When you are buying a piece of jewelry – or even having some jewelry made to suit your own specifications, you might find yourself on the horns of a dilemma when it comes to choosing how many prongs your diamond setting should have. Which do you choose, security or beauty? Is there any way to have both? Let us take a look.
As it sounds, a four-prong setting is one where four claws or little arms stretch out from the diamond mounting, curving around and holding the diamond in place.
With only four prongs, your diamond will be shown in its best light, literally. The less clutter there is around the diamond, the better your diamond will shine and sparkle.
A four-prong setting can look squarish which makes it an ideal setting to opt for your stone is cut into a squared shape, such as a princess cut, an Asscher cut and even an emerald cut, enhancing the geometry of the stone and not compromising the light that gives diamonds their beauty.
A four-prong setting is ideal for smaller stones, being easily sturdy enough to enclose a small stone and hold it securely, even in a ring, which takes a fair amount of daily abuse, from being worn on a busy hand as you work, cook and nurture your family.
However, four-prong settings do come with a downside. If just one prong breaks, the risk of you losing the stone, possibly permanently, becomes exponentially higher – and that is a terrible blow to, for example, a young, engaged couple trying to save up enough money to buy a house or just go away on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday together.
So much for the four-prong setting. Let us now look at the six-prong offering.
Once again, as it sounds, the piece of jewelry has been fashioned so as to leave six, evenly spaced arms around the piece, which can all be curved around the stone to hold it firmly in place.
Ideal for bigger, heavier stones as six arms each support more weight. This can also mean that your overall piece of jewelry has to be a little heavier and sturdier to support and show off the beautiful diamonds that you are sporting – but that is not usually a problem! Few people complain that their diamond is too big!
Six prongs can withstand a little more abuse than four, and if one prong breaks it is actually unlikely to have a huge impact on the security of the stone. (Of course, get it sorted as soon as you can, but it can be reassuring to know that your precious stones are not in imminent danger of slipping out of sight!
Six-prong designs are more suited to round or oval stones (such as round brilliant, oval, or cushion cut) as the six prongs can be evenly dispersed around the stone giving it an evenly balanced air.
Six prongs can make the stone look busy or even as though it has been imprisoned behind those metal arms! For smaller stones, especially, it can be overkill, and will actually dampen the shine of the diamond, which is not an ideal result at all.
Whether you are opting for four sturdy prongs or six lightweight prongs – or any combination thereof! – the end result depends almost entirely on the jeweler’s skills. Try not to make your choice before you have seen the offering by each jeweler – some of them, you might well be prepared to queue for, as long as you can do so in safety!
If you are getting custom pieces made, make sure you think the whole process through, opting for as many prongs as your chosen diamond requires. You can compare diamonds to get the best stones for a good price with a judicial eye and the knack for finding a bargain! Just make sure your jewelry will hold onto your precious diamonds, by investing into them the best metals that money can buy.