Gem settings are used to emphasize the beauty of a particular gem. There are many types of gem settings, including the prong setting. The Prong setting is the most common type of gem setting. Like all gem settings, there are some good points and bad points to the prong setting. These pros and cons of a prong setting can be used to show how a prong setting may or may not be the best choice for mounting a gemstone. The prong setting is also known as the claw setting, because a metal claw holds the gemstone. The claws of the prong setting are bent over the edge to give the gemstone extra support and security.
The first pro of the prong setting is that as the claw occupies small places, most of the gemstone will be visible, exposing its full beauty. The prong setting is also a faster methodology and can accommodate any size and shape gemstone. Six prongs or four prong settings are also available to help maximize support. The four or six prong metal claws reach around the girdle(side) of the gemstone and arch over its crown (top) holding the stone in place. Visible prong ends are rounded, but they may be shaped into ovals, points, V-shapes, left flat, or many may be formed into decorative shapes. The setting can be tall, perching the diamond above the ring’s band, or it can be short resting closer to the wearer’s finger.
A prong setting is the cheapest setting, and is convenient for maintaining and cleaning purposes. For the jeweler the prong setting is also the one of the easiest methods of setting a gemstone. Another advantage of the prong setting is that it allows an optimal amount of light to pass through the stone. Gemstones that are set in prongs are also easier for the owner to clean and maintain. The prong setting may offer many advantages, but there are some disadvantages to the prong setting. The major disadvantage of the setting is that the claws have the tendency to latch onto clothing especially woolen types.
The thin, flat claws may also have the possibility of breaking, which can pose a great risk to the precious gemstone. Large claws will also reduce the shine of the gemstone. Owners should check the setting to be sure that the stone is tightly fit underneath the claws at an even height and that the edges of the claws are not broken. The claws of the prong setting should also reach properly inside the stone, instead of just fitting to the edges. It is also advisable to ensure that claws are small enough to allow the gemstone to touch the owner’s skin directly. Prong settings can also grow weak especially if gold is used for the setting, so they must be checked on a yearly basis.
The annual check of the prong setting will ensure that the gemstone does not come loose. In a prong setting, the girdle area of the gemstone is not covered, so the claws may offer less protection for the diamond than other enclosed settings. Prongs may also scratch are puncture delicate skin, so people with children may reconsider getting a prong setting that is tall or narrow. Although some prong settings may become weak, they are able to be repaired. Jewelers may offer recommendations on which prong settings are the most durable, and may offer recommendations for repairs for broken prongs. Although, the prong setting is the most popular, is not the best option for all gemstone lovers. Some gemstone lovers may consider other options, such as an invisible, channel, pave, or bezel setting.
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