Flush Settings: Pros & Cons, Popular Designs & Buying Tips

Flush with class: the flush setting ring...

For anyone with an active lifestyle, the process of finding a ring can be daunting. When you’re constantly on the move, you need a ring setting that can protect any precious stones without worry. Prongs, metal details, and other design elements are always at risk of serious damage in many lines of work!

But, there are a few settings that can suit the needs of active wearers,🧗🏻‍♂️ and the flush setting is an excellent choice for anyone seeking a low profile alternative to traditional ring settings. The flush setting is a sturdy, elegant option for both engagement and wedding rings.

Flush Setting Ring (a.k.a. Gypsy or Hammer Setting)

Let’s discuss different styles of flush setting as well as how it compares to other settings, the pros and cons, and our recommendations for buying a flush design.

Basics: What is a flush diamond setting?

Understanding the flush setting

Also known as a gypsy or hammer setting, flush settings consist of a metal band and gemstones. These stones are placed within holes in the band, and they sit flush with the surface of the metal. As such, the gems are protected on all sides and do not stick out from the band.

Flush settings are a popular choice for wedding bands, as they add a touch of sparkle without going overboard. There are also several ways to add diamonds to a flush setting, with some styles only having one diamond and others having gems of all shapes and sizes.

Flush Setting Wedding Bands

Because of the pressure necessary to produce a flush setting, diamonds, sapphires, rubies, and other hard precious gems are the best choices for this style. Diamonds may suffer slightly reduced fire and brilliance, as only the crown can receive light for proper refraction. But, a flush setting is worth the slight change in sparkle, knowing your gems are completely secure.🐮

Placing a gemstone in a flush setting

So how do artisans snugly fit gemstones into a flush band? And how do the stones stay in their respective holes? Here is a rundown of how flush settings are created:

  1. The craftsman measures the gemstone height and width to calculate the necessary hole size. The metal band must be a bit higher than the stone, so it’s important that both materials are measured appropriately.
  2. Then, a bur is used to drill a hole through the ring band. Craftsmen may also use burs of varying sizes to complete the hole, drilling until it is the correct size for the gemstone. The hole is usually tapered to fit the gemstone shape as well.
  3. Next, the stone is placed within the hole up to the girdle. The craftsman inspects the piece to ensure the stone is flush with the surface of the band.
  4. Finally, the craftsman rubs or “burnishes” the metal around the gemstone to fold it over the edges of the gem. This will keep the stone in place and protect it from harm.

While the flush setting process seems simple, a minor miscalculation in size or drilling can render the piece completely useless. It’s important to follow a strict procedure while flush setting a gemstone to ensure you have the most secure hold possible!

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Lab Created Diamonds

Flush settings vs. Bezel settings

Many people confuse flush and bezel settings, as their designs are somewhat similar. Both styles use a ring of metal to protect the edges of a gemstone, and the resulting rings offer a modern, industrial appeal.

⚠️However, despite their similarities, these two settings are different in several ways. First, a flush setting completely conceals the bottom of a gemstone once it’s placed. In contrast, a bezel setting uses only a ring of metal around the girdle of the stone. The bottom of the gem may still be visible, and the bezel style allows for elaborate settings with arches, complex metalwork, and more.

Flush vs. Bezel Ring Setting

Furthermore, a bezel setting may offer more light refraction for diamonds than a flush setting, but both styles excel at protection stones. As such, bezel and flush settings are great for active lifestyles, and they decrease the risk of snagging and prevent chips and cracks.

So how does the flush setting stack up against other ring settings? Let’s take a look at some other popular styles below and how they compare to the flush setting.👇🏻

Flush settings vs. Similar settings

There are several settings that allow wearers to add diamonds to their band. Let’s look at three popular band settings and how the flush setting measures up to each one:

Pavé Settings

Unlike flush settings, pavé style bands are meant to stick out among the crowd. By closely bunching lines of small diamonds together in delicate settings, jewelry designers create the illusion of endless sparkle.✨ A pavé band will certainly outshine a flush setting, but there are several other factors to keep in mind when choosing between these two styles.

First, the flush setting is the more secure option. Pavé styles offer moderate protection, but the diamonds still sit above the band and are at risk of falling out. The flush setting provides superior protection, but at the risk of the next factor.

Next, diamonds shine brighter in a pavé setting than a flush band. The elevated design and close proximity of other diamonds means pavé settings are brilliant, whereas a flush style won’t sparkle quite as vividly.

Finally, pavé settings are a bit more work to clean, and they can be difficult to resize. Certain flush settings are equally complicated when it comes to resizing, but they are consistently easier to clean!

Channel Settings

Similar to the flush style, the channel setting places smaller diamonds within the band of a ring. The resulting smooth surface prevents snagging and chipping, and the channel of diamonds provides plenty of sparkle!🌟 Both settings are ideal for anyone with an active lifestyle, as the gems are securely fastened below the surface of the band.

However, the customization options of a channel setting are limited. While gemstone color can vary, each stone must be roughly the same size to stay within the channel. In contrast, the flush setting allows for gems of multiple sizes to create a unique look.

Additionally, channel settings are more difficult to clean than flush settings. The deep grooves of the channel setting offer more places for dirt to become trapped, whereas dirt cannot enter the flush setting.

Bar Settings

A bar setting offers a more daring approach to a diamond band than a flush setting. The bar setting positions a diamond between two bars of metal, holding it in place with pressure. It’s very similar to the tension setting, although the bar setting offers more security than the latter.

The flush setting enhances security, whereas the bar setting prioritizes light refraction.⚖️ While you won’t get the stunning light displays offered by a bar setting, choosing a flush setting means your gemstones will stay in place indefinitely. Plus, more security with the flush design means less chipping or scratching, which will always be a concern with the bar style.

Finally, similar to the channel setting, a bar setting is also limited in variety: you cannot have stones of widely differing sizes and shapes. The flush setting is the prime choice for anyone looking to customize their piece further.😎

9+ popular flush setting ring styles

Flush setting diamond rings are less common than other styles. However, there are several ways to design wedding jewelry with a flush aesthetic.

While flush settings are frequently used to add a bit of sparkle to wedding bands, more flush engagement ring settings are becoming available as well. Let’s take a look at the many ways jewelry designers use flush techniques to create fresh looks:

Flush setting wedding bands

Single stone flush settings

Many flush wedding bands include a single diamond to add the slightest sparkle to an otherwise simple design. The single diamond is typically round or square, and it sits in the center of the band.

Single Stone Flush Ring by Blue Nile
Blue Nile (SKU: 71512)

These single diamond styles are a popular choice for men, but thinner designs also look dazzling as women’s wedding bands. If this flush setting seems too simple, try a brushed finish on your band for a pop of texture!

Multi-stone flush settings

If one diamond isn’t enough, multi-stone flush setting bands are sure to suit your fancy. Designers add multiple diamonds to certain styles to provide a luxe finished product that is much more eye-catching than the typical model.

Multi-Stone Flush Style Ring
James Allen (SKU: 14303P)

For the traditional bride, a band with an orderly line of diamonds adds class and style to wedding jewelry. Or, diamonds in a pattern or sporadically placed can create a modern, whimsical look for those who prefer standing out.🤠 Finally, if you want something truly unique, incorporate other design elements like milgrain to make your piece one of a kind.

Starry flush settings

The starry flush setting is a creative take on the multi-stone design, with several diamonds of varying sizes spread across the band of the ring. The effect can be classy and understated or bold and bright, as evidenced by this vintage starry flush setting ring.

Starry Flush Setting Ring Designed by Whiteflash
Whiteflash (SKU: 5253)

Dash style flush settings

Another variation of the multi-stone flush setting, dash style settings have a very streamlined, professional appeal. The lined clusters of bright diamonds create an orderly, unified shine, catching the attention of passersby. This ring is also an excellent fashion accessory for any day in addition to being a lovely wedding band.

Dash Style Flush Ring
James Allen (SKU: 81344W14)

Two-tone flush settings

Two-tone bands are an exceptionally popular way to produce a distinctive flush setting piece. Mix and match metals to find a look that suits your taste! White and yellow gold is a common combination, but white and rose gold can add a touch of romance to your wedding band.

Two-Tone Flush Setting Ring: Yellow and Silvery
Blue Nile (SKU: 71539)

Colored gemstone flush settings

If white diamonds aren’t your thing, you can add a splash of color to your flush setting with sapphires, rubies, or colored diamonds and moissanite. Including colored gemstones within your flush setting adds just a hint of personality to the piece. You can even opt for multi-colored flush settings instead, full of vibrant hues to draw attention to your beautiful ring.

Colored Gemstone Flush Style Wedding Ring
Brilliant Earth

Flush and channel combination settings

Mix your flush set stones with a channel setting for even more sparkle! Combining settings offers a distinctive look and allows you to further personalize the design to your liking. Switching up settings also means varying levels of care, so make sure you read up on how to protect diamonds in each setting before buying.

Flush and Channel Combination Setting by Brilliant Earth
Brilliant Earth (SKU: BE603-PT)

Flush setting engagement rings

Bezel flush engagement rings

Bezel set engagement rings match the smooth, rounded beauty of flush setting bands. The flush setting may be used to add diamonds to the engagement ring’s band in a uniform or random design. Or, designers may even use the flush style on the bezel itself. The bezel and flush combination creates a modern look for the fashion-forward bride.

Bezel-Flush Style Diamond Engagement Ring
Brilliant Earth (SKU: 67385)

Solitaire prong engagement rings

A time-tested classic, prong setting engagement rings take on a contemporary appeal with flush setting accents. Similar to the bezel setting’s accent stones, the flush elements may be added uniformly or randomly to the prong setting. While flush set diamonds may not shine as brightly, they certainly enhance the glow of your center stone!

Solitaire Prong Ring With Diamond Flush Band
Brilliant Earth (SKU: BE1C8897F-18KW)

What are the pros and cons of flush settings?

For all the benefits of choosing the flush setting, there are definitely some negatives to consider. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the flush setting:

Pros

  • The setting is very secure, offering enhanced protection for diamonds and other precious stones.
  • Flush settings are ideal for active lifestyles, so working with your hands is not a problem!
  • For those who prefer modern designs, the flush setting provides a smooth, industrial aesthetic.
  • Flush settings are incredibly customizable, and most design elements can be added to these rings.🎄
  • Due to the flush surfaces, these settings are typically easy to clean.
  • Flush settings require less maintenance than most other ring styles, saving you money in the long run.

Cons

  • The flush setting suffers from reduced light refraction, which means diamonds will not sparkle as brightly in this setting.
  • Flush settings are less eye-catching, so it’s not an ideal style for those who prefer dramatic looks.
  • The flush design minimizes focus on any gemstones, sometimes making them appear lackluster.

Our advice: How to buy the right flush setting ring

So what’s the best way to find a flush setting that fits your personal tastes? Here are some factors to consider when shopping for your new flush setting ring:

Consider the size and shape of your finger

Because gemstones sit within the band of a flush setting, these rings tend to be thicker than other styles.💡 As such, it’s important to try on different flush settings to find the right one for your unique finger shape and size.

Individuals with shorter or thicker fingers generally benefit from designs with thinner bands and longer gemstone shapes. As a result, a thinner flush setting—like the Tiffany & Co. Etoile ring—is ideal for smaller hands and fingers. Or, try an even slimmer design and stack them for a customizable look.

If you have long fingers, you should be able to rock any flush setting with ease!

Choose durable gemstones

Due to the intense pressure necessary to hold the stones in place, only certain gemstones are hard enough for a flush setting. These gems are at the top of the Mohs hardness scale, and they include diamonds, sapphires, rubies, and moissanite.

Although this may seem to limit your colors to red, white, and blue, fear not! Each of these gemstones comes in a variety of colors, and there’s a gem for every hue.🧸 Try a pink sapphire or a black diamond look to add eye-catching color to your piece.

Compare gemstone shapes

The gemstones set within a flush setting are typically round or square in shape. So, you’ll have to decide which shape you prefer.

Round stones have a very soft, classic appeal, and they can look very feminine on a flush setting band. In contrast, square gems have an edgier, modern aesthetic, and they look great on men’s wedding bands.

Whichever gem shape you choose, much of your ring’s appeal will come down to color, size, and design. Don’t let a perceived aesthetic stop you from choosing the gemstone you love most!

Think about your engagement ring

While you’re free to pair any engagement ring with a flush setting, certain styles do look better with a flush band. A bezel set ring often fits perfect with a flush setting wedding band, leaving little negative space between the two pieces.  

Another popular engagement ring choice for flush set bands is a standard prong setting. With a prong setting, the gemstone typically sits higher to make room for the wedding band. Or, you can always opt for a flush setting engagement ring and create a stackable set.

Flush Wedding Band and Solitaire Prong Engagement Ring

If you feel a solitaire engagement ring may be too plain, try pave diamonds or side stones on your ring to up the wow factor of your entire set!

Get creative: Look into unique or custom pieces

Flush settings allow for tons of creative freedom, and it’s fun to think of these bands as a blank canvas.

Go wild and add any design you wish, from gemstones in the shape of constellations to engraving and other etched images. Or, simply mix and match different colors for a vibrant look.

A popular way to customize wedding bands is birthstones. Utilize your birthstone and that of your spouse to create a one of a kind band that is sure to catch the attention of others. These also make great anniversary gifts to celebrate those big milestones for years to come.

Buy from a reputable dealer

There are several places to purchase flush settings, even if the supply can seem limited at times. We recommend buying from these sellers to ensure your product is of high quality and comes with a comprehensive service package:

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Finding your ideal flush setting

Flush settings are the perfect way to add some bling to your wedding jewelry without the risk of losing stones.

Because the gems are flush with the surface of the band, they are safely out of harm's way and will last a lifetime. Although the flush setting may not be your first choice right away, it’s extremely customizable and can be crafted to suit your tastes. Flush mount diamond rings can fit any style with a bit of skill and imagination!

If you’re interested in learning more about ring styles and designs, consider reading our piece on 15 popular ring settings. Or, dig deeper into one of our setting guides, such as the bezel setting.

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