Engagement Ring Prongs Explained

Engagement ring prongs play an important role not only in making sure a center stone is as secure as possible, but they also affect the overall look of the ring. Prongs seem like a simple technical part, but suprisingly prongs go through trend cycles as well. For example in the 90s and early 2000s, angular thick prongs with a masculine aesthetic were in style, but current trends show a perference for a pointier claw like prong which gives off a more delicate, feminine feel. Let’s explore prongs in more detail to help you understand which prong style works best for your center stone shape.

What is a Prong?

A prong is essentially a small piece of metal responsible for holding your center stone in place, and is part of what is called the head of the ring. The prong has a groove into which the girdle of the diamond is set, effectively keeping the center stone securely in place. It is important to choose prongs that are thick enough for the utmost security. Though delicate, thin prongs show the most stone surface it is best to go with prongs that will actually keep your stone securely in its setting.

When a stone is set correctly in a prong there should be no space between the girdle and the groove.

The Pros of Using Prongs

  1. Prongs best highlight the brilliance and fire of a diamond.
  2. The setting process is easy, uses less metal and is cheapest in cost.
  3. They are flexible for setting the diamonds in a certain range of size variation.
  4. They are simple and can fit different diamond shapes.
  5. They have a classic and timeless look.
  6. They are easy to clean.

The Cons

  1. Depending on the prong type, some prongs may easily snag on clothes, towels or hair.
  2. The girdle of the diamond is more exposed with less protection.
  3. The diamond may become loose if the prongs are worn or deformed.

TYPES OF PRONGS

Single Claw Prongs are prongs that gradually taper off to a narrow point on the ends. This type of prong is commonly used and preferred, as it takes up the least amount of space on the surface of the stone so that the least amount of stone is hidden. They are elegant and have an almost dainty appearance to not overwhelm the beauty of the stone. These prongs work best with round and oval stones. You can choose from 4, 6 or 8 prongs. More prongs will offer more security to the diamond however at a cost of covering up more of the stone. However also keep in mind that 4 prongs on a diamond give it a more square-ish look while six prongs give it a more rounded look.

An Oval Diamond Secured by Single Claw Prongs
A Round Center Stone With a 4-Prong Setting
Style: ER1468C3R4W44JJ
An Oval Center Stone in an 8-Prong Setting
Style: ER14432O4W44JJ

Double Claw Prongs are similar to the single claw prongs but two prongs sit closely next to each other for extra protection. These are best used in radiant, oval, emerald cut and cushion cut stones where it’s important to protect the corners from chipping and snagging.

Double Claw Prong on a Cushion Cut Diamond
A Cushion Cut Center Stone in a Double-Prong Setting
Style: ER13904C4W44JJ
An Emerald Cut Stone in a Double-Prong Setting
Style: ER14662E4W44JJ

V Prongs are shaped like a V and are used to protect the corners of stones such as a princess cut, marquise and pear shapes. These shapes have sharp corners which can easily be damaged and chipped if they are not protected well.

V Prongs Secure a Princess-Cut Diamond
Style: ER6711M4W44JJ
V Prongs Secure the Points on a Marquise-Shaped Diamond
Style: R14918P4W44JJ
A V Prong Secures the Point of the Pear-Shape

Square Prongs, just as the name implies are squared off on the tips and are great for protecting the angled edges of emerald cuts and cushion cut diamonds. They give a more contemporary look to the ring. Modern settings also look great with these types of prongs as they have a clean angular appearance.

Square Prongs Secure An Emerald-Cut Diamond

Round Prongs look like a ball at the end and are one of the most common prongs in use. Round and oval center stones work best with these prongs. You have an option of choosing between 4, 6 and even 8 prong settings for extra security.

Single Round Prongs Secure a Round Diamond

Double Round Prongs use two of the single round prongs set closely next to each other to give extra protection and security to the stone. These prongs work best with oval, emerald cut and cushion cut center stones.

Double Round Prongs Secure A Cushion-Cut Diamond.

Prongs may seem like a minor detail compared to the center stone and semi mounting, but in fact they do have a most important job, and that is keeping your center stone safe and secure.   Prongs should never be wobbly or make a rattling noise with movement and the table of the diamond should sit flush with the ends of the prongs.   It is important that the prongs are the proper length as prongs that are too short or too long can both become easily damaged.

At Gabriel, we value quality above all else and our standards are among the highest in the industry.  Shopping for an engagement ring may seem overwhelming and an overabundance of information may bring confusion and anxiety to even the most educated consumer.  We are here to guide you through the process every step of the way. Browse our extensive collection of prong set engagement rings and contact our customer service team any time to answer any questions you may have.  We wish you a seamless experience in your engagement ring shopping journey!