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High vs. Low-Set Engagement Rings: 6 Qs to Help You Decide

Ring Advice

Jewelry shopping can be intimidating. That’s why we started Ask Holden, our blog where we answer your FAQs, break down scary industry lingo, and guide you in finding the perfect piece of jewelry.

Debating between a high set vs. low set ring? You’ve come to the right place. In this article, we break down the pros and cons of high-profile and low-profile engagement rings by asking six simple questions to steer you in the right direction.

Before we start, it's important to know the difference between the two. Higher profile engagement rings will show space between the culet (bottom tip of the diamond or gemstone) and the band. A low-profile engagement ring will not.

Comparison photo showing The Domed Solitaire, The Low Set Solitaire, The Bezel Solitaire, and The Low Set Bezel Solitaire by Holden


1. Do you want your engagement ring to sit flush with a wedding band?

This is arguably the most important question to ask yourself when debating between a low setting vs. high setting. Ring pairings can be much trickier to make with low-set engagement rings since they usually won’t sit flush with flat wedding rings.

Many choose to avoid a low-setting engagement ring with wedding band stacking in mind. You can still wear a low-set engagement ring on the same finger as a wedding band, though. We designed our Curved and Open bands for this very predicament!

Left to right: The Open Baguette, The Open Diamond, The Open by Holden
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2. How big do you want your center stone?

If your center stone philosophy is “the bigger, the better,” you may want to avoid low-set engagement ring styles. Low-profile settings limit the carat size because there's less space for a proportionate stone to sit closer to your finger.

Lower semi-bezel and bezel settings like those on our Center Half Bezel or Low Set Bezel Solitaire can accommodate some larger stones. However, keep in mind that your rock may look smaller in a lower setting with less surface area exposed.

The Center Half Bezel by Holden on hand
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The Low Set Bezel Solitaire by Holden from a side view
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3. How sparkly do you want your center stone to be?

If light performance is important to you, you may want to stick with a high setting. Engagement ring experts will tell you that a high-set engagement ring will lend itself to excellent brilliance and sparkle. This is because there's more space for light to pass through.

Diamond engagement rings will still sparkle if they’re low-set, though! This isn’t the main factor to consider if you prioritize brilliance. You’ll want an excellent cut grade above all else, followed by clarity and color. Still, it’s a factor some consider when determining setting height.

4. Are you using an heirloom stone or a more delicate stone shape?

Low-set engagement rings tend to have more protective settings and be less prone to accidental damage. Many who wish to use an heirloom stone with high sentimental value in their ring design may choose a low setting for this reason.

The same is true for those who want a more delicate center stone shape with pointed edges, such as a marquise or pear cut. Why? Pointed edges are much more vulnerable to chipping, and a ring set low is less likely to get knocked around while you’re going about your day.

At Holden, we always protect delicate stone shapes, so don't let that stop you from choosing your perfect engagement ring with a high setting. However, some still like to play it safe with a low setting if they tend to worry or are a bit clumsy.

5. Do you have your eye on a particular setting style (i.e. signet, prong)? How about a hidden halo? 

Certain setting styles only work at certain heights. A signet is a variation of a flush setting that sets the stone within the band itself. Flush settings are pretty much as low as you can go, and the most protective of the setting types.

Top to bottom: The Round Diamond Signet, The Emerald Diamond Signet, The Marquise Diamond Signet by Holden
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Bezel settings can be high or low—we offer both at Holden. The same is true for prong-set solitaires, like those with trellis and cathedral settings. These aren’t standard options at Holden but we can make them fully custom.

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Know you want a hidden halo (small diamonds encircling the base of your center stone) on your engagement ring? Stick to a high setting to allow enough room for it.

Rendering of a hidden halo
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6. Do you have an active lifestyle or work with your hands a lot?

Those with active lifestyles or who work with their hands often will want to consider that a high-set ring style is more vulnerable to damage. You can still choose a high setting, but you might need to be more careful with it and take it off while doing certain tasks like washing dishes.

Healthcare workers and other professionals who wear gloves often may choose lower settings to avoid constantly removing their rings. Remember that anytime you take your ring off your finger, there’s a higher chance it’ll become lost or stolen!

Find yourself running your hands through your hair frequently? How about wearing delicate fabrics? Note that high settings tend to catch on hair or clothing more easily.

Need more help deciding which engagement ring style is right for you? Check out our Ultimate Engagement Ring Buying Guide where we’ll walk you through every step of the shopping process. From setting a budget to understanding the 4 C’s to tips for care and cleaning, we’ve got it all covered.

Want to chat with an expert instead? Book a virtual or in-person appointment with us. We’re always happy to help!

Questions? Give us a shout at or a ring (pun intended) at 646.722.6817.