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The Aurora

Featured: The Aurora

An amazing proposal is all about getting the little details right — as is an amazing engagement ring. From the shanks that form the ring’s body to the finish that establishes its look, there’s a lot going on in one ring! Among the most important pieces that don’t always get their due are the prongs: the tiny metal structures that hold the ring’s stones in place in many ring settings. 

Prongs don’t just help keep your stones safe and sound, though. In fact, they’re a significant part of the ring’s look! If you’re choosing an engagement ring, it pays to know a little bit about prongs so you can decide whether a prong setting is right for you — as well as which of the many types of prongs you like best. 

What Are Prongs? 

Prongs are one type of stone setting for an engagement ring. If your engagement ring includes a large center stone, as most do, there’s a good chance that prongs are holding it in place. Even in rings that have many smaller accent stones, the setting might still use prongs to hold the accent stones and shape them into a pleasing design. 

A pronged setting is definitely a classic look, but it’s also versatile enough that you don’t have to go totally traditional. With numerous different styles of prong settings available, you’ll be able to choose almost any look you want while keeping a bit of traditional elegance. Most prongs are also relatively easy to clean with standard ring care techniques

Not every ring with stones uses prongs. Rings with a lot of smaller stones often use other types of settings, such as channel or bezel settings. Even some rings with a center stone don’t use prongs, as you’ll see in the many halo engagement rings in our collection. Some pronged styles also reinforce their hold with a basket setting, which uses a combination of tiny notches in each prong and a crossbar to keep the stone firmly in place. 

Compare Basket Settings vs. Prong Settings in Detail

The Styles of Ring Prongs

Here’s a quick overview of the most common styles of prong settings. While other variations exist, these are the big ones you’ll find in our jewelry collections:

The Kira

Featured: The Kira

1. Claw Prongs

This classic prong setting style isn’t as spooky as it sounds! A claw setting uses slim, pointed prongs that draw the eye inward to the brilliance of the stone. It’s a great choice for solitaire settings where you want to put a gorgeous stone front and center. Claw prong settings can also complement a variety of different stone shapes and they look especially stunning on pear shaped engagement rings such as the Kira (shown above).

The Alexandria

Featured: The Alexandria

2. Round Prongs

Another common option is the round prong style, which is exactly what it sounds like. These prongs have rounded tips that give the setting a softer look. Round prongs also make an excellent complement to more angular stones, such as the radiant cut center stone of the Alexandria. 

The Star Light

Featured: The Star Light

3. Tab Prongs

The tab prong design squares off the end of each prong for an appealingly contemporary look. We use tab prongs for many of our ring models that combine modern and vintage features, such as the Star Light. This style of prong is excellent for a tastefully minimal look. They provide a firm grip on the center stone, while leaving no doubt that the stone itself is the star of the show. 

The Eternity - Gold

Featured: The Eternity - Gold

4. Pavé Settings (Microprongs)

A pavé setting (pah-VAY) is different from the other prong types in that it’s used to set many smaller stones instead of a single large one. In fact, it’s one of the most common multi-stone settings, and you’ll find it in everything from engagement rings to eternity bands (such as the Eternity, above). 

The basic design of most pavé settings uses numerous tiny prongs to set multiple accent stones into a ring’s shank. The result is a ring that resembles a street paved with cobblestones — the source of the setting’s name! If you want a ring with plenty of sparkle and an attractively structured look, pavé is an excellent choice.

Discover the Anatomy of a Ring

Looking for a specific style of ring prongs, or just a beautiful ring in any style? Start by browsing our collection of affordable engagement rings, with a huge variety of designs and finishes to suit any taste!