Prong setting refers to the use of metal projections or tines, called prongs, to secure a gemstone to a piece of jewelry. A prong setting is one component of what is known in the jewelry business as a head, a claw-shaped type of binding (typically 3, 4, or 6 individual prongs per head) that is welded or soldered to a jewelry item in order to mount (or set) a gemstone to the jewelry item. The head can be handmade, cast or die struck, and it is made from some type of precious metal, such as gold, silver and platinum.
Heads used to prong set a gemstone come in a variety of sizes and shapes, depending on the shape of the gemstone, the size of the gemstone, or whether or not the gemstone is faceted or cabochon shaped. Common shapes of heads used in stone setting include round, oval, emerald cut, princess cut, marquise cut, pear shaped and trillian cut.
Overtime, prongs may get worn out or become loose. Getting your ring check regularly is a good idea to prevent any accidental lost of your mounted gemstone. Some effective ways include using a 10X loupe to check for gaps between prongs and gemstone, listening for sounds made by loose gemstone and taking it to a professional jeweler once every 6 months for checks.
- Paul, Gian. "How to Check For Loose Diamond Prongs". OnlineDiamondBuyingGuide.com. Retrieved 26 June 2013.