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Compass Prongs: How To Know Your Way Around Them

If you’re shopping for engagement rings and feeling a bit lost in the woods, don’t worry darling, you’re not alone. Couples around the globe are inundated with options. From simple solitaires to ornate detailed, diamond encrusted, celeb-worthy stunners. There are so many different styles it’s impossible for innocent lovebirds to know which way is up. Like, compass prongs, for instance. What the heck are they and why would you (or anyone) want them? We’re here to help.

What Are Compass Prongs On a Ring?

Great question! Let’s start with what they are not, which is a standard four-prong engagement ring setting. In most cases, traditional four-prong set engagement rings have prongs oriented at a diagonal. This means that  when you look at the ring from a bird’s-eye view the band of the ring appears horizontally under the middle of the diamond. The prongs sit at approximately 45-degree angles from square. 

Compass-oriented prongs are instead oriented to mimic the cardinal points of a compass, aka north, south, east, and west. This unique orientation provides a modern twist, elevating the overall aesthetics of the ring while maintaining its functionality. Both orientations are equally secure.

A cushion cut diamond with claw compass prongs
Sadly, your compass prong engagement ring won’t work as an actual compass. But it will sparkle really really brightly.
An emerald cut diamond with compass prong setting
The brilliance of a diamond is amplified by the amount of light that passes through it. Our compass prong settings use delicate claw prongs at key cardinal points to grasp the stone firmly, ensuring maximum brightness for your ring while giving you peace of mind about its security

The Brilliance of Compass Prong Engagement Rings

Simple four-prong settings for your engagement ring allow in the maximum amount light. This easily amplifies your diamond’s brilliance, creating a major display of sparkle. And compared to other setting styles (like bezel or channel settings), compass prongs. excel in maximizing light performance. So your diamond can appear appear even more radiant.

Which Prong Setting Makes the Diamond Look Bigger?

Well, no setting in and of itself can really make your diamond look bigger. What can, however, is to buy a well-cut diamond. Cut is by far the most important of the 4Cs, as it plays the biggest role in visual appearance. And no setting style can make up for that!

One surefire way to make your diamond look bigger? Eliminate bulk and create a cool floating effect as seen in this Marquise cut Cantilever.

Common Misconceptions About Compass Prongs

Compass-oriented prongs are quite new to the fine jewelry game unlike the compass, which has been around-well, forever. And as is the norm with newness, it’s easy to get lost. So let’s go over the most common misconceptions about compass prongs and set things right once and for all.

Compass prongs are less secure

Reality: Some people believe that compass prongs are less than traditional settings but compass prongs will hold your diamond firmly in place. Thanks to their strategic positioning, diamonds are secure and will not become loose or fall out.

A unique Marquise cut engagement ring. The Marquise diamond appears to float off of a chevron band and is set with claw compass prongs
With a compass setting your diamond is safe and secure. But we still recommend engagement ring insurance ofc.

A cushion cut diamond engagement ring with compass prong setting
Keep things simple and blaze your diamond’s brilliance on blast with a solitaire setting. Or go above and beyond with pave details or multi-stone rings.

Compass prongs don’t enhance diamond brilliance

Reality: Another common misconception is that compass prongs do not enhance the diamond’s brilliance. In fact, designers specifically create compass prongs to allow more light to enter the diamond from various angles, thereby maximizing its sparkle and brilliance.

Compass prongs are only for round diamonds

Reality: While compass prongs are popular with round diamonds, they are not limited to this shape. They appear with various shapes: including princess, cushion, oval, and pear. Compass settings enhance the beauty of different diamond cuts by providing a balanced and symmetrical appearance.

An oval cut diamond engagement ring set with compass prongs
Round diamonds are great but they only make up a small fraction of the style possibilities that you can take with compass prongs. A compass prong set oval diamond solitaire? Don’t mind if we do!
A 2-carat fancy yellow diamond ring is set east west with compass prong settings
Just like diamonds, compass prongs appear delicate and fragile but are actually quite durable.

Compass prongs are fragile

Reality: Some people think that compass prongs are more fragile and prone to damage compared to other settings. In reality, compass prongs are robust and durable. With proper care and regular maintenance, they can be just as strong and long-lasting as other prong settings.

Compass prong settings are more expensive

Reality: While the cost of an engagement ring can vary based on numerous factors, compass prong settings are not inherently more expensive than traditional settings. The price depends on the diamond quality, the type of metal used, and the craftsmanship of the ring. Compass prongs offer a unique aesthetic without necessarily adding to the cost.

A marquise cut engagement ring lays on its side to show off its delicate hidden halo detail
In general, the higher the quality of diamond, and the more diamonds you have, like say-in a hidden halo, the costlier the ring. But don’t worry, there’s a ring out there for every budget. And we can help you find it.
Forecast trend for compass prongs? Hot. The Trilogy Oval? Even hotter.

Compass prong settings are difficult to find

Reality: Another misconception is that compass prong settings are rare and hard to find. In truth, many jewelers offer a variety of compass prong engagement rings due to their rising popularity. Whether you’re buying an engagement ring online or at a local jewelry store, you’re likely to find several beautiful options featuring compass prong settings.

Choosing the Perfect Compass Engagement Ring

When selecting a compass engagement ring, you want to consider the style of the prongs. Additionally, consider the overall design of the ring itself to make sure you end up with a harmonious look. Sure, diamond shape is important, but what are you looking for in overall style? Do you want a three-stone ring? A halo? A split-shank? Do you want a hidden halo? A diamond band? You get the idea. How will all of your favorite details play together to make your dream ring a reality?

A three stone marquise diamond engagement ring in platinum with compass prongs and a matching chevron diamond band
Marquise cut diamonds, with their elegant tapered ends lend themselves particularly well to the compass prong look. We love pairing the unique Marquise cut with an equally tapered chevron band like The Peaked Eternity.

Find Your Dream Ring

Now that you have a basic understanding of compass point prong rings, with their unique orientation and optimal brilliance, it’s good to get an idea of what they look like when set on an actual ring! You can explore our collection of compass prong engagement rings to find the one that’s right for you, or take our style quiz to start designing your custom engagement ring today!

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