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Anatomy of a Ring – Understand the Parts of an Engagement Ring

Anatomy of a Ring – Understand the Parts of an Engagement Ring

August 16, 2022| 5 Minutes Read

The anatomy of a ring is quite intricate and can vary depending on the style and type of ring. An engagement ring is a symbol of commitment and love and typically features several different components. The main parts of an engagement ring are the band, the setting, and the stone. The band of the ring is the main, circular part of the ring, usually made of a precious metal such as gold, silver, or platinum. The setting is part of the ring that holds the stone in place, and it can also be made of a precious metal. Finally, the stone is usually a diamond, although other gemstones can be used as well.

Diamond Ring Design Guide

Beginning your search for the perfect engagement ring can be a daunting task. With so many different ring styles out there, it can be overwhelming to navigate the complicated jewelry terminology used in names and descriptions. To make the process easier for you and your jeweler, we’ve created a comprehensive ring design guide. Choosing the right ring is an important decision since it will be on your finger for a lifetime. Our guide includes a visual dictionary that explains the anatomy of a ring, making it easier for you to understand the various components.

1. Upper Parts of Ring


Located at the very top of the ring, the head (also called the crown) is a prominent feature that comes in various designs such as prong, bezel, and channel heads. The appearance of these heads depends on where the stone is set in the ring. Directly below the head is the gallery, which is covered by the center stone. The gallery is often decorated with embellishments, ranging from minimalistic to intricate designs. It also houses the gallery rail, a crucial element of the ring’s structure that strengthens the prongs and keeps the center stone securely in place. Some jewelers refer to the gallery rail as the “basket.” Rings that come with gallery rails often have valuable stones set in them, adding to the ring’s aesthetic appeal.

Anatomy of a Ring - Head of a Diamond Engagement Ring SHOULDER

The shoulder of an engagement ring refers to the upper two sides of the shank located on the ring’s side, sloping towards each other and meeting in the center. These shoulders provide support to the ring head, and accent stones are often added to enhance the ring’s brilliance.

Understand the Parts of an Engagement Ring - Shoulder of a Diamond Engagement Ring GALLERY

Moving on to the other parts of an engagement ring, the gallery refers to the portion of the ring that wraps around the top of the finger at the back. Rings with larger stones often have a larger gallery, providing more space between the finger and the stone. The space between the gallery rail and the bridge is also called the gallery, which is often left unfilled in traditional designs to highlight the center stone. However, adding filigree or other design elements can customize this section.

Gallery of a Diamond Engagement Ring BRIDGE

The bridge is the portion of the ring that rests on top of the finger. It’s important to ensure that this area is comfortable to wear, take off and put on, and free of rough edges. Engravings or pave diamonds are popular embellishments for this area.

What is a Bridge of a Diamond Engagement Ring? ACCENT STONES OR MELEES

Accent stones, also known as “melees,” are tiny diamonds that are added to the shank, head prongs, and gallery rail of a ring to provide additional brilliance and carat weight. The way these stones are set can make a significant difference in their sparkle, and a good scallop or fishtail setting can enhance their beauty. Explore our collection of hidden accent engagement rings.

What are accent stones of a Diamond Engagement Ring? PRONG

A prong is a small metal tip or bead that secures the diamond or gemstone in place. Prong settings, such as the classic Tiffany setting, typically have four to six prongs that hold the center stone firmly in place on the ring’s head. This setting allows the stone to interact with light, making it appear larger and brighter.

What are prongs of a Diamond Engagement Ring? CENTER STONE

The center stone is the most recognizable and often the largest in a ring. It is typically a diamond, colored gem, or moissanite and is the focal point of the ring. The center stone can be set in various ways to showcase its beauty.

What is a central stone in an engagement ring? SIDE STONES (OPTIONAL)

Side stones, such as those in a 3-stone setting, can add extra sparkle and overall diamond-carat weight to a ring. However, selecting side stones that match the center stone’s color, clarity, and shape can create a more harmonious design. Take a look at our collection of side-stone engagement rings to find the perfect one for you.

What are side stones in an engagement ring? HALO (OPTIONAL)

Even though a halo may be regarded as a component of the head, it merits its mention. A halo is a row or rows of tiny diamonds, often known as “melees,” that surround the focal point. Any ring with this lovely addition will glitter significantly, and it also has the bonus of making your center stone appear larger than it is. Think about the way these stones are set. They will glitter even more with a good scallop or fishtail. Check out our collection of halo diamond engagement rings.

Halo Engagement Ring

2. Mid And Lower Parts of The Ring


A shank is what? Is it a crucial component of the ring? What distinguishes a ring’s depth from its profile? Discover the components of an engagement ring, the anatomy of a ring, and the technical names for each component by reading our guide. To properly discuss your preferred finger jewelry with your jeweler, you may also utilize the diagrams to become familiar with the various components of a ring setting.
The section of the ring that surrounds the finger is the shank, which is often referred to as the band. The band, on the other hand, is a term used by many jewelers to describe the entire ring that wraps around the finger, instead of just the upper and lowers shanks. According to the design, shanks also differ. Check out our collection of Shaped Shank Rings.

What is a shank of a Diamond Engagement Ring? Parts of Shank

The “shank,” or band, is one of the key components of an engagement ring. While laypeople refer to it as a band, jewelers frequently use the term “shank.” The terms “split-shank” and “split-band” can be used interchangeably. The shank is the round component that encircles the finger.

The main band designs contain:

Similar width

A band layout where the width stays constant. Equal-width bands can be extremely thin, creating a stark size difference between the ring and the center stone. The main stone’s aesthetic impact is maximized by the size contrast. Tri-Wire Tri-Wire shanks have a design that is reminiscent of the past. Early in the 20th century, artisans produced these bands. A tri-wire band lends itself to designs that incorporate it with other old components like a vintage halo, a vintage center stone, etc. because of its ancient past. A Tri-Wire shank is a great example of the benefit of handcrafted jewelry as cast versions cannot match handcrafted versions that are built with three different wires of precious metal.

Different types of shanks of a diamond ring Shank split

Bands with split-shank designs taper as they get closer to the center stone and split off from one another. Split Shanks might come from a single, delicate band, as in the case of the Anne-Marie Halo Solitaire, or from two different bands that are joined together, as in the case of the Donna Split Band. Split bands can be a good way to give a design a unique touch, while they are normally suggested for larger center stones in solitaire or with halo designs. Based on the idea that a split band can overwhelm a smaller focal stone, this is done.

Shank Split Engagement Ring Knife Edge

Cutting Edge Knife Edge bands have two band sides that meet at an angle from one another. Knife Edge bands can be angled toward one another at sharp or shallow angles. Knife Edge bands with a shallow profile are typically more comfortable.

Knife Edge of an Engagement Ring Tapered Band

Striped Band Designs with tapered shanks have a band that gradually gets wider as it gets closer to the center stone. This width progression creates a lovely picture that draws attention gradually toward the center stone.

Tapered Band of an Engagement Ring Reverse Taper

Backward Taper With a reverse taper, the band gets gradually narrower as it gets closer to the center stone. Reverse tapered bands are a great technique to vary the width of a band while still allowing the engagement ring’s main stone to be the focal point.

Reverse Taper of a Ring Multi-Shank

Multi-Shank patterns consist of two or more bands joined together with a tiny airline or space in between. Multi-Shank designs are normally made with two bands and a void in the middle, but larger center stones can also be set in three-band variations. Generally speaking, multi-Shank designs are larger than single-Shank motifs. Because of the negative space or airspace between the bands, this wider band is a great technique to make the band appear more substantial on the finger without making it look clunky.

Multi Shank diamond engagement ring

Check out our Glossary of Terms to learn more about widely used terms for diamond rings and jewelry. Also, Dimend SCAASI is one of the best jewelry stores in Chicago.

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