Your engagement ring’s prongs hold your center stone firmly in place and they also have a major impact on your ring’s style. As you shop for your engagement ring setting, you should carefully think about your prong choice and consider what will work best for both your center stone shape and your ideal aesthetic. There are many different types of prongs for you to choose from and each prong style has its own unique style and practical advantages. To help you decide which prong style would be right for you, below, we’re going over everything you need to know about engagement ring prongs.
What is an Engagement Ring Prong?
Engagement ring prongs are tiny pieces of metal that hold your ring’s diamonds or gemstones in place. Prongs act like small claws around a stone, holding it in a visually unobtrusive way. For added security, prongs have inner grooves that rest flush with the girdle of their enclosed diamond or gemstone.
Pros and Cons of Choosing Prongs
Prong settings are very popular, but they aren’t your only engagement ring setting option. Another popular option is the bezel setting, a setting made up of a solid ring of metal that fully encloses the sides of a stone. Not sure if you should choose a prong setting over a bezel setting? To help you decide if prongs would be right for you, here are some of the pros and cons of choosing prongs.
Pros of Prongs
- Prongs have a classic, timeless look.
- Prongs allow for excellent light entry, which helps maximize a diamond’s scintillation.
- Prongs can accommodate every diamond and gemstone shape.
- Prongs can flexibly accommodate different carat weights.
- Setting a gemstone or diamond ring with prongs is easy and quick.
- Prong settings use less metal, making them more affordable.
- Prongs are easy to clean.
Cons of Prongs
- Prongs can sometimes get snagged on clothing, towels, blankets, or hair.
- Prongs offer less protection when compared to some other options, like bezel settings.
- If prongs aren’t maintained well over time, they can become worn and loose.
Your Prong Options: Types of Prongs
Single Claw Prongs
Single claw prongs, also called simply claw prongs, are prongs that narrow into a point. Single claw prongs are the most common type of prong setting. They’re a very popular option because they’re delicate and elegant, and they take up very little space on the top of a gemstone, allowing more of the gem to be seen. Single claw prongs are most often used for round and oval gemstone shapes, but they’re quite a versatile prong type that can work for many shapes.
Double Claw Prongs
Double claw prongs consist of paired single claw prongs. Double claw prongs are most commonly used on shapes with rounded or cut corners, like radiant cut, emerald cut, and cushion cut diamonds. Double claw prongs look beautifully balanced on these shapes and also provide protection for their delicate corners.
Square prongs have squared off tips, which gives them a more bold and graphic look. Square prongs look lovely with more modern ring designs, since their clean angular aesthetic is quite contemporary.
A v prong is a specialized type of prong that’s designed to cradle the sharp points or corners of gemstones. This type of prong offers extra protection for thin, sharp corners or points, like those found on princess cut, marquise cut, and pear shaped diamonds.
Round prongs have rounded tips, which makes them look like tiny balls when viewed from above. Round prongs tend to look particularly lovely with more rounded gemstone shapes, like oval and round diamonds, but can work well with many shapes.
Double Round Prongs
Double round prongs consist of paired round prongs. Double round prongs offer excellent protection and security, and they’re a popular choice for emerald cut, cushion cut, and oval shaped diamonds.
Choosing Your Number of Prongs
Prong settings can feature any number of prongs. Most commonly, a prong setting will feature either four prongs, six prongs, three prongs, or eight prongs (though four prong settings are easily the most common out of these options). More prongs will provide more security for your center diamond or gemstone, but will also cover up more of it. When choosing how many prongs you’d like for your engagement ring’s center stone, consider the level of security you want, how much of your gemstone you want exposed, and of course how you feel about the aesthetics of each option.
We hope this guide has been helpful as you decide on your ideal engagement ring prong style. If you have any additional questions about prongs that aren’t answered in this guide, please feel free to reach out to us. We’d love to share our knowledge with you and help you settle on the perfect prongs for your gemstone or diamond engagement ring. You can get in touch with a Bridal Rings jeweler by messaging us through our website. You can also speak with one of our friendly team members when you stop into the store.
Interested in seeing different prongs styles in action? Browse our selection of solitaire engagement rings to see some excellent examples of your prong options, including a wide variety of 4 prong and 6 prong styles.