Bar Settings: What to Know Before You Purchase

By Michael Fried

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Bar settings are popular styles for engagement rings, wedding rings and eternity bands. The diamonds are secured in place with vertical metal bars, allowing ample light to pass through the stones. With a bar setting, you can choose from a range of styles, like a stunning ring with seven diamonds or a tapered baguette engagement ring

Above all, be sure to purchase your ring from a highly reputable vendor. We recommend James AllenBlue Nile and Brian Gavin Diamonds as the dealers who will give you the best quality and value. 

What is a Bar Setting?

Bar settings secure diamonds on two sides with vertical metal bars, leaving ample space for light to pass through the diamonds. While bar settings are similar to channel settings, they leave the diamond exposed on two sides, like in this white gold anniversary ring.

Bar setting croped

A bar setting can compliment a beautiful engagement ring or stand alone for an impressive wedding band or stackable ring. Because of their secure design, bar settings often feature multiple diamonds or gemstones.

Why Choose a Bar Set Ring?

A bar setting provides stability while still allowing adequate light to pass through the diamond. In other words, bar settings are stunning yet secure.

Bar set rings also create beautiful symmetry, especially in eternity rings and three-stone designs. You can pair a bar set wedding band with an engagement ring for a dynamic duo. Some engagement rings even feature unique bar set elements, like this pinched bar pave engagement ring.

Bar Settings for Every Shape

Bar settings can support a range of diamond shapes, although round diamonds and baguettes are the most common. When choosing a bar set ring, consider whether you prefer rose gold, white gold, yellow gold or platinum.

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Bar set ring examples:

Pros and Cons of a Bar Setting

Each setting style comes with its advantages and disadvantages. Review the pros and cons of bar settings below to learn about the style features, maintenance requirements and ease of cleaning.

Pros

  • Functions as a simple band, stackable ring or center stone design
  • Offers more visibility to diamonds than a channel setting (due to less metal)
  • Holds diamonds securely in place with metal bars
  • Provides additional sparkle because stones are more exposed

Cons

  • Slightly higher chance of chipping due to stones being less protected by metal
  • Resizing can be costly or challenging
  • Slightly less secure than a channel setting

Where to Buy Bar Diamond Engagement Rings

Throughout our years in the industry, we’ve closely vetted diamond sellers to determine the best and most reliable in the business. We’ve found that where you buy your diamond and your ring does matter. That’s why we encourage our readers to be selective in which jewelry company they select.

The diamond dealers we recommend below are highly reputable. They offer large collections of beautiful diamonds and settings at excellent prices. If you have any questions about these vendors, please contact us.

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James Allen

  • Offers appealing prices
  • Provides incredible imagery for each diamond
  • All diamonds come with an AGS or GIA certificate
  • Known for their excellent customer service and return policies

Blue Nile

  • Maintains the largest online inventory of diamonds and settings
  • Offers great prices on stunning rings
  • All diamonds come with an AGS or GIA certificate
  • Known for their high-quality settings

Brian Gavin Diamonds

Leibish & Co. (Gemstone Alternative)

  • Known for their extensive collection of gemstone rings and jewelry
  • Maintains a wide selection of colored diamonds
  • Offers high-quality settings

Evaluating a Diamond Ring for Beauty and Value

With just a few helpful hints and expert tips, you’ll be equipped to purchase a stunning ring at an excellent price.

Review our Diamond Pro resources for help in selecting a gorgeous ring for the one you love.

  • Cut: The quality that will most greatly impact a diamond’s beauty and brilliance is its Cut. We recommend Excellent and Ideal cuts to ensure you purchase the most stunning stone.
  • Shape: The shape of your diamond should be chosen primarily on personal preference and style. See which shape matches your significant other’s taste and lifestyle.
  • Clarity: For Clarity, we recommend looking for a diamond that’s eye clean (not flawless when under magnification). Blemishes and inclusions usually cannot be seen by the naked eye at a VS1 or VS2 Clarity grade.
  • Color: Ensure your diamond appears white in relation to its setting. Diamonds in the G to I range appear colorless to the naked eye but cost far less than diamonds in the D to F range.

Have more questions about diamonds or engagement rings? Send our experts an email.

About the author
Mike learned the diamond business from the ground-up at Leo Schachter Diamonds - one of the world's top diamond manufacturers. He has been recognized as a diamond industry expert by Time, PeopleMoney, The Daily Mirror, NerdWallet, The Times Herald, Yahoo Finance Australia, The Art of Charm, The Washington Diplomat, The Next Web, and more. See more
Top Recommended Vendors
Blue Nile Blue Nile is the largest and most well known internet jewelry seller. They have the industry-leading largest available exclusive online inventory. Their high quality images are catching up to James Allens' and their prices are amazing. Exclusive to us for the 2018 Christmas shopping season - Pick Up a single-use Blue Nile Coupon Here for $100 off!
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. Blue Nile will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisal
  • One free resizing within the first year of purchase
  • High quality images of about half of their diamonds
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • 100% credit towards future upgrades (must be at least double in value)
  • Best in class fulfillment

James Allen James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is at the point where it's almost the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. Their customer experience is best in class, and they have recently upgraded their non-engagement jewelry inventory as well. Take advantage of their ongoing 25% Off Holiday Sale.
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. James Allen will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free International Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisals
  • One free resizing within 60 days of purchase
  • Free ring inscriptions
  • Best-in-class high quality imagery of all diamonds in stock
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Best-in-class packaging

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