Diamond Ring Tension Setting
A diamond ring tension setting is considered new in the retail diamond world these days despite being around for over 40 years. Although not as popular as the claw setting, tension ring settings have a lot going for them in terms of safety, design and stability.
A tension design is a very simple ring setting in which the diamond or other hard gemstone appears to float in midair within the band of the ring itself. This setting was first designed in the mid 1960s and special metals are used that have an inherent "springiness" to hold the ring in place. Instead of the more common prongs or claws, the entire band of metal itself is used to hold the stone in place. The metal used in the ring is also harder and stronger than the metal used for prongs. Some people are not sure about the stability in a tension setting as the stone is only held in place at two points on the stone instead of the usual four claws. But with the tensile strength of 65 to 95 pounds the stone is held very securely in place.
Normally each tension ring is crafted for a specific diamond as well as finger size and so is highly individualized.
Because of the pressure of the tension, stones need to be a hardness on the MOS scale of 8 or more to be set in a tension setting. This means that diamonds, rubies and sapphires can be set but tanzanites and other softer stone cannot since they can easily shatter under the strain. Additionally any stone with a surface fracture would not be suitable for a tension set mounting.
Diamond ring tension settings have to be customized for each individual client and are usually only obtainable at exclusive jewelery designers. One can get tension rings from online jewelers of course but care must be take to ensure these are bona fide and not just a cheap design with inferior metals and even stones.
Tension setting are commonly available in 14 and 18 karat yellow and white gold and 18 karat Platinum and Platinum as well.
Diamond tension settings are an excellent way of showing the brilliance of a stone and it can even enhance the color by anywhere up to two grades to give a very simple and somewhat sophisticated 'floating' appearance to the stone that is much admired. They are excellent also for tension set engagement rings.
The classic designs are often the simplest. A round diamond held within the band is considered the best by many but other options such as angled settings are becoming more popular.
Metals used are commonly titanium due to its strength and durability as well as platinum, white and yellow gold. Pure 22 karat gold would likely not be suitable due to its softness and alloyed gold of around 18 or 14 karat would be more suitable.
There are some issues to keep in mind with tension settings. Only the very hardest gemstones can withstand the pressure of a tension setting. This includes stones such as diamonds, rubies, sapphires. Cubic Zirconia and moissanite can be tension set also. But stones such as Turquoise and pearls of course are too soft. Where you see such softer stones in a 'tension setting' be aware that it is very unlikely to be a tension setting and is more likely set with a strong adhesive with hidden prongs. All these can weaken the stone and fractures and cracks can appear reducing the value of the stone. Stones used in tension settings must be of excellent quality with absolutely no cracks, fractures or faults. This is apart from the fact that any imperfections show up more in a tension setting due to the openness.
Provided one can afford it, a diamond ring tension setting would be an excellent way to display a loose diamond. Be sure the jewelery is a professional and can provide a valid certificate of their work.