Diamond Ring Prong Setting Types
When it comes to buying a diamond engagement ring, there are many types of settings — from channel to bezel, cluster and pave. But the prong setting type, also called the claw setting, is by far the most prevalent type of setting used in diamond jewelry. Prong settings are super adaptable to all types of fine jewelry settings including the most popular styles like solitaire and halo engagement rings. The most famous jewelry designers in the world use the prong setting for holding the diamond, moissanite or other gemstones in place in many of their ring designs.
What Are Prongs On A Diamond Ring?
The prong setting sports small metal claws called prongs that grab the diamond tightly, holding it in place. They are fashioned into a variety of shapes including rounded, flat, v-shaped or pointed. Most of the prong settings available either have four or six prongs (see section below). The idea of a prong is simply to envelop the edges of your diamond and keep it in place. Once your diamond is put in place in the setting, the ends of the prongs are carefully bent toward the diamond to secure it. Prongs can be created in any length to adjust how close the diamond is to your finger. Any extra metal at the end of each prong is trimmed by the jewelry maker before they round the ends. Generally, prongs should not cover up any part of the diamond’s facet and the points where the prongs touch the crown of the diamond should be flush with no visible breaks.
Pros and Cons of Prong Settings in Diamond Jewelry
What makes prong settings the most popular type of mountings used by designers in engagement rings and diamond jewelry? Generally, prong settings give jewelry designers a great combination of security and cost without putting a damper on the creativity of their designs. Additionally, here are the pros and cons of the prong setting:
Advantages of Prong Settings
- Allows the maximum amount of light to hit the diamond’s surface for more sparkle.
- Raises the diamond on your hand, making it more noticeable
- Works well with many different diamond or moissanite shapes and sizes
- Gives a classic and timeless look that bride’s love
- Easily cleaned and maintained
Disadvantages of Prong Settings
- If not made well, prongs can snag on your clothes
- Over time, they can wear and your diamond can become loose
- Offer less protection to exposed girdle areas of the diamond
Four Prongs vs. Six Prongs — Which Should I Choose?
Benefits of a 4-Prong Setting
- Better Gemstone Visibility/Sparkle. With less surface area covered by a prong, your diamond will have more visibility and that will allow more light to hit more of the surface of your gemstone for maximum sparkle.
- Diamond Appears Bigger. Four-prong rings also make diamonds mounted in them look bigger because there is less diamond surface covered up by a prong. This is nice for smaller center diamonds.
- Easier to clean. The fewer prongs you have to clean around the easier it is to clean your diamond ring, generally.
Benefits of a 6-Prong Setting
- Safer. With six prongs hugging your diamond, it will be more secure and the risk of it becoming loose or falling out will be substantially minimized. No matter what type of engagement ring setting you have, prongs will eventually wear down and can bend and break. Six prongs help hold in your ring more effectively.
- Looks Better For Round Stones. The cut of your diamond can affect your choice for a four or six-prong setting. Round diamonds can become more square-looking with only four prongs while six prongs give your diamond the round shape you chose.
- More Protected. If you lead an active life and prefer to wear your engagement ring 24/7, you may want to consider a 6-prong setting. The extra prongs can protect your center diamond from accidental damage if you hit it against a strong surface.
Based on these considerations, choosing the number of prongs that is best for you comes down to whether image or safety is most important to you. If you want the maximum sparkle and size appearance and are willing to take the risk of a loose diamond, choose the four-prong setting. If you’re active and want to ensure your diamond has the best chance of staying solidly in place, choose the six-prong setting.
The Solitaire — The Most Popular Prong Setting
Of the type of prong settings used, the most common is the solitaire setting featuring one diamond, moissanite or other precious stone. Below are some examples of Ben Garelick’s most popular solitaire prong settings from some of the world’s best jewelry designers. Notice how your attention is drawn to the stone with nothing to distract us like other stones or fancy metalwork.
Which Metal Should I Choose For The Prongs In My Engagement Ring?
Prong settings can be designed and crafted from any time of common jewelry metal — any type of gold, silver or platinum. Ben Garelick’s customers frequently select all three types with no difficulties. The type of metal you choose depends on your style and preference but there is one consideration you should know about. However white gold and platinum are stronger metals and therefore can offer additional security for the center stone in your prong mount. It’s also possible to craft the shank out of one kind of gold and still use platinum for the prongs. More importantly than type of metal, consider avoiding flat or overly thin prongs that might wear away or break. Also, avoid engagement rings that have prong heads set super high as they are at risk for catching or knocking into things. Lastly, make sure the size and thickness of the prong is proportionate to the carat size of your stone as you don’t want overly large prongs covering up too much of your diamond’s surface.
Get Expert Advice From Your Friends At Ben Garelick
If prongs and settings and cuts are all confusing, don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends at Ben Garelick. We understand how much goes into purchasing your diamond engagement ring and that it’s not just about the diamond but also the setting. Our goal is always to make sure you get the perfect ring that symbolizes your love and commitment, her style and personality, and your budget. Stop by our Buffalo, New York, jewelry store or call— (716) 631-1584 or text— (716) 574-0966 and ask your questions. Shop our curated diamond ring collection online to see all of our exquisite fine jewelry. We look forward to helping you soon!