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High vs Low Setting Engagement Rings: Which Is Better?

It’s engagement ring buying time, and with that comes a list of things to think about before making your investment. Setting a budget is first and foremost so that you don’t go overboard. Once you set your budget, you’ll need to find the best place to buy the engagement rings according to your budget.

However, you will also be deciding things like what material you want your ring made from, whether you prefer diamonds or sapphires or something else, how many carats you want your beautiful rock to be, and whether you want a mined or simulated lab grown diamond or another gem. You should also think about your lifestyle because that can factor into your choice significantly, especially when trying to choose between types of ring settings. So many decisions!

High set vs low set engagement ring.

High vs Low Set Engagement Rings

Although there are lots of different ring settings to choose from, generally, they come in two profiles. Either a high set profile or a low set profile. Whether your style is minimalist engagement rings or extravagant engagement rings, there are still pros and cons to each setting profile. It’s important to carefully evaluate which you prefer. It can be costly to make the wrong decision.

High Set Engagement Rings

A ring with a high set profile means that your featured diamond or gemstone will sit high, giving your ring more of a wow factor. You can look at a ring from its side view to see whether it’s set high or set low. If the featured stone protrudes higher than your finger, that’s a high profile. The benefits of a high-setting engagement ring are that the gemstone will stand out more and appear to have more brilliance to it.

While that’s a good thing, especially for those of you who love to flash bling all over the place, it also makes the gemstone more vulnerable to potential damage, such as scratches and dings. High set rings with a center stone are more likely to snag on clothing too, which can be super annoying during sweater and stocking season.

High set rings often have prongs that are long and curve elegantly upwards. They can accommodate a longer girdle on the featured stone, which makes them ideal for diamond engagement rings that sport large rocks. The larger the rock, the more room you need in the setting profile.

High set engagement rings.

Pros & Cons of High-Profile Setting


  • There are several reasons to choose a high setting engagement ring.
  • It’s very popular, especially with women who like their rings on the flashy side. The high setting sets off the diamond or gemstone in the center beautifully, giving it the appearance of being larger than its actual size.
  • The gemstone appears to have an extra sparkle and brilliance because there’s more room for light to filter through and interact with the gemstone’s facets.
  • It’s a versatile stone setting that works well with many different ring designs, which means you have plenty of options to choose from.
  • You can pair it with a wedding band easier, especially if you’re not getting a wedding set that already goes together. The higher profile means there is more room for the wedding band to sit snug against the diamond engagement ring.
Prong set engagement ring.

  • It’s more prone to damage. If you’ve ever smacked your hand against a kitchen cabinet or got your diamond ring caught on something as you walk by it, you’ll understand what we mean.
  • It’s also prone to snagging. Some women don’t mind this as much, but others might find it annoying.
  • You have to take it off frequently to do everyday things, like chores around the house or slipping on a pair of gardening gloves. It also means if you work in a profession that requires heavy use of your hands, you will either have to remove it or risk damage or loss.

Low Set Engagement Rings

A gemstone or diamond ring with a low profile setting means that the stone is lower, flush with the metal. If you turn the ring to the side, you’ll notice the featured gemstone sits down low, and when wearing it, it is nestled snugly against your finger. This low setting is great for women with active lifestyles or who are required to use their hands a lot in their careers. It’s also a good choice for people in the healthcare industry, who have to put on rubber gloves frequently.

However, there are some sacrifices made for such convenience. A low setting also means that your beautiful gemstone doesn’t sparkle as brightly or have quite the same brilliance as its high profile counterpart. Don’t get us wrong, it’s still a beautiful engagement ring, but if you like flashy, you won’t get it with a low profile setting.

Bezel set engagement ring.

Pros & Cons of low-Profile Setting


  • If you have an active lifestyle, or you work in a career that requires extensive use of your hands, low-profile rings are more comfortable.
  • They are safer and less prone to accidental damage from hitting against something or getting caught on something.
  • You are less likely to get them snagged and caught on fabric or clothing.
  • They are highly durable and wearable over the long haul.


  • Larger gemstones need a higher setting, so you would have to go with a smaller one to fit a low profile.
  • There is less sparkle and brilliance in a low setting engagement ring because the gemstone picks up less light to refract.

Best High Profile Engagement Ring Settings

Prong Setting

Prong settings are arguably the most popular and commonly seen settings for engagement rings. From oval engagement rings, multi-stone engagement rings, to other solitaire stone cuts, this style is very versatile for many shapes. The stone is held in place by either four or six prongs, depending on preference. Four prongs allow more light to hit the gemstone, creating extra sparkle and brilliance, but six prongs offer a little more security.

The benefits of a prong setting are that they are easy to keep clean and can fit a range of budgets. However, they are more susceptible to getting caught on clothing or hair and require regular checks to make sure the prongs are still holding the stone securely.

Cathedral Setting

This is a beloved and sophisticated setting that has the gemstone mounted above the shank of the ring, held by metal arches. A timeless look that can make a smaller stone appear bigger than it is. However, since you have to get beneath the diamond when cleaning, that aspect can be more difficult.

Cathedral set engagement ring.

Regardless, it’s a secure setting requiring little maintenance and really sets off a gemstone’s brilliance because of the light that can be refracted through it. Just keep in mind that it’s higher on the investment scale, and since it’s a high setting, it can be vulnerable to snagging or knocking it on something.

Trellis Setting

A variation of the prong setting, this style of ring uses four prongs weaved together in a cross pattern, to securely and elegantly hold your featured gemstone. It can look either classic in style or very vintage, depending on other details you decide to add to it.

It fits a range of budgets, depending on whether you add extra stones or any metalwork to it. There is plenty of brilliance and sparkle, and they are easy to clean but will require some maintenance to keep your gemstones secure. They also are not suited for an active lifestyle or a lot of work with your hands, unless you intend to take it on and off frequently.

Best Low Profile Engagement Ring Settings

Bezel Setting

This setting is very popular, especially for those who lead active lives or want peace of mind, knowing their precious gems are as secure as possible. You can do a full-bezel setting or a half-bezel setting. Bezel settings, in general, are less brilliant looking because much of the stone is hidden by the setting.

However, half-bezel settings may offer a little more sparkle than their full Bezel counterpart. They are easy to clean and require little maintenance and upkeep, which is always a bonus. Pricing can be slightly higher than other styles, but it’s worth it for a more modern, more security, and less upkeep.

Tension/Tension Style Setting

This type of setting uses the bands of the ring itself to hold the gemstone in its proper place. It’s definitely an unusual look and perfect for brides who want a unique engagement ring. The gemstone looks as though it’s floating between the two arms of the band, and it can be very sparkly since light can travel through the stone without anything in the way to hinder it.

However, this type of setting is more expensive than others, including if you have to resize it, and it will require more maintenance to ensure your gemstone remains securely in place. Also, even though it’s considered more of a low setting, it’s not the best choice for active lifestyles. You can easily scuff it or ding it, and loosen your precious stone.

Tension set engagement ring.

Solitaire Setting

Solitaires are suited as more minimalist engagement rings. While a solitaire ring does use prongs, they are more like claws in a basket setting. Not only does this style let a lot of light hit the gemstone for maximum brilliance, but there also isn’t anything to detract from it. It’s a simple look, easy to clean and maintain, and your gemstone remains safe and secure within the solitaire setting.The bonus with a solitaire ring is that since there is only a single gemstone, they can be more budget-friendly than other engagement ring styles. They are well-suited for any lifestyle and remain a popular, slightly less imaginative choice for an engagement ring.

The choice of a high setting vs. low setting engagement ring is yours and yours alone. Take the pros and cons into consideration, and check out Diamond Nexus to find the perfect engagement ring that makes your heart smile!

*Here at Diamond Nexus, we strive to provide valuable information while being clear and honest about our products. The Nexus Diamond™ alternative is a patented lab created diamond simulate that, among all simulants, most closely imitates the look, weight and wear of a diamond, with two exceptions – it is absolutely perfect in every way, and it costs significantly less. Price points and environmental facts expressed in this blog were taken from popular online retailers and may vary. Learn more about the environmental impact of mining by visiting our blog.

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