U-Prong vs Shared Prong Setting

Last Updated on August 5, 2022

Ring settings determine how the center stone appears on the ring shank and is an important element of all ring designs.

U-prong and shared prong settings are two of the most popular ring settings.

While the two ring settings may appear similar, there are a few key differences that set the two apart from each other.

Sterling Silver 4mm Round CZ Eternity Band for Women U-Prong Setting 3/16 inch Wide Size 6

What Is a U-Prong Setting?

Sterling Silver 4mm Round CZ Eternity Band for Women U-Prong Setting 3/16 inch Wide Size 6

A u-prong setting features a unique semi-circle base that lifts upward and secures accent stones along the ring shank. U-prongs have four metal prongs and may include an additional piece of metal placed horizontally along the base.

Unlike other settings that use prongs to secure accent stones, u-prong settings wrap around the entirety of the ring shank, giving the setting a distinctive and unique appearance.

U-prong settings are also a popular choice for engagement rings. Engagement rings that have a u-prong setting and feature accent stones along the entirety of the ring shank are known as eternity rings. 

Features of U-Prong Settings

U-prong settings are popular and have many positive features. 

U-prong settings do an excellent job of allowing light to enter into the accent stones. Because of its unique shape, light is able to easily enter the stones and deliver exceptional light performance.

U-prong settings are also incredibly versatile and pair well with a variety of gemstone cuts, including:

  • Cushion
  • Round
  • Princess
  • Radiant
  • Asscher

And because u-prong settings have a unique basket shape, they are less prone to snagging on external items like clothing or hair.

Downsides of U-Prong Settings

While popular, there are a few downsides to consider before selecting a u-prong setting. 

Downsides of u-prong settings include:

Fragile

Because u-prong settings use thin metal prongs to secure accent stones, they are more fragile than other settings. This is because the thin metal prongs are more susceptible to opening or breaking than other setting styles, resulting in loose or lost stones.

When this happens, stones may fall out of the u-prong setting and may crack or become damaged, resulting in costly repairs.

Limited Pairing Options

The unique shape of u-prong settings makes it incompatible with certain cuts of gemstones. Stones that are cut in pear, heart, or oval shapes are incompatible with u-prong settings because of their unique shape.

Distinctive Look

Certain styles of u-prong settings, such as eternity rings, may not suit the aesthetic of some wearers. While eternity rings are the most secure variation of a u-prong setting, the overall appearance may be off-putting to some.

What Is a Shared Prong Setting?

Amazon Essentials Shared Prong Rhodium-Plated Sterling Silver & CZ Fashion Band, Size 7

A shared prong setting secures a single row of accent diamonds onto the ring shank while optimizing light performance. Shared prong settings utilize multiple metal prongs to firmly secure accent stones to the ring shank.

To reduce the amount of metal used, shared prong settings secure adjacent stones to one another with a single prong. Accent stones sit firmly between the claws of the prongs, which do not obstruct the stone or reduce light exposure.

Features of Shared Prong Settings

A shared prong setting utilizes rounded-tip prongs to secure adjacent stones to the ring shank without obstructing light from entering the gemstone. 

Shared prong settings use thin metal prongs to secure a single row of gemstones, making shared prong settings incredibly durable.

Shared prong settings can be used with a variety of stone cuts, including:

  • Princess
  • Cushion
  • Radiant

Shared prong settings are also easier to repair than other setting options due to their large stones.

Downsides of Shared Prong Setting

While popular, there are a few downsides to shared prong settings. 

Downsides include:

Limited Variations

Because shared prong settings can only accommodate a single row of accent stones, there are relatively few variations in the style of the setting.

Variations can be created by selecting different shapes and sizes of accent stones to use along the ring shank.

Limited Area

A shared prong setting can only accommodate a single row of accent stones on the ring shank. Because of the large size of the stones, shared prong settings cannot be used to create a halo.

Similarities Between U-Prong And Shared Prong Settings

U-prong and shared prong settings are popular ring settings that utilize thin metal prongs to secure accent stones.

Both settings are used to embellish ring shanks, enhance the appearance of the center stone, and can be paired with a variety of gemstone cuts.

Additionally, u-prong and shared prong settings both do an excellent job of delivering optimal light performance without obstructing the natural beauty of the stones.