Prong Setting Pros
  • Prongs are tiny, so more of the diamond (or other stone) is visible.
  • Prong settings are fairly quick to make, so they are usually less expensive than more intricate settings.
  • Stones set in prongs are usually easier to clean.
Prong Setting Cons
  • The girdle area of the gemstone is not covered, so prongs offer less protection for the diamond than other, more enclosed settings.
  • Prongs have a tendency to snag clothing and other items they touch.
Evaluating Prong Settings
  • The gemstone should be held snugly by the prongs, and not wobble around.
  • The prongs should be formed so that the stone sits at an even height, not up or down on any side.
  • Very thin, flat prongs can eventually break or wear away, putting the gemstone at risk.
  • Hooked prongs, where the prong end forms an open loop before it touches the stone, will open up in time.
  • Short prongs that do not offer enough contact with the gemstone will not hold it safely in place and are more likely to catch on clothing and other items.
  • Prongs that are too large in proportion to the gemstone can overpower it, making the setting less attractive.
  • The Professional Jeweler offers diagrams of problem prongs that help you visualize these and other types of prongs.
In time, prongs may need to be repaired. Ask your jeweler to show you many types of prong settings and to offer advice on the safety and durability of each.

Prong Setting Safety Tip
Someone who has (or plans to have) children probably wouldn't want to wear a tall, narrow setting that could scratch or puncture delicate skin with the wrong wave of a hand.

Extra Security
V-shaped prongs offer protection for pointed edges of gemstones, such as the ones you'll see on heart and marquise shaped gems.

Trying on lots of rings is the best way to discover how different settings feel and look on your hand--and what a fun way to find out!

Different Types of Prong Settings

Traditional Height Prong Setting

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This solitaire diamond is held sturdily in place by six prongs of a normal height -- not too low, and not so high that the diamond sticks up way above the finger.

Tall Prong Settings

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This tall prong setting is designed so that the diamond sits high, showing it off nicely. Tall prongs can easily catch on anything near them. If your fiance leads a very active lifestyle, reserve tall prongs for a ring that will be worn on special occasions, and choose a lower prong for an engagement ring that will be worn every day.

4-Prong Setting in Eternity Band

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Six prongs are often used to secure large diamonds, but four prongs per stone allows more light to enter the diamond, and that produces extra sparkle to bounce back at at us when we look at the jewelry.

Gemstones Share Prongs in Common Prong Settings

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In this common prong setting, diamonds are held by two prongs on each side, sharing prongs around the ring's circumference. This design technique lets a maximum amount of light enter the diamonds and makes them appear to be set side-by-side with nothing blocking the view between them.

Pear Shaped Diamond with Protective Prong

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Protective Prongs.
This pear shaped deep brownish-yellow diamond is held in place by prongs, including an extra prong positioned to protect its pointed tip. Some protective tips are V-shaped, like the one on the next page.

V-Shaped Prongs Protect Pear Shaped Gems

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V-Shaped Prongs.
V-shaped prongs are used to protect the pointed ends of the pear shaped diamonds and sapphires in this engagement ring.

Decorative Prong Settings

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Decorative Prong Settings.
The prongs used in this engagement ring are an important part of the ring's design. The 1.0 carat brilliant cut diamond is held in place by two sets of prongs. One set reaches over the edge of the diamond. The set on the remaining sides of the diamond reaches under its edge. When you look at the ring from the side, the prongs form the shape of a heart.

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