Jargon: when you know the jargon, it makes sense, but when its new to you its as clear as fog. To jewelry professionals the term head is common place, but to new engagement ring buyers it sounds funny at best and frustrating at worst.
A head in jewelry terms is a jewelry finding (component) that holds a gem or diamond on the ring. Heads come in many styles and materials. The number of prongs making up the head is one of the easiest ways to identify the style of head. A 4 prong head has 4 prongs and so on. The shape of the head identifies it as a basket type or a v type. These heads look like the name implies.
The engagement ring takes on a big part of its look by the type of head it uses to hold the diamond. The classic 4 prong tiffany engagement ring owes its look to the head. Wedding sets with a half bezel head look dramatically different then a full bezel bridal ring set. The six prong head tend to make the diamond engagement ring look round where a four prong head gives it straight lines. Engagement jewelry gets a lot of its appeal based on it head.
What Metal Should I Use?
What metal should the head be made of? If you are setting a diamond in the engagement ring, then a white metal like 14 karat white gold or platinum head should be used. If the bridal set is 18 karat gold then use a 18 karat white gold head. If it is a platinum wedding ring, then use a platinum head. Yellow gold heads are use if the engagement jewelry design demands the yellow look or if you are setting a yellow hue diamond and wish to make it look whiter.
What Style Should I Get?
If you are worried about the diamond falling out of your engagement ring, then use a six prong or half or full bezel head. Some people feel the four prong head lets the most light into the diamond wedding ring and therefore sparkles more for them.