If you’ve decided to buy a diamond in a solitaire setting, there is an important aspect to take into consideration: four prong or six prong solitaire. You may think prongs can’t play a crucial role in showcasing your diamond. In fact, it’s important not only for showcasing but also for protecting your diamond from damage and loss.
Don’t forget that in a solitaire diamond ring, the diamond is the star of the show and has the power to make the ring impressive. So if you like solitaire, take the time to choose the right diamond and the setting and style of the ring itself.
Prongs can be characterized as small wires that bind the stone and ensure the diamond is safely held in its place.
Choosing a Four Prong Solitaire
There is a myth about four prong solitaire, according to which this setting allows more light to enter the diamond, thus making the stone sparkle. In fact, a diamond’s sparkle has to do with its cut and not the number of prongs. Interestingly, about half of women consider a four prong solitaire as the best choice.
- The diamond is covered with less metal and becomes the star of the show. Less metal allows for more light to enter the diamond and makes a well-cut diamond showcase its beauty.
- A diamond gets a more “squarish” look, thus becoming a fine choice for princess cut, cushion cut, and other diamonds that are square or rectangular.
- Prongs can make smaller diamonds that are less than a half carat look even smaller, so if you choose a four prong setting, you won’t have this problem as there won’t be any additional metal prongs that will look overwhelming.
- Four prongs make it easy to clean your diamond.
- A diamond isn’t held as securely in place as with six prongs.
- Four prongs offer less protection for the girdle as compared to six prongs.
- Since there is more space between the prongs, some dirt may be accumulated.
It’s important to note that the orientation of the prongs has its special impact on the overall look of the ring. Traditionally, a 4 prong setting is about placing prongs at the 2, 4, 8, 10 o’clock positions, making the ring look square.
The prongs can also be set in a north-east-south-west (NESW) orientation. This is also known as a kite mounting and can be frequently found in settings with square cut diamonds.
If your diamond is round, the mentioned orientation will make it appear larger. Be aware that a kite mounting won’t let wedding band sit flush next to it.
Choosing a Six Prong Solitaire
The Tiffany six prong setting was introduced more than 125 years ago and features the iconic image of the engagement ring. Thanks to this look, diamond solitaire rings became widely used for engagements, and are still a preferred choice and style.
- A diamond is more securely held in place. If one of the prongs in a four prong setting breaks, the centre stone can easily fall out and get lost. If the same happens to a six prong setting, the other five prongs will keep the centre stone firmly in place.
- Your diamond’s girdle will be better protected;
- In a six prong setting, each of the prongs is generally lighter and thinner so to make the diamond be less covered with metal. Six evenly-spaced prongs on a round diamond give it a hexagonal shape. As a result, the diamond looks rounder and bigger.
- A diamond larger than one carat will look great in a six prong setting.
- The prongs may look overwhelming on a diamond smaller than a half a carat;
- More prongs will make less light reflected through the base of the diamond.
When deciding on a four or six prong solitaire, it all comes down to your personal preference and size of the diamond you’ve chosen. Also, selecting a four or six prong solitaire is about giving priority to safety or aesthetics.