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Bar Settings: What to Know Before You Purchase

By Mike Fried,

Bottom Line Recommendation:

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 nine diamonds from James Allen or a tapered baguette engagement ring from Blue Nile

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. 

Bar Setting wedding band
Example of a bar setting wedding band in white gold
To help you with the diamond buying process we lean on our expertise and experience. The author of this article, our CEO, Mike Fried has over 20 years of experience in the diamond industry. Mike started from the bottom, sorting and evaluating hundreds of thousands of diamonds to learn every facet (pun intended) of diamond quality and value. Mike followed that up by spending years buying and selling diamonds on the wholesale market as well as selling tens of millions of dollars worth of diamonds to diamond retailers.

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 from James Allen.

A bar setting can compliment a beautiful engagement ring like this one from James Allen or stand alone for an impressive wedding or anniversary band. Because of their secure design, bar settings often feature multiple diamonds or gemstones.

Deal Alert: Save 25% on settings at Blue Nile!

Please enter your email address to receive your personal one-time use unique coupon code for 25% off engagement rings:

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. By letting light pass through the diamond, this type of setting can showcase a beautifully cut diamond’s brilliance and fire.

”Brilliance is the effect of all the diamond’s internal and external reflections of white light, best observed under diffused lighting.” “Fire results when white light traveling through the diamond is dispersed into its rainbow of spectral colors.” Gemological Institute of America (GIA)

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

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.

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.


  • 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


  • Slightly higher chance of chipping due to stones being less protected by metal
  • Resizing can be costly or challenging
  • Slightly less secure than other settings
Anniversary bar setting ring

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.

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 a 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.

  • Diamond 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.
  • Diamond 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.
  • Diamond 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 VS1 clarity or VS2 clarity.
  • Diamond 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.

Here are more specific setting style topics to browse:

James Allen James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. They have the largest exclusive loose diamond inventory online and fantastic prices. They also have the nicest collection of lab created diamonds online.
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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Blue Nile Blue Nile is the largest and most well known internet jewelry seller. They have a very large exclusive online inventory. Their high quality images are catching up to James Allens' and their prices are amazing. Save 25% on settings at Blue Nile with an exclusive coupon code!

Please enter your email address to receive your personal one-time use unique coupon code for 25% off engagement rings:

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
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About the author

Mike Fried Mike Fried Mike Fried has over 25 years experience in the diamond industry working with Leo Schachter Diamonds, Moshe Namdar Diamonds, and joining The Diamond Pro in 2007. He is recognized as an industry expert and has been quoted in publications such as Us, People, Page Six, The Next Web and more.

Please enter your email address to receive your personal one-time use unique coupon code for 25% off engagement rings:

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