What Could Go Prong? Choosing a Solitaire Setting
By Ashley Bailey , Wednesday, September 08, 2010
Although solitaire engagement rings
seem and look simple at first glance, there are a few important details that have an important impact on the look and style of your ring. The simplest, most popular setting for a solitaire diamond is a prong setting, in which small bands of metal connect the diamond to the ring band. However, many prong styles exist, and it is important to choose the style that best fits your taste and lifestyle.
A four-prong solitaire setting allows the greatest possible area of the diamond to be visible, making a well-cut diamond stand out on its own. It is important to ensure that the four prongs are strong enough to hold the diamond securely, and that the prongs are spaced properly around the stone. In addition to solitaire settings, four-prong settings are often used to secure the center stone in more intricate rings.
A number of variations exist:
A variation of the classic four-prong solitaire setting, the w-prong ring crosses the prongs over each other, creating a delicate basket that enhances the style of your ring while subtly providing extra security for the stone. W-prong rings work well with round and princess-cut stones.
In the u-prong solitaire setting, two metal bands swoop around the center diamond, each forming two of the prongs that hold the diamond in the ring. The dip in the middle forms a perfect frame for showing off the pavilion, or the bottom end of the diamond.
An elegant version of the classic four-prong solitaire, the x shape is achieved by overlapping the prongs. This simple adaptation keeps the center stone secure.
A secure and classic solitaire setting, the six-prong setting utilizes six evenly-spaced prongs that enhance the appearance of a round brilliant-cut diamond. The most famous example of a six-prong setting is the Tiffany-style setting, which is said to create the illusion that the diamond is floating. In the hundred years since this style was introduced, many variations of the style have been created, but the classic Tiffany-style solitaire setting is still the queen.
Eight and Ten Prong Rings
Currently, it is quite rare to find an eight or ten-prong ring available. Many jewelers find that a well-cut diamond is not necessarily enhanced by the addition of more than six prongs, so solitaire settings with eight or more prongs are more commonly found on antique or vintage jewelry. An eight prong solitaire setting can form the shape of a crown, adding a unique touch to a simple solitaire setting.
Double Claw Prong Rings
By taking the classic four-prong ring and splitting each prong into smaller pieces that grip the stone like claws, jewelers created the double claw ring, which has an elegant look and secure hold for more unusual diamond shapes. The two prongs set closely together do not detract from the overall appearance of the stone, while offering better security for diamond shapes such as cushion cuts, emerald cuts, and princess cuts.
Hand Over Hand Setting
This style uses double claws that arch over each other to create a unique visual presentation of a simple solitaire setting.
Unusually-shaped diamond cuts such as emerald, princess, marquise and heart-shaped diamonds require extra care to ensure that the delicate edges and corners do not get chipped. V-prongs are usually attached to those edges to show off the diamond while ensuring its safety.
Fishtail Prong Rings
More often found on vintage or antique-style jewelry, the fishtail prong solitaire setting creates the illusion of corners on a round stone. This was more popular before true princess cut stones became accessible to the diamond market, but it is still a unique way to create variety in a solitaire setting and to subtly give the illusion of a larger stone.
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