The Anatomy of a Ring: Parts & Designs
2nd February 2021
by Tara W.
Are you searching for an engagement ring or a statement ring for yourself? It is a good idea to learn about the anatomy of a ring when looking to buy one. Once you know your shank from your gallery, it will help you make a better decision when choosing a ring style. In this article, we discuss the anatomy of a ring, its parts and designs.
The shank of a ring, otherwise known as the band, is a technical term for the metal part that encircles the finger. It is made from metal such as white gold, rose gold, yellow gold or platinum. Typically it begins and ends where it meets the centre diamond or gemstone.
If a ring requires resizing, it will be adjusted from the bottom of the shank. According to the size required, a piece of metal will be added or removed from the bottom to make it the correct size.
The ring gallery is the underside of a ring beneath the centre stone. Often, a gallery is added beneath the design to maintain the structure and provide optimum comfort. The gallery can also be a beautiful design itself, with additional diamonds or elaborate patterns created from metal.
The head of a ring is the part which holds the gemstone or diamond in place at the centre top point. A pronged head is the most popular, and consists of little claws of metal used to secure the stone. Solitaire engagement rings tend to have four to six prongs, with six prongs being the most secure. Additionally, you can find bezel, half-bezel and channel heads. A bezel head is where metal encircles the entire stone. Although this is the most secure style, it isn’t so popular as it obscures most of the stone.
Not all diamond rings have a head as some styles incorporate the diamond or gemstone directly into the setting without the need for a separate part.
A cathedral setting is a ring style that features arches of metal from the top of the shank to the head. It is referred to as a cathedral, as it has an open space between the shank and the head. There are many styles of cathedral rings from sleek and modern to intricate and vintage. Cathedral style rings are a popular choice for engagement rings as they highlight the centre stone and give an elegant finish.
Side stones on a ring refer to any smaller stones, such as diamonds or gemstones, that are not the centre stone. Often side stones are placed next to the centre stone and along the shank. Side stone engagement rings have become a popular choice for proposals in recent years with people choosing more sparkle than ever before.
A halo ring is where a 'halo' of intricate diamonds encircles the centre stone. The addition of diamonds around the centre stone creates tonnes of sparkle and can make the centre diamond appear much larger. For these reasons, halo engagement rings are a popular choice today.
Enjoyed this article? Head to our other article to find out the meaning of each finger for wearing rings.