What are Pavé Set Diamonds?

A Pavé Setting

Pavé (pronounced “pah” “vay”) is a French word which means “paving”. 

Pavé set diamonds look like a miniature version of paving slabs. Hence, pavé diamonds look like the jewellery has been paved with diamonds. 

Pavé are tiny stones set very close together with almost indiscernible settings. Not only are some diamonds set this way, but any gemstones can be used to create this dazzling effect.

Paving Slabs demonstrating a Pave setting

The stones are secured with small points or beads of the metal of choice – this will often be silver or white-gold.  The beads of metal are used in such a way to create the illusion of more stones. 

 

Stainless steel oval hinged bangle set with two rows of sparkling cubic zirconia's
Pave Set Crystal Bangle

What are the Advantages of Pavé Settings?

  • Lots of Sparkle
  • Less Cost
  • Hard Wearing
  • Highlights a Central Stone

There are several advantages of a pavé settings, but the two main ones are that it creates lots of sparkle with a better price tag and it is a hard-wearing setting. 

The setting is hard-wearing because it has no claws to get caught and damaged. The points or small beads of metal which hold the small diamonds or other stones in place also protect the stones – although they need checking every so often to ensure they haven’t been damaged. 

This makes a pave-setting is a perfect choice for a ring setting and is a setting used in many wedding rings and eternity bands which has a similar look to a wedding ring with a channel setting (or a bezel setting as it is also called). 

As well as being used in wedding rings, jewellery designers often use Pavé settings as accent diamonds around a larger stone.  A halo of small diamonds around a larger, centre stone, make a particularly beautiful effect and is a huge trend in pave engagement rings.

A pave set halo around a central diamond or a contrasting stone draws the eye to the central gemstone and really makes it stand out.  

A pave setting diamond halo ring is one of the most popular designs for engagement ring settings and sales for these rings soar around Valentine’s Day.

Pavé stones are also often used as side stones on the shoulders of engagement rings – again this highlights the centre stone and creates added sparkle on the side of the ring as you move your hand.

How Is Pavé Created?

A jeweller will drill holes in the item’s surface and the tiny pavé stones will be set into the holes.

A tiny prong or bead of metal (often white gold with diamonds, silver with cubic zirconia) are then handmade and pushed against the side of the stone to hold it in place.

The jeweller will do this low down the stone, so the top surface is a shimmering sparkle of stones. 

Pavé Stones

Most pavé diamonds (or other gemstones) are round and between 1 to 4 mm across. Micro pavé is so called because the stone size is even smaller, often less than 0.01 carats. 

Disadvantages of Micro Pavé Diamond Rings

Care needs to be taken when buying a diamond pavé set ring.  We want to stress that most micro pavé diamond rings are fine and set well and will give you a lifetime of joy looking at.  But, with this setting, if it is poorly set, you can risk losing some tiny stones. 

The small diamonds in a pavé set piece of jewellery can be vulnerable. The smaller the stones used, the higher the risk of them coming out. This is particularly so for a ring that is worn every day, like a wedding ring.

Replacing pavé set stones is not that expensive but there is often no guarantee with a pavé setting, that it won’t happen again.  

If you fall in love with a wedding ring with a micro pavé setting that you will be wearing every day, make sure that you purchase from a reputable jeweller with superb customer service and ensure you keep a note of their email address, should you ever need a stone replaced. Do take care of your pave set jewellery – remove your ring to do heavy jobs and housework and keep away from harsh chemicals.  

Ensure you get your item of jewellery regularly checked by your jeweller so the claws can be scrutinised.  

To Sum Up

A ring with a pave setting is a beautiful thing, you’ll get lots of sparkle and it’s a beautiful way of highlighting a larger stone or stones.  It also offers a carpet of sparkle at a reasonable price. 

Be careful of micro-pave settings in a ring you plan on wearing every day, particularly a wedding ring, and if you do, take good care of it.  By doing so, it will give you years, if not a lifetime, of beautiful sparkle. 

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