A bezel setting is one where the edges of the gem in the setting are encased fully in the metal of the ring. You see the top of the gem, but not the sides. The bottom can be open or not. Bezel settings are often recommended for softer, weaker stones that can chip easily if you hit the stone against something, such as hitting the edge of the gem against a concrete wall. If you're getting a diamond ring, however – diamond being the strongest mineral known to humans – is a bezel setting necessary? It can be, depending on the piece of jewelry and how large that stone is.
Bezels Protect the Edges of the Gem
The mere fact that faceted diamonds exist tells you that diamonds can be cut and fractured by something. That something might not be another gem, but it's something common enough and effective enough that it can break these tough stones. That also means that your diamond ring can be damaged if you hit the stone in just the right way. The edges, if not in a bezel setting, are the most likely to sustain damage. A strong, well-made metal bezel should protect the stone from damage.
They Also Hide Most of the Gem
However, because most bezel settings enclose the gem on all sides, most of the gem is thus hidden. A few bezel settings have openings along the sides, but most will rise straight out of the ring band. If the diamond has a particularly beautiful cut or is very large, that could result in a strange-looking setting. For this reason, you may want to reserve bezel settings for smaller stones that don't stick up too far above the band. Though to be honest, you wouldn't really wear a giant solitaire ring every day; that's something that would be reserved for very special occasions when you'd be much more careful about the jewelry you were wearing to begin with. Still, it's a design point to keep in mind as you shop for a diamond ring.
The Quality of the Bezel Affects the Gem's Sparkle
Good bezel settings are unobtrusive; they can add to the design, but they shouldn't overwhelm it, and they shouldn't be the first thing you notice about the ring. The bezel edges should overlap with the edge of the diamond but not cover a substantial portion of it. If the edges do cover too much, the sparkle of the gem may be dull compared to how it looks in an open setting. You may want to compare bezel settings with open and closed bases to see how that variation affects how much sparkle you can see from the stone as well.
The best way to find a setting that doesn't overwhelm the gem and that gives it the protection it needs is to find a reputable jeweler. You'll feel more comfortable wearing the ring if you know, with confidence, that the setting is secure and well-made. Contact a reputable jeweler to see if a bezel setting is best for your diamond rings.