There are many different ways to secure the gem to the jewelry. The most basic ways is to simply glue the gem to the jewelry. Needless to say, this is a very bad method, but it’s used surprisingly often, especially to produce body piercing jewelry.
You should always avoid this type of jewelry and choose jewelry with a more secure way to hold the gems. This is achieved through various settings made on the jewelry with the purpose to hold the stones. The most popular of these are prong and bezel settings.
Prong setting is the most popular of all jewelry settings used to secure the stone to the ring. Prongs are small metal tines made in on ring. The stone is put under the prongs and prongs are places on the ring to secure it in place. This type of setting is often referred to as “claw-shaped” because the prongs resemble claws holding decoration in place.
There are many different types of prong settings, mainly depending on the number of prongs used to secure the gem. Some prong settings use only one prong, though it’s typically more: 3, 4 and 6 prongs are the most common. Some jewelry pieces use even more, such as 8 prongs to secure the stone.
The prong setting makes what is call a head of the jewelry. The head can be made from the same material as the rest of the jewelry piece or made from another material, often a precious one, such as gold. This is why you’ll find description of jewelry where the body of the jewelry (typically a ring) is made of one metal while the setting is made of another.
Prongs can be designed in different ways, and it often depends on the gem’s size, shape and design. Some of the most common shapes of heads used for setting are round, oval, pear, emerald cut, marquise cut, trillian cut and princess cut. When reading a jewelry description, there will typically be a description of the cut used on the stone.
Prong setting is very beautiful and stylish, but it’s vital to check your jewelry regularly to ensure there are no loose prongs on your jewelry piece. Prongs sometimes get worn out after prolonged use so it’s important to check them out to ensure they are still tight enough to hold the gem securely in place.
On the other hand, this setting is very popular because it allows the gem or stone to be seen more than in some other setting types. There is no much metal surrounding the gem so more light can pass through the gem, which makes it more sparkly.
Bezel setting is a specially designed part of the ring made to accommodate a gem or other decoration. It is wider and thicker than the rest of the ring. Bezel setting is typically located on the upper and outsider side of the ring.
When it comes to body jewelry, bezel setting can be positioned in two different ways, vertically or horizontally, in order to accommodate two different piercing types (vertical and horizontal piercings).
Bezel setting is made in such a way to hold the gem tightly and a specially designed lip encircles and overlaps the stone to hold it in place. This way, the gem is secured more than being simply glued to the surface of the jewelry (which is often done with poorly made, cheap jewelry pieces).
A bezel setting can be full (to completely surround the gem) or partial (to leave the sides open). The full bezel is more secure but partial allows more of the gem to be seen. One great thing about bezel setting is that it’s more secure than the prong setting. It gives a good protection to the gem so it’s a good choice for those with an active lifestyle or for piercings where you expect clothes to rub on the jewelry a lot.