Pure and Secure – The Strength and Beauty of Platinum Prongs
They may be the tiniest elements of a ring’s design, but they are arguably the most important. We’re talking, of course, about prongs—the smallest components of an engagement ring that hold the center diamond or gemstone in place. If yours are made from platinum, chances are greatly reduced that the diamond they embrace will be lost. And that’s the reason why platinum prongs are considered de rigueur when it comes to a diamond’s setting.
Although more delicate than inset rings, prong settings are the industry standard for diamonds and other important gemstones since they allow more light to flow around the stone, adding to its brilliance. Eternally durable, platinum prongs will grip and secure a diamond as no other metal. Many high-quality engagement rings made from gold will use platinum prongs to lessen the risk of loss.
Because of the nature of the metal itself, platinum wears especially well. Its superior ductility and malleability lends itself to a variety of jewelry making methods, including casting and hand fabrication. One of the most amazing things that differentiates platinum from gold is the fact that it “work hardens”- the metal actually strengthens the more the jeweler works with it. It also has no “memory”, meaning that platinum prongs will stay wherever you place them, helping them to secure diamonds and gemstones. Gold does have memory and when a gold prong is bent or moved, its tendency is to go back to where it was. This can weaken prongs and make them more vulnerable to breaking. Unlike platinum, every time gold is nicked or scratched, small bits of the metal are worn away, increasing the chances of metal loss.
Most engagement ring customers purchase the two components of the ring – setting and the diamond – separately, so it’s important to work with a trusted jeweler who can properly set the stone in the semi-mount and size the ring accordingly. A well-finished prong-set engagement ring has a firmly attached diamond and will not catch on fabric or clothing.
Still, all prongs should be examined regularly to make certain your diamond is secure—nothing can strike fear into the heart of a woman than a diamond that wobbles in its setting. Since many gold engagement rings have white prongs, it’s important to ask your jeweler to verify those made in platinum from those in alloyed gold.
Perhaps best of all, jewelry design has evolved in so many lovely ways that prongs are much less an afterthought than an intrinsic part of the ring’s overall design. We give a nod today to the classic Tiffany setting and honor some spectacular new prong settings that go above and beyond the call of duty.