Is there a difference between a jewel set with gems and one embedded with gems?

I was wondering if the two terms were interchangeable since their definitions look pretty much the same—obviously within the context of jewelry only.

Is it just a question of formality or is there an actual physical difference?

An ngram search shows that "set" is much more used than "embedded", but it might be bacause of a slight difference in meaning.

  • I don't think this is a question of general English use, so much as specialist terminology among jewellers. I don't think there's any difference, but that would be best answered by someone in the trade.
    – elliotcm
    Jan 17, 2021 at 12:11

1 Answer 1


Set is the word usually used for the technique of placing gemstones securely in a piece of jewellery. Embed is a more general term for an item which has been fixed into a substance.

A jewel thickly covered with gems is sometimes said to be encrusted with them.

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