For maximum impact and pure brilliance, the prong setting is the ideal choice for engagement rings. As the most popular ring setting, this classic jewelry style subtly elevates diamonds and other precious jewels so that light can pass through them for a dazzling sparkle.
A relatively simple concept, the prong is made from metal like gold or platinum and holds stones in place from underneath by gripping around them, usually in three, four, five or six places. For a secure hold in the prong setting, more prongs are recommended but it’s wise to note that this will reduce the light around the jewel, meaning you’ll see slightly less of it. Depending on the design of the piece of jewelry, prongs can be rounded, flat or pointed (also known as eagle). In some cases, mainly when setting angular gemstones, the prongs can be shaped like a letter “V or “L.”
Stunningly beautiful, the elegant cathedral setting takes its inspiration from the high arches and beams that make ceilings inside ancient and modern cathedrals so awe-inspiring. With graceful arches of gold and platinum, the center stone of the ring is elevated to dramatic heights, allowing maximum light to flow around and through it, resulting in a sensational shine and sparkle that reflects off the metalwork. It also ensures that your diamond, sapphire or other precious gemstone has a magical impact because by raising it off the shank, the size of the stone is dramatically enhanced.
The spectacular cathedral base is then finished with either a bezel or prong setting, allowing for the design to dictate which suits the stone best. In many cases, a cathedral setting is ideal for giving a bigger presence to smaller stones or for reinforcing the quality and splendor of larger stones.
Often used in today’s contemporary styles, bezel settings hold stones in place by encasing them seamlessly with a piece of metal like gold or platinum. A popular choice with active brides-to-be, bezel settings offer a slightly more secure grip on diamonds, sapphires, rubies and emeralds than classic prong settings.
A bezel setting will ensure your engagement ring doesn’t catch on clothing and protects it from accidental damage thanks to its secure fitting. Rather than holding gemstones in prongs, a full bezel setting is a thin metal rim, custom-cast to hold the stone securely in place and completely surrounding the edge of the stone, so that it also offers a totally different, modern aesthetic to the more traditional prong setting.
Half bezel settings also look particularly attractive on long rectangular or square cut stones because this setting leaves two sides open, allowing for added sparkle and light on your treasured center gemstone.