PRONG VS. BEZEL

Here's what you'll learn in this post:

  • What Does Prong Mean?
  • A. Tiffany Setting vs. Prong
  • What is a Bezel Setting?
  • Different Types of Bezels
  • Pros and Cons of a Prong Setting
  • Pros and Cons of a Bezel Setting
  • The Difference Between Prong And Bezel Setting


There are many different types of settings for engagement rings and other jewelry. Two of the most popular settings are the prong and bezel settings. But what's the difference between these two types of settings? This post will break down everything you need to know about prong vs. bezel settings, including how they're different, the pros and cons of each setting, and more.



What Does Prong Mean?


A diamond prong setting is the most frequent type of ring setting. A prong setting in jewelry means that a piece features metal prongs that grip the stone in its place like a claw, with equal distances between each prong.



Prong Setting Types:



A. Single Claw Types:


Single claw prongs have a progressive taper to a tiny point at the ends. They are the most popular and favored prong setting since they take up the least space on the stone's surface and hide the least amount of stone. They are delicate and almost dainty in appearance so that they don't overshadow the beauty of the stone. Round and oval stones work well with these prongs.


There are four, six, or eight prongs to pick from. More prongs will provide the diamond more protection but at the risk of concealing more of the diamond. Remember, though, that four prongs on a diamond give it a square appearance, while six prongs give it a round appearance.



B. Double Claw Prongs:


Double claw prongs are identical to single claw prongs, but they include two prongs close together for added protection. These are perfect for radiant, oval, emerald, and cushion-cut stones with sharp corners because double claw prongs protect these cuts from chipping and snagging.



C. V Prongs:


V prongs are V-shaped prongs used to protect the corners of princess cut, marquise, and pear-shaped stones. If not properly covered, these stones possess sharp corners that can easily be damaged and chipped.


On a marquise-shaped diamond, V prongs hold the points in place.



D. Square Prongs


Square prongs are squared off on the tips, as the name implies, and are ideal for safeguarding the angled edges of emerald cuts and cut cushion diamonds. In addition, they give prongs a more modern appearance. Square prongs also look fantastic in contemporary settings because of their clean angular shape.



E. Round Prongs


Round prongs have a ball-like end and are one of the most commonly used prongs. These prongs work nicely with round and oval center stones. You can choose from four, six, or even eight prong setups for additional security.


F. Double Round Prongs


Double round prongs are made up of two single round prongs close together to provide more protection and security for the stone. Oval, emerald, and cushion cut center stones look best with these prongs.



Number of Prongs:


Tiffany Setting vs. Prong


Prong settings come in various forms, such as the six-prong ring setting and Tiffany settings. A 6-prong setting holds a diamond in place better than a four-prong setting. If a prong in a four-prong setting falls off, the jewel in a center stone ring can fall out (and get lost). The center stone will remain firmly in place if a prong breaks in a six-prong ring setting. The Tiffany setting features six prongs, but it is a trademarked creation by Tiffany & Co., with distinctively shaped prongs. It is also common to see an eight-prong setting.


An eight-prong setting is exceptionally secure and accentuates the roundness of a center stone ring. Although this type of stone setting is an excellent choice for large diamond rings, the large number of prongs in this setting is unnecessary for most items such as earrings.



What is a Bezel Setting?


A bezel setting is a type of jewelry setting in which a metal frame or bezel encircles a gem or diamond for protection. The bezel is attached to the jewelry piece, such as a ring or necklace. Bezel settings are useful for diamonds and other gems with a pointed shape, as the bezel can help protect the gem from chipping or breaking. They are also popular for use with large gems, as the bezel can help hold the gem in place and reduce the likelihood of it falling out of the setting.



Different Types of Bezels:


There are two main types of bezel settings. In a full bezel setting, the metal surrounds the stone, which provides a firm, protective grip. The center stone sits flush within a thin metal rim in a full bezel setting.


Next, the central stone exposes its sides with a partial bezel setting. This unique design reveals more of the stone, leaving exposed portions prone to harm.



Pros and Cons of a Prong Setting:


PROS:


  • The chosen prong setting determines the ultimate look of a diamond stone. A thin prong setting shows as much of the stone as possible. The tiny prongs hide virtually nothing and allow the most light to enter and exit the stone.


  • This setting type displays more brilliance and fire than the typical bezel setting. Also, the prong setting raises the stone above the shoulders of the ring, giving it an "elevated" look.


  • A diamond prong setting is suited for most stone cuts, although some with well-defined corners such as square, emerald, or Asscher aren't often paired with prongs.


  • The prong setting is also simple to maintain. There are far fewer areas where dirt and grime can seep into, and they are easier to remove if they do. Hence, the brilliance of a shiny stone is easily maintained.


  • Prong settings are ageless; the popularity of the prong setting is mainly due to how much of the diamond is visible.


  • Prong settings, in general, are much less dated, less flashy, and therefore more versatile.


CONS:


  • Despite its popularity, the prong setting's design leaves the stone vulnerable to damage. More of the diamond is exposed to impact, requiring greater attention to avoid chipping.


  • Fabric poses a genuine threat to a prong setting since caught clothing can loosen the prongs and cause harm. When wearing a prong set ring, be cautious because stones might fall without you realizing it until it's too late.


  • Everyday wear causes a prong-set ring's grip to loosen. Loose prongs are not always apparent until it's too late, at which point you lose a diamond. Losing a diamond is a concern when purchasing prong settings with tiny stones, such as half-carat diamonds, because these smaller stones are easily lost. The same is true for stones set in older prong settings that have worn down over time.



Pros and Cons of a Bezel Setting:

 

PROS:


  • What is a bezel for? The metal ring surrounding the diamond stone in a bezel set ring ensures that it is exceptionally safe from harm. If a bezel set stone suffers an impact, the ring is far more likely to take most of the blow and leave the diamond stone undamaged.


  • A bezel setting suits most stone cuts such as round, diamond, heart-shaped, etc.


  • A bezel ring is very secure, as it is the most solid of all setting types. Because the setting in a bezel ring is generally above its girdle, the bezel set stone is secure at all times and unlikely to fall out of its setting.


  • A bezel-set ring features a highly modern and elegant design. Bezel settings are generally found in low-sitting rings (also known as low-profile rings) and are also currently very popular to use with colored diamonds.



CONS:


  • One of the most common drawbacks of a bezel setting is that it may make your centered diamond appear smaller than it is because the stone is wrapped along the edges by a metal sheath. If having a big diamond is important to you, this is not the ideal option.


  • In a bezel set diamond ring, the percentage of the diamond below the bezel line means less light reflects back to the viewer. The resulting look is a less brilliant stone with a small, less striking appearance.


  • A bezel-set diamond ring is generally somewhat bulkier than a prong set ring. There's a definite loss of sleekness.


  • One thing to note about cleaning: While bezel-set rings have fewer nooks and cracks than other engagement ring settings, it becomes difficult to clean if dirt gets between the metal and diamond. If you choose a bezel setting, keep in mind that dust will accumulate over time and dull the sparkle of your shiny stone (but a soft bristle toothbrush will be able to handle it).



The Difference Between Prong and Bezel Settings


1. Appearance
There's a big difference between prong and bezel settings in appearance. Prongs are the more traditional option – they're tall, thin pieces of metal that rise up from the top of the ring and curve around the diamond. A prong setting exposes more of the diamond, making it appear larger.


On the other hand, Bezel settings have a metal rim that goes around the edge of the stone and extends up to meet the band, giving the impression of a floating diamond.


2. Brillance
Prongs are a popular choice for securing stones because they allow the most light to pass through, creating a dazzling display; however, they can also be more vulnerable to damage.


Bezels are less brilliant but create a more solid setting that is less likely to be damaged.


3. Security
Bezel settings are often more secure than prong settings, as the bezel helps hold the gem in place. Prong settings can sometimes allow gems to fall out, especially if they are not properly secured or if the prongs become damaged.


Bezels can also help protect gems from chipping or breaking, so they are useful for diamonds and other pointed gems.


4. Cleaning
With a prong setting, the diamond is held in place by metal claws that extend out from the base of the setting. This style makes it easy to adjust the diamond's position and clean it. However, prongs can also be easily damaged, catching on to things.
A bezel setting surrounds the diamond with a metal band. This style is very secure and difficult to damage. However, it can be challenging to clean around the diamond, and a bezel can hide the diamond's brilliance.


5. Popularity
When it comes to popularity, prong-set engagement rings are much more popular than bezel set engagement ring settings. In fact, according to a recent survey, over 60% of women said they would prefer a prong-set engagement ring.


There are a few reasons for this. First, prong-set engagement rings tend to show off the diamond more. The diamond is the star of the show in an engagement ring, so it makes sense that women would want a setting that showcases it.


Second, handmade prong-set engagement rings tend to be more affordable than bezel set engagement rings. This affordability is because the setting itself is less expensive to produce.


6. Ease of Wear

Bezel settings can be more comfortable to wear than prong settings, as there are no sharp edges. Bezels can also help prevent gems from snagging on clothing or getting caught on hair.



Wrapping Up


Both prong and bezel settings have their own unique pros and cons, so it ultimately comes down to personal preference. If you're looking for a more durable setting to protect your diamond from chips and scratches, go for a bezel setting. However, if you want a more classic look with dazzling brilliance, the prong setting is better. Whichever setting you choose, consider how everyday wear will affect it and be cautious of loose prongs that can easily go unnoticed.