In-Depth Ring Design: Inlay and Flush settings
If you are looking for a more custom approach to your ring design, consider the inlay setting or flush setting. Both are distinct to the popular engagement ring settings of today, and are perfect for showcasing your unique style. Inlay and flush set are similar to each other in appearance. The big difference is that in flush setting, the metal conforms to the shape of the gem, whereas in inlay, the gemstone conforms to the shape of the metal. Inlaid gems are cut with flat backs for easy setting.
Inlay setting is used with softer gemstones that are not traditionally faceted. Some of these gems include lapis lazuli, onyx, turquoise, malachite, and opal. With inlay setting, the design is made and cast in gold or other metal, then polished, prepared, and given to the stone cutter. The chosen gem is then cut, polished, and set by the stone cutter to fit the design.
Inlay settings offer a stunning and unique look. The smoothness of the ground metal and gemstone material offer a visual and tactile experience and is comfortable to wear. Jewelry designers often pair inlay work with round or oval diamonds or other gemstones to accent the shapes and colors of their patterns or designs. Because of the softness of the gems used in inlay, it is important to consider this factor when designing your custom ring. Strong metals (gold, platinum) would be advised to help with the durability of the ring to ensure it lasts a lifetime.
Flush setting is used when a seamless look is desired in setting gemstones into a band. The gemstones are set so the top of the gemstone is at the same level or very close to it, as the surrounding gold or metal. This is usually done with small gemstones because if you try to sink larger gemstones into gold, the bottom of the gem (culet) will protrude through and rub your skin. Measuring the depth of the metal and the diamond will ensure that the metal depth is not exceeded by the diamond chosen. A hard, durable stone choice ensures the stone does not break since fragile stone types can shatter from pressure applied during setting.