Diamonds on black background, (Close-up)
Paul Katz/Photodisc/Getty Images

If you're looking for a little extra sparkle to punch up your jewelry box, pave -- or pavé -- might be just the ticket. Characterized by very small gemstones that are set so close to one another that the surface looks "paved" with stones, pave can be used on any jewelry surface where a jeweler might want a wash of brilliance with no visible metal.

How Pave Is Set

In this style of jewelry, gems are held in place with tiny metal prongs or beads that are nearly hidden by the close-set stones. Traditional pave settings can use a variety of stone sizes and patterns. In a version of pave called micro pave, jewelers use even smaller, uniformly machine-cut stones, which require microscopes to accurately set them.

Pave Jewelry

Diamond pave is a popular option for decorating wedding bands or to accent a larger stone in engagement rings, although different gemstones can be used. Topaz, sapphire, aquamarine and amethyst are a few semiprecious stones used in pave settings, and brown or cognac diamonds are often pave set. Even rhinestones can be arranged in a pave style. Both traditional and micro pave are used in earrings, pendants, brooches and even watch faces, adding extra sparkle to a single piece of jewelry.