When I purchased my ring, it was setting only… this is pretty common for High-end Independent Non-Chain Jewellery Stores… where they either display the setting empty or with a stand-in CZ mounted for “illustration purposes” (we saw lots of this sort of thing in the 6 weeks we spent looking for my ring, and the particular type of setting I was after)
In the end, the ring I chose, the Sales Rep told us could accomodate anywhere from a 0.50 to aprox 1.25 Carat Feature Diamond.
So I would think from that statement, that they could make adjustments to the prongs for whatever stone we chose to feature.
In our case, we were ready to complete the whole deal that day, then and there… so I chose from the Diamonds that they had on hand that we looked at under a Jewellers Loup in regards to the 4Cs and COST !! (We ended up going with a 0.80 Carat one)
I guess sometimes a couple already has a stone… heriloom / in the family piece, OR maybe they plan to buy one later / somewhere else… and then would have it set into the setting (sorry, that didn’t fit our particular circumstance, so I didn’t explore that option further)
You should speak to the Jewellery Store to get more info on how it would work for the particular setting you are considering.
IF there is a setting you really are in love would, I say buy it NOW. Because honestly I saw a setting when we were first looking (days after Mr TTR proposed) while on vacation… and I have never seen it again anywhere.
For awhile in the ring search process back here in Canada, I was extremely bummed out by that fact, figuring I had missed out on my “dream ring”. But in the end I did find something that I actually like better (it is more practical / less gaudy / better quality / Cerified / and comes from a High-End Jewellery Store and not a Chain / Outlet one).
IF I hadn’t found the ring I have now, we were seriously looking at having to go the custom route, and overall that would have cost a lot more than the price I saw for the ring on vacation ($ 5,000 vs $ 3,500)…
After picking up the setting, you guys can make your Engagement decision from there… save up for the Feature Stone, or go ahead and get engaged with a “stand-in” stone knowing that you’ll upgrade the ring once you can afford the gem you are in love with.
Hope this helps,