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About Tension-Set™

What is Tension-Set™

With a Tension-Set™ by Steven Kretchmer, the strength of the entire setting itself secures the stone in place by a compression force of 12,000 pounds per square inch, not just with wires as in prong settings. This type of mounting also exposes the diamond or gemstone to more light, and brings out the brilliance and colors that are often hidden by prongs or bezels.

Tension-Set™ jewelry is especially comfortable to wear, and has no prongs that scratch or catch on clothing. It is fundamentally stronger and more durable than traditional settings, and is built to endure everyday use more successfully.

Impacted by unusual force, a prong-mounted stone can shift and loosen when the prongs bend, but a Tension-Set™ stone is held by pressure, secured into the seat by specially heat-treated precious metal alloys, and needs no routine tightening or maintenance. Steven Kretchmer Tension-Set™ jewelry pieces are the only patented tension settings in the world!

Kretchmer’s Alloys

The 18 karat gold and 95% pure platinum alloys created and processed at Steven Kretchmer’s studio are specifically developed for the critical purpose of these compression-spring gemstone mountings. The unique precious metal alloys are deified and homogenized to eliminate any possibilities of fractures from stress. The colors are vivid and appealing. The exclusive 95% pure platinum or 18 karat gold alloys are processed by our patented methods to become especially hard and springy, much like a master swordsmith’s blade. The jewelry is aged in our furnaces and does not become brittle through time, as do many jewelry alloys. Kretchmer’s precious metal alloys also have the advantage of being more enduring than standard jewelry alloys, and therefore retain their finish much longer.


Tension-Set™ jewelry by Steven Kretchmer is the only tension setting that has been awarded U.S. patents. The patented technology involved the use of specific compositions of precious metal alloys, subsequently processed by extremely effective precision heat-treatments. Imitators cannot make these claims. Many jewelry firms attempt to imitate the look of our work, but a tension setting done by any other American company risks the security of your stone.

None are able to achieve the quality of Steven’s original designs or the special feel of his exceptional pieces. At Steven Kretchmer, each ring is a custom engineered, collectible piece of art, and is individually tested before it leaves our studio. Both Sotheby’s and Christies consider Steven Kretchmer one of the ten most collectible American fine jewelry designers.


Every Tension-Set™ ring is created specifically for you and your gemstone. When ordering your ring at an authorized Steven Kretchmer retailer, you must be measured with our Kretchmer Precision Ring Size Set to determine your exact finger size. Due to the uniquely appealing integrated nature of a Tension-Set™ ring, it cannot be safely stretched, severed, or filed. These methods could compromise the strength of the tension setting and therefore, any sizing, if possible, is limited. If your Tension-Set™ ring needs to be slightly sized, bring it back to your authorized Steven Kretchmer retailer and they will consult with our office to determine what options are available for your specific ring. Because the security of your stone is of the utmost importance, any sizing of our Tension-Set™ rings require very special techniques performed only at our studios.

Gem Types

We only work with diamonds, rubies and sapphires because of their exceptional hardness. They are formed in nature by immense pressure.

A specially trained GIA graduate gemologist inspects every precious gem that is received at Steven Kretchmer. Its structure is carefully examined under a high-power microscope and polariscope to determine the best way to set it in the Tension-Set™ jewelry.