Ahh, the million dollar question…
People are always confused over this choice. They’re confused that they even get a choice.
4 prongs or 6 prongs for their round-cut engagement ring?
So if one of the choices is better than the other, then why offer a choice to begin with?
Why offer both 4 prong or 6 prong?
The problem is, there are good points and bad points to both.
And in my eyes, they pretty much balance each other out.
Let me show you…
4 prong heads:
When you look at a 4 prong head, the prongs grasp the outer edges of the diamond’s girdle and gently bend over the top of the crown holding the diamond down.
4 prongs, equally spaced apart tend to look like a box (see picture). They give a round diamond a more square appearance.
The prongs on a 4 prong head are generally thicker and heavier than the 6 prongs. Diamonds set in 4 prongs will often look bigger and brighter. You can see more of the table and crown of the diamond and it really makes a diamond pop with light.
So why even talk about 6 prong heads?
6 prong heads have 6 prongs that are a little bit thinner than 4 prong heads. That’s just because there are more of them and they all have to merge into the base.
6 prongs also cover up more of the diamond.
A lot more!
And if you have a small diamond, you may have a hard time seeing the diamond through all those prongs. 6 prongs block a lot of light from entering the diamond as well, and make it harder to clean underneath the stone.
So good golly, why would anyone think about 6 prongs?
For one very obvious reason…
6 prongs are more secure.
With 6 prongs, if you break a prong, pull a prong back or snap a prong off, you’ll still have 5 more prongs holding your diamond in the mounting.
With 4 prongs, most of the time if you break your prong off, your diamond could fall out of the mounting and get lost.
6 prongs makes a diamond look smaller and darker, but when viewed from above it does keep a round diamond looking round. Which is good!
But the biggest reason to still choose from 4 prongs or 6 is…
Peace of mind.
With the frantic pace of the World today, just having that little bit of extra security is worth its weight in gold!
And there’s still another huge reason to go with 6 prongs…
One of the jobs that prongs do, is not only hold your diamond in the mounting, but protect your diamond from chipping or breaking.
If you knock your diamond on the counter accidentally, chances are, you’ll hit the prongs and NOT the diamond!
6 prongs protect the girdle
So with 6 prongs, there is very little of the vulnerable outer edge of the diamond exposed. That outer edge, or the girdle, is the weakest part on the diamond. It’s the spot that always chips and breaks first. With 6 prongs, you’d have to be at just the right angle to get in between those prongs. So believe me, that Diamond is as secure as can be.
But then again…
What are you sacrificing?
You just spent tons of money on one of the prettiest diamonds available, it has awesome color and clarity, it may shine like there’s no end, but then what do you do? You slap gaudy prongs all over it, hiding it and making it look ugly! OUCH!
4 prongs let more light in. More light equals more sparkles that catch your eye. And with 4 prongs that diamond looks even bigger! WOW! 4 prongs look pretty inviting now don’t they? See, it’s a trade-off, beauty or protection?
Good and bad points…
Jewelers are faced with this decision everyday. But 4 prongs do look more appealing…
If you look at any jeweler’s rings that are mounted in the showcases, you’ll see that 90% of them are set with 4 prongs. Secure or not, 4 prongs just add more appeal to the diamond.
I mean, what do you want to look at for the rest of your life? Tons of metal, or your beautiful expensive diamond? I hate the idea of covering up a masterpiece… It seems like such a shame.
So this is what I recommend:
Go with a 4 prong head. It’s not as secure, but nothing in life is.
Take your ring in for routine cleaning and inspection, where the jeweler can check your prongs for wear and tear and any cracks, so you shouldn’t ever have to worry about harming or losing your diamond.
That’s not to say that it couldn’t happen, but I always say to people, you bought the ring to wear and enjoy, so do so. Get your diamond ring insured and covered for any damage or loss and you won’t have to worry about a thing.
Hopefully this will help shed some light upon the diamond and the topic of 4 prongs or 6.
Author Richard Scott. Certified Diamontologist and Gemologist. 30 years of experience.
Let Richard help you choose the best diamond, the most dazzling engagement ring, and save as much money as possible. Read more about the author here. Follow Richard on social media; Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest. Contact Richard Scott here.