Pave Engagement Rings

One of the most popular styles for engagement rings is the Pave setting. The Pave style (pronounced pah-vay) captures the eye and adds extra sparkle to the ring by making the entire surface seem like it is “paved” in diamonds.

For the woman who wishes for more “bling” to her ring, the pave style is the perfect answer. The word “pave” is French for “paved” and the pavement, in this case, is made of diamonds. The pave ring has many diamonds encrusted on its band. These smaller diamonds all lead up to, and in the case of halo settings, surround the center diamond. The look is stunningly shiny and sparkly. The pave style is definitely for the woman who likes a little flashiness on her hand.

Two representative pave stylings are shown below. The first is a popular French pave styled ring from James Allen with a thin (petite) band. The second is a stylish setting from renowned designer Vatche, featuring 18 pave diamonds on a sleek tapered thin band.

Thin French-Cut Pave Set Diamond Engagement Ring

Thin French-Cut Pave Set Diamond Engagement Ring

Vatche Petite Pave Princess Cut Engagement Ring

Vatche Petite Pave Princess Cut Engagement Ring

The pave diamonds may encompass either half of the length (half pave) or the full length (full pave) of the band. The full pave setting is certainly the most beautiful, but many people find the half pave preferable, since it is more comfortable — after all, rows of diamonds, all around the band would rub against the other fingers and might cause some discomfort. The full pave is also more difficult to resize.

In addition to the traditional pave settings there is also the “micro pave” setting, so called because the surrounding diamonds are much smaller — indeed, they are almost indistinguishable from one another. This style is popular because the surface of the ring is smoother, and is less likely to cause discomfort when rubbing against other fingers.

The pave setting maximizes the brilliance of the entire ring, not just the center diamond, by lining the surface with diamonds and minimizing the amount of metal seen. Unlike the channel or bezel settings for a ring, a pave setting uses only small beads or prongs to hold each stone, which reduces the appearance of metal, while simultaneously maximizing the appearance of free standing diamonds.

The pave engagement ring is also available in several options…

The Petite Style

Petite designs are delicate and feminine. Some mistakenly think that “Petite” means a small ring, with a small diamond; however petite refers to the width of the band, typically between 1.5mm and 2mm.

One advantage of the petite styled ring is that the thinner band makes the center diamond appear larger. This ring is perfect for women with delicate and small hands or for women who prefer a more delicate look to their ring.

The Cathedral Setting

The cathedral style features beautifully graceful arches that are inspired by the sweeping arches of a cathedral. This is a lovely example of how architecture has influenced art, jewelry and even tokens of romance!

Halo Settings

Another fashionable style is the Halo style engagement ring. The Halo design features a ring of diamonds surrounding a larger center stone. One nice feature of the Halo is that it makes the center stone appear larger, while maintaining a vintage feel. The Halo diamonds also add some extra sparkle and bling which is always appreciated!

When combined with the sparkle of the Petite Pave design the Halo setting is strikingly dramatic. Check out our Halo Settings page for more design examples.

Vintage Designs

In addition to the vintage feel of the Halo design, rings accented with milgrain detailing, filigree decoration and intricate engravings are popular with women who love the romantic styling of bygone eras.

Milgrain detailing describes a style where strings of small grain-like bead shapes are formed at the edges of the ring or surrounding the diamond stones, and is a common technique in antique style jewelry.

The pave setting dates to the mid-20th century and the micro-pave technique to the mid-1970s. The pave style is very popular for engagement rings. Although the pave setting is usually more expensive than the solitaire style, the total cost of a pave ring is often less than a solitaire as the center stone of a pave ring can be smaller without sacrificing on the overall brilliance of the ring.


Ring setting images are from James Allen, and Whiteflash.