Basket Setting vs Prong Setting for Engagement Rings

Basket Setting vs Prong Setting for Engagement Rings

The diamond or gemstone of an engagement ring is undoubtedly the start of the show - however, the setting that will hold it in place can also affect how well it is presented and featured within the ring. Not to mention - the setting will go a long way in ensuring that the stone is secure and safe. So, what are your setting options?

As Australia’s leading jewellers, we’re here to help you understand the importance and unique differences between two of the most common engagement ring settings — the basket setting and the prong setting. 

What is a Basket Setting?

A basket setting is a variation of the prong setting that involves a weaving or wrapping pattern around the base of the prongs for greater stability. The result is a ‘basket-shaped’ space for the gemstone to sit in, while being held securely in place with the prongs at the top of its sides.

Pros of a Basket Setting

Secure holding ability – Basket settings allow the gemstone to fit snugly into the ring and contain as few gaps as possible, minimising the chances of it coming loose and falling out of the ring (yes, it happens!). 

Greater durability – The horizontal wrapping of the basket setting strengthens the structural composition of the ring, giving it a greater durability to deformations or dents that may occur from accidental hits or drops. 

Lower risk of damage – Basket settings are often set lower to the finger than compared to other types of settings, reducing the risk of exposure of the gemstone and the ring to knocks and bumps that will damage it. 

Cons of a Basket Setting

Potentially less sparkle – With more ring material wrapped around the stone, a basket setting reduces the available angles that the ring can receive and reflect light from. This may potentially reduce the level of shine and sparkle of the gemstone. 

Difficult to clean – With more obstruction and a more complex setting structure, the basket setting can be slightly more difficult to clean as dirt and debris can get lodged in more areas around the ring, requiring extra care and attention during maintenance.

What is a Prong Setting?

A prong setting is one of the most commonly seen types of ring setting, consisting of multiple prongs that come up from around the base of the stone and hold it in place at the top. There are usually four prongs for most ring settings, but more may be used for bigger stones. The prongs hold the gemstone in an elevated position and are set up at equal distance from one another for optimal security. 

Pros of a Prong Setting

Better sparkle – The relatively minimalist design of prong settings provides ample opportunity for light to pass through and be reflected by the gemstone, giving it a better sparkle as a result.

Easier to clean Due to the hollowed-out nature of the prong setting, there are less places for dirt to collect in, making it easier to clean. Moreover, this design feature also promotes better hygiene by reducing the likelihood of bacterial growth in hard-to-reach areas.

Cons of a Prong Setting

Prone to damage – Although its minimalistic design allows light to permeate freely, a prong setting also renders it more vulnerable to damage. With the gemstone becoming more exposed to both the elements and contact surfaces, having this setting can make the gemstone more prone to damage. 

Higher chance of tangles – The prong setting also places the gemstone in an elevated position, which increases the chance of it getting caught on fabric or even hair. In some cases, the result of the tangle causes a prong to be bent out of shape, and compromise the security of the gemstone.

Which is Best for an Engagement Ring?

It’s not wrong to say that the choice between a basket and a prong setting will come down to personal preference — after all, they offer vastly different ways of presenting the chosen gemstone. Even with the same gemstone or diamond, the basket offers a more traditional and vintage look, while the prong setting provides a classic and timeless appearance. 

However, there are real practical reasons for picking one over the other. Our professional recommendation would be to go for a basket setting for the added security and higher durability it offers. That being said, the prong setting is still a perfectly reasonable choice for an engagement ring.

In general, if your partner frequently moves about or has an active lifestyle, it will make more sense to choose a lower-profile basket setting for the engagement ring. If sparkle is a concern, most rings will allow for the addition of smaller diamonds along the sides of the rings for added embellishment. If the idea is to focus on maximising the brightness of the diamond or gemstone, then the prong setting is the best option.

Whichever setting you choose, our team of expert jewellers at GS Diamonds can provide you with the best options to build a bespoke engagement ring for your significant other to say yes to. Browse our online store or come down to our diamond showrooms in Sydney and Melbourne to see them for yourself!

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