Prong Setting & Diamond Solitaire Rings
The prong setting is the most common and traditional ring setting. The prongs from which it takes its name are little metal claws that are soldered or welded to the gemstone or other jewellery item in order to set the stone to the band. There are typically three, four or six individual prongs per gem. In the case of an engagement ring with a diamond, the prong setting allows more light to catch the stone and add to the visibility and brilliance of the ring.
Prongs can be V-shaped, flat, pointed or rounded. V-shaped prongs are particularly important for wrapping the sharp or pointed corners of the square or rectangular princess-cut diamond, for example. The fewer the prongs, then the more visible the stone is; this can be an important consideration if the stone is relatively small. Equally, though, the fewer prongs there are holding the stone, the less securely it is held. Because more of the stone is exposed, though, this setting makes cleaning easier.
The prongs can be high set or low set. Again, the higher the setting, the more visible the stone,but beware: this makes snagging on clothes, hair and gloves more likely. There is also the risk of scratching other people. If you have an active lifestyle or small children, it may be better to opt for a lower-set prong setting.
Another choice you have to make is the metal the prongs on your ring are to be made of. Yellow gold is not the best option as it is such a soft metal that it will need more frequent repair or replacement. It will also tend to colour the stone. Platinum is ideal, because of its durability and its silver-colour, which will not tint the diamond. Whichever option you choose, it is advisable to ask your jeweller to check the prongs from time to time, to ensure the stone is not becoming loose.
When the prong setting holds a single gemstone, such as the diamond in an engagement ring, it is known as a solitaire setting. This is the most advantageous setting for drawing the full attention of the viewer to the stone, with minimal distractions by the rest of the setting and band.