When you make a visit to a jeweler, there’s lots to learn about gemstone value, maintenance and care, and more. Here’s some insight into settings.

A prong setting, also called a claw setting, is the component that keeps the stone in place. It acts as a claw-like grip, using at least three extensions that start at the bottom of the piece and reach around to firmly grasp the gemstone.jewelry-101-1

One of the most commonly used jewelry settings, the prong setting is regularly seen in the solitaire design (a thin ban used with one gemstone). A prong setting is referred to as a head when the setting itself is separately cast from the rest of the ring and then put together later on.

One benefit of a separate head is that it allows people to mix the colors of gold. For example, a separately cast head allows the use of a yellow gold ring and a white gold prong head. White gold heads show off diamonds that are in the colorless and near colorless range better than yellow gold heads. Another benefit is that you can choose between 4 or 6 prong heads depending on the design.jewelry-101-2

Rings such as the one above have the prongs cast in place. The placement of the prongs is an integral part of the design and cannot be altered. This is also a very popular design.