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What is Prong Ring Settings?
A prong ring setting, also known as a claw setting, is a type of setting used to secure a gemstone or diamond in a piece of jewelry, such as a ring. The prong setting consists of several small metal prongs or claws that hold the stone in place by securing it at specific points on its girdle or edge. The prongs can be rounded, pointed, or flat and can vary in number depending on the size and shape of the stone.
An engagement ring with prong settings will enhance the stone’s brilliance and sparkle because they allow maximum light to enter. The prongs can also be shaped and arranged in various ways to highlight the unique characteristics of the stone, making them a secure and elegant method of displaying the stone. However, prongs can sometimes snag on clothing or other objects. It’s important to take care when wearing prong jewelry.
History of Prong Ring Settings
A prong setting is widely used in jewelry design to showcase a center stone’s brilliance and beauty. Only a little over a century ago, the prong setting was a new and innovative approach to ring design.
In 1886, Tiffany & Co. founder Charles Lewis Tiffany invented the game-changing 6-prong setting. Low-set gemstones were adorned with intricate embellishments on Victorian jewelry. Tiffany saw an opportunity to show off their gems more refined and understatedly.
Tiffany’s iconic setting features a raised mount and minimal metal. Its sleek and sophisticated design departed from the heavily ornamented styles of the time. It was quickly recognized as a symbol of luxury and style. Engagement rings were revolutionised by the Tiffany setting, which set a new standard for elegance and simplicity that endures to this day.
Pros and cons of Prong Ring Settings
- A prong setting uses the minimum amount of metal, allowing more light to pass through and reflect off the diamond.
- Prong settings can be adjusted to fit a variety of diamond shapes and sizes, making them a flexible and versatile option for those who want something personalised and customised.
- For securely holding diamonds in place, prongs are a popular choice. However, they don’t protect the diamond’s exposed girdle as much as prongs would. Therefore, those looking for a setting that protects their gemstone the most might want to look elsewhere.
- The prongs can get snagged on clothes or furniture. They can be weakened or broken if they are pulled too hard.
Popular Types of Prong Ring Settings
The claw prong, also known as a pointed prong, provides less coverage over a diamond’s outline than a round prong. However, it extends further over the diamond’s surface. There are different versions of the claw prong, such as the petite claw, a smaller variation, and the double claw, where each prong is split into two.
Compared to single solid prong settings, double prong settings look slimmer. They come in two types – rounded or pointed, and offer a secure hold for diamonds, making them particularly suitable for larger diamonds. Safety is enhanced without appearing bulky with these settings.
V-prongs fit snugly around the pointed end of certain diamond cuts, such as pear, princess, and marquise. Prongs in this style protect the diamond’s delicate points while complementing its natural shape.
Buying a Prong Ring Settings
When buying an engagement ring, it’s important to consider the setting’s quality and workmanship in addition to the diamond. The main function of the prongs, regardless of their type or shape, is to securely hold the center stone and keep it safe while wearing the ring. Personal preferences play a role in choosing the ring style and design. Detailed reviews can help, and reputable vendors like James Allen and Brian Gavin offer GIA diamonds and ring designs at competitive prices.