A prong setting is the most commonly used ring setting. It is especially popular for solitaire engagement rings. Sometimes called a claw setting, prong settings are ideal for holding large stones in place.
You have probably seen prong settings before. A gem is inserted into three or more metal prongs that form a basket-like base. The ends of the prongs are bent over and shaped around the stone. This creates a cradle where the top of the prong rests against the crown of the stone. Prong ends are often rounded, but can also be shaped into points, ovals, or formed into decorative prongs. A prong setting can also be tall or short.
Each type of ring setting has its own pros and cons. The prong setting is no different. Some of the pros of prong settings are:
- Prongs do not take up a lot of space. This makes the gemstone more visible.
- Prongs are typically less expensive than more intricate settings because they are fairly quick to create.
- Gemstones in prong settings are typically easier to clean. It is easier to get a brush into the sides of a prong setting so you can thoroughly clean the bottom and sides of the stone.
There are some other factors to consider when choosing a prong setting. First, you will want to make sure the gemstone is held securely by the prongs so that it has no chance to become loose. Next, you will want to make sure that the prongs are strong. Very thin prongs can break or wear away, which puts the stone at risk. Be mindful of weakened prongs from antique or heirloom jewelry. Prongs that are too large in proportion to the gemstone can overpower the piece, making the setting less attractive.
Prong settings can add to the beauty of your ring. Be sure to consider these important items when designing your perfect engagement setting.