how to clean jewelry gold and diamonds
Choosing the right type of setting for your solitaire diamond engagement ring is important and should not be taken taken lightly.
One of these settings is the claw or also called the prong setting and is probably the most popular of all the different types for your engagement ring.
The diamond is inserted between a number of prongs anywhere between three to sixteen depending on the design of the ring or the size of the diamond on hand. The prongs are then bent over the diamonds girdle coming to rest on the table. The diamond is placed in its ‘basket’ so to speak held down by the bent claws and it is the way they are positioned which will determine the strength and beauty of the setting.
The setter used is of the utmost importance as their dexterity can vary enormously and can make all the difference between the loss and retention of the diamond within its basket.
This element of dexterity and experience will determine the finish of the claw itself, its size, shape and placement along the girdle of the diamond and should be taken very seriously as it does happen that the setter, due to a mistake, damages the diamond, hiding his mistake behind the claw itself.
The size of the claw or prong is also important as it can be too big and will deter the eye from the beauty of the diamond. Also claws are prone to catch or snag on items of clothing if they are poorly finished, again something very important as they can, if they catch, be pulled apart and the diamond will then become loose with chances of it actually falling out of its basket.
This is one of the main reasons why it is always best to go for a minimum of 6 claws or prongs for diamonds around the 1ct size, the smaller ones can be set with three or four if required.
Are prong settings any better than others? Well the diamond will refract light better as light can enter it on all sides. Also the diamond will be easy to clean as the bristles of a toothbrush can easily reach all parts of the diamond within the open basket.
On the other hand prongs can snag clothing and the diamond, as it is not fully protected, can be damaged if knocked on part of the exposed unprotected girdle.
Basically, if one puts these pros and cons to one side it is a matter of personal taste as to what should be chosen. What is most important, however, is the quality of work offered by the setter himself as this should determine what you select in the end. If you purchase your ring from a mass market high street multiple or their online equivalent, you will find that they use the cheapest type of labour which is also the least experienced so the risk is greater and should be noted.
A very good compromise is an experienced setter specialised in individually hand crafted rings delivering quality work.