Pavé diamond rings originate from the French word for paved and is pronounced “pah-vay”. In America, they are simply referred to as pave diamond rings. These are rings with accent diamonds in a row or multiple rows around a band that form a sparkling pattern. Accent diamond are tiny, simple cut diamonds that a can be round, rectangular, or triangular shaped.
Why are accent diamonds lower cost than most diamonds?
Accent diamonds are a great alternative to owning a diamond ring without the high price tag because of size, color, and clarity. The size of accent diamonds are small, generally less than 0.1 carat (or 20 mg). The color is close to colorless, but not completely colorless.
Due to the small size, other shades of color are less apparent to the naked eye. The clarity is usually considered Slightly Included or Included. This means there are more inclusions than high clarity diamonds. Inclusions are naturally occurring imperfections found in a diamond from high heat and pressure underground. High clarity diamonds have less imperfections and are considered to be a higher quality, thus reflected in the price.
History of pave diamond rings
Pave diamond rings have been used since the 1700s but came into prominence in the 1900s. In modern day Hollywood, celebrities such as Blake Lively, Reese Whitherspoon, and Natalie Portman all have engagement rings with a paved setting.
The purpose is to increase brilliance of a ring when light enters the gemstone and bounces off in random directions. Pave is a type of ring setting. The setting also brings out the brilliance, enhances, and enlarges the main centered diamond. It can also create a continuous brilliant look. Pave setting is also commonly used as a wedding band in lieu of wearing the larger diamond engagement ring daily because the smaller prongs holding the diamonds are more secure than larger prongs.
How pave settings are created
Once tiny holes are drilled around the ring, the diamonds are inserted into the hole and beaded with mini prongs made of precious metal to secure the diamonds. There are also micro pave diamonds which are tinier, which creates a greater detailed look than the regular pave setting.
Tips for buying a pave rings
- Examine the ring with a loupe (also known as a small magnifying glass especially used by jewelers) to check for any cracks on the diamonds.
- Check for a smooth paved surface on the setting. Any overlap can cause breakage or chips.
- Check for any loose stones. The tiny prongs should hold each accent diamond in place.
- Exam the prongs to ensure they are not too large and not too high that could risk being damaged or mask the accent diamonds. The pave setting should be even.
- If the pave setting goes around the entire ring, this could be difficult to resize later on. Thus care should be taken to ensure the ring is correctly sized before requesting for a paved setting.