds varying in size, this is the epitome of a romantic work of art. A ring like this is a great example of how to incorporate a bezel-style ring with a pavé band.
Price at time of publish: $3,854
Vrai The Hover Ring
This breathtaking ring gives the illusion that the diamond is floating above your hand, and who wouldn’t want that? Romantic and glamorous, there is simply nothing we don't love about this piece.
Price at time of publish: $1,450
Vale Hyeres Ring
The pavé details on this Montana sapphire ring give it an extra dose of sparkle. There's no question that this makes for a truly unique and breathtaking engagement ring.
Price at time of publish: $3,450
Mark Broumand Oval Cut Diamond Engagement Ring
A 1.25ct oval-cut diamond looks all the more elegant alongside a pavé band, as evidenced by this standout ring. Both classic and refined, this piece will never go out of style.
Price at time of publish: $9,550
Marissa Perry The Double Love Diamond Solitaire
For the bride who simply can't get enough sparkle, we have the ring for you. The half-band design on this refined ring exaggerates the sparkle and shine making it impossible to resist.
Catbird Teardrop Diamond Pavé Ring
In all of its shimmer and grace, this dainty rose cut diamond features pavé details along the band in its fine 18k gold setting. Set yourself apart with a unique and endearing style such as this one.
Price at time of publish: $5,250
Kay Adrianna Papell Diamond Engagement Ring
While it may look to be a classic round solitaire ring when it first meets the eye, just change your view to gaze at this piece's contrasting rose gold detail. This beauty is the perfect way to mix up a timeless style.
Brilliant Earth Flare Ring
This ring reminds us why diamonds are a girl's best friend. The scalloped pavé diamonds surround the center gem on this classic, captivating ring.
Tiffany Soleste® Emerald Halo Engagement Ring
The halo on this delicate ring extends onto the band seamlessly with a pavé setting. Remarkable details like these frame the geometric look of the emerald cut exceptionally.
Ben Bridge Bella Ponte Engagement Ring
This round solitaire features 14k white gold accompanied by a pavé-set band. A sparkly option for the bride who wants something classic and romantic; what more could you possibly need?
Price at time of publish: $2,119
Gemist The Emerald Solitaire Pavé
An emerald cut will always be an elegant choice. With a variety of ways to customize the features of this piece, there are countless stunning ways to perfect your dream ring.
Price at time of publish: $1,400
Blue Nile Sapphire and Micropavé Diamond Halo Ring
There's nothing bland about this stunner. Undeniably elevated and regal, the pavé details along this 14k white gold band kick the beauty of this gorgeous sapphire up a few notches.
Price at time of publish: $4,250
BravermanOren 14K Solid Gold Engagement Ring
There's something about a pear-shaped diamond that never fails to catch the eye. The pavé-set band is just the right touch to make this piece unforgettable.
Price at time of publish: $1,634 for 12k white and 0.5 ct
Irene Neuwirth Rose Cut Diamond Yellow Gold Ring
If you're gravitating towards the uniqueness of a bezel-style ring, pavé details may be the perfect way to elevate the minimalistic design. This is ideal for the bride who is seeking something both modern and charming.
Price at time of publish: $5,740