As an alternative to the traditional channel set wedding and engagement rings, rings created with a process called tension setting have started to become popular in recent years. Tension set wedding rings and engagement rings have a stone (typically a diamond, although tension setting can be used with any precious gem) that is set in an opening in the ring itself and held by tension of the open ends of the ring pressing against the stone. Jewelers agree that there are both positive and negative aspects to choosing tension set rings.
Tension set rings are beautiful. Because the design is so unique, your tension set wedding or engagement ring will definitely draw people’s attention. The rings are available in all the typical styles one would expect, including rings of gold, platinum, titanium, and white gold, but the tension setting gives them a stylized and modernistic look that channel set rings are simply not capable of. People will examine the ring up close and, if they’ve never seen a tension setting before, will wonder how in the world that stone stays in place. You’ll find that your tension set wedding ring will be a topic of conversation at many a social gathering.
Makers of tension set wedding rings insist that the stone is immoveable and will never be lost. Whether this is actually true is the topic of some debate, but it is a claim that can not be made for channel set rings as we know that channel set stones can sometimes work their way loose and be lost.
It is difficult for a jeweler to effectively resize a tension set ring of any kind. The process of resizing a ring actually alters the shape and thickness of the metal and this will cause a change in the amount of tension holding the stone in place. This is particularly troubling for someone with a tension set wedding ring, since the ring is meant to be worn forever. As a person ages, their body changes so, even someone who doesn’t gain or lose weight over the years (and that’s a scant few of us) will still likely have a different ring size when he or she reaches the age of fifty than he or she did at age twenty five.
While proponents of tension settings do make the aforementioned claim that the stone is immoveable, opponents of the process say quite the opposite. Several jewelers claim that they have been approached by people looking for advice on how to replace a lost stone from a tension set wedding ring. The jury is still out, therefore, on whether tension settings really are more effective than the more traditional channel settings.
The final drawback is for the jewelers themselves. Jeweler Keith Farley states on the InForm web site that it is very easy for a person to intentionally remove the stone from a tension set ring. This, obviously, makes it that much easier for a dishonest customer to remove the stone and then come back to the jeweler seeking a replacement under the terms of a warranty, claiming that the setting was lost.