Comparing the Basket & Prong Ring Settings

A lot of emphasis is usually placed on the center stone of your engagement ring, but the setting shouldn’t be an afterthought. The setting is what defines the style and feel of the ring and how the center stone will be showcased. It’s also responsible for making sure your center stone is completely secure. Two of the most common settings that people turn to for engagement rings are known for how securely they hold stones in place: the basket setting and the prong setting. Which one is right for you? Let's dig in to the pros and cons of each.

What is a Basket Setting?

A basket setting is actually a type of prong setting consisting of traditional prongs extending up from the band, but it also has horizontal bands wrapping around the prongs to connect them and provide a space for the gemstone to sit. This structure creates a basket that nestles the gemstone.


  • - Basket settings are often set low to the finger, reducing the exposure of the center stone to bumps and knocks.
  • - The horizontal band wrapping between the prongs adds durability and strength to the setting.


  • - The extra metal wrapping around the prongs creates more obstruction of the side of the center stone and could affect sparkle.
  • - There are more places in a basket setting where dirt and debris can get lodged, so it’s a bit more difficult to clean.
basket setting engagement ring in rose gold
view of a basket setting

What is a Prong Setting?

A prong setting is what most people are familiar with when imagining an engagement ring. In this setting, prongs extend from the base of the ring. They are long and straight with tips that bend over the center gemstone to securely hold it in place.


  • - A simple prong setting allows for maximum light performance as a diamond interacts with light to produce its sparkle.
  • - Prong settings are typically very easy to clean as they don’t create any small spots where dirt and debris can build up.


  • - While prong settings are secure, over time prongs can weaken and be easier to bend or break.
  • - Prongs more easily snag on clothing or hair, and then if pulled too hard to untangle it, can result in a broken prong.

Pairing a Basket Engagement Ring with a Wedding Band

How do a Basket Setting and Prong Setting Differ?

Although prong and basket settings are practically indistinguishable from one another when viewed from a top-up angle, they do have some marked differences. Some are subtle, while others can have a pretty big impact.

Diamonds Sit Higher in a Prong Setting

In a prong setting, the stone will rise higher off the band than in a basket setting. Most see this as an advantage since the high setting allows for more light to enter and hit the diamond, thus maximizing sparkle. Wedding bands are also more likely to sit flush when the center stone on the engagement ring is set higher.

However, the higher setting leaves it open to more opportunities for damage. It is much easier to snag on clothing, hand towels, furniture, and hair, and the higher profile makes it more likely to to be banged or hit against other objects. (Read on for high vs. low set rings.)

Prong Settings Better Show Brilliance

The brilliant sparkle that a diamond exhibits is due to the light entering and returning out of the diamond. A prong setting will maximize the amount of light that can enter the diamond because it leaves more of the diamond exposed.

In a basket setting, the bands that make up the basket cover the lower part of the diamond’s pavilion. While this still leaves the entire table and most of the pavilion exposed to show brilliance, in a side-to-side comparison, the basket setting will usually show less brilliance than offered with the prong setting.

prong setting diamond ring

More Room for Embellishment in a Basket Setting

Many aspects of design go into the aesthetics of your engagement ring. Choosing a basket setting over a prong setting will provide space for more embellishments on the shank leading into the band.

The horizontal bands that wrap between the prongs can be set with tiny diamonds, adding brilliance that can be lost due to the added metal. They can also be adorned with intricate designs of milgrain or filigree.

Basket Settings are More Secure

Hands down, a basket setting is going to be more secure versus the prong setting. This is the case for a few reasons, the first being that the center stone sits lower in the setting. It’s kept closer to your finger and therefore isn’t as exposed to external forces.

Additionally, the bands of the basket itself adds a layer of security so that a gemstone won’t be as vulnerable to damage on its side. And lastly, the prongs in a basket setting become stronger with reinforcement from the basket, so it’s more durable than prongs alone.

Easier to Clean a Prong Setting

Maintenance of your engagement ring should include a professional cleaning once a year alongside any self-cleaning done at home. When thinking about cleaning, the prong setting is much easier to clean than the basket setting.

A basket setting has several places where it’s easy for dirt and debris to get lodged, and these tucked away areas are more difficult to reach and clean effectively. A prong setting doesn’t have this added level of intricate design, so is quite straightforward to clean.

When to Choose a Basket Setting

Choosing between a basket setting and a prong setting is really about considering your lifestyle and design features that are most important to you. Both have advantages and disadvantages that will carry a different weight depending on each person’s unique situation.

If you lead a more active lifestyle and a lower-profile ring with greater durability is most important to you, then a basket setting is the way to go. You can add brilliance by choosing a design with diamonds on the basket. We incorporate this feature in our Jessie, along with a pavé-set band for some added sparkle. And for our Shanel, we created an ornate basket with diamonds to accentuate the pavé rope band.

If getting the most sparkle out of your diamond is the priority, a prong setting will give you incredible brilliance. You can also enhance the strength and durability of the ring by opting for 6 prongs instead of the more common 4 prongs (whether to go 4 vs. 6 prong is another issue). We use 6 prongs in the design for Amy, while we use 4 prongs with a twist for our Luna – both are classic solitaire engagement rings.

Also, since the center stone sits higher with a prong setting, it’s more conducive to working with large center stones that have a longer girdle to accommodate. But this combination of a larger stone and sitting higher off the finger makes it more likely that the ring will snag on clothing or easily be bumped into things. These rings should be professionally inspected often to catch weakened or broken prongs early.

Basket settings and prong settings are two of the most popular engagement ring setting styles for very good reason. While one isn’t definitively better than the other, considering your priorities and how often and where you plan to wear your ring will steer you to the perfect choice for you!

Shanel & Matilda - ornate basket rings

Lower profile basket ring and higher profile prong setting ring on hand

Lower profile basket ring (left) and higher profile prong setting ring (right)

Have questions? We're happy to help.