Whether you're a novice in the world of engagement ring shopping or gathering ideas for your next #dreamring creation, you may quickly find that there is quite a bit of unfamiliar jargon related to ring shopping. This is a special purchase, and we want to help you feel informed and confident in your decision! Although an engagement ring appears to be a straightforward piece, it actually comprises various design elements that make up each setting. Understanding and distinguishing these components can be beneficial in thoroughly exploring your choices when making a purchase and effectively conveying your preferences to a jewelry specialist or your significant other. To help you better understand the anatomy of a ring, we've broken down each part in a comprehensive guide!
Anatomy of an Engagement Ring
What Are the Parts of a Ring?
- Head: The head of a ring is comprised both of the center stones and the surrounding metal.
- Center Stone: The center stone is the largest diamond, sapphire or gemstone that sits in the center of the ring setting.
- Prongs: The prongs of a ring are the metal tips that are used to secure the stone in place. Prong tips can be claw, pointed, or rounded, depending on the ring setting and stone shape.
- Gallery Rail: The gallery rail is a small metal ring that supports the bottom of your gemstone. Here, you can display a hidden halo (as pictured in the ring above), other smaller accent stones or intricate designs. Side stones and accent stones are additional gemstones that are attached to the shoulder or shank.
- Gallery: The gallery, not to be confused with the galley rail, can be seen from the side profile of the ring. This simply refers to the side profile of the ring where you can see the underside of the stone.
- Shoulder: The shoulders of the ring are the upper part of the shank that connects to the head. To add character, the shank shoulders can be twisted, rounded, curved, split, or include other intricate stones or detailing.
- Shank: The shank is the metal base of the ring, most commonly referred to as the band. It begins where the shoulders end; it is typically metal only, but it can contain other elements, such as diamonds or gemstones.
- Bridge: The bridge of a ring refers to the underside of the head; this is the part that sits on your finger.
- Setting: The setting is the style of ring chosen that comprises all other elements of the ring. The setting can vary greatly and has a great impact on the final look of the ring. (Scroll down to learn more about setting options.)
- Sizing Bar: The sizing bar is the bottom base of the ring. If your ring needs to be resized, this is where the jeweler would add or remove metal to adjust its size.
Ring Setting Styles
The setting style chosen can drastically impact the overall design and aesthetic of the ring. The main purpose of the setting is to support the center stone while drawing attention to its natural beauty. Choosing a ring setting that also compliments your personal taste is important as well. Depending on which ring setting style you choose, you can transform your ring into a mermaid's dream, an ode to nature, a dainty and delicate masterpiece, or a weighty and bold statement. Below, we've highlighted some popular ring setting styles, so you can better visualize how the setting affects the final look.
Front-Facing Setting Styles
While each setting comprises the entire build of the ring, the first collection of styles highlighted here can be seen by viewing the ring head-on (i.e. looking top-down at the head of the center stone).
Just a few notes about the above settings before we move on the next group:
- Solitaire: You may have noticed that the titles of these settings all end in 'solitaire.' A solitaire ring simply means there is only one gemstone or diamond.
- Evergreen Texture: The first two settings (4-prong and 6-prong) feature our proprietary Evergreen texture. Our Evergreen 4-Prong Solitaire setting is our most popular and best-selling ring style! All ring settings at Anueva can be customized, and you can choose your metal type (14k or 18k rose, yellow, or white gold, or platinum), and your metal texture/finish (Evergreen, polished, or satin).
Side-Facing Setting Styles
The following three ring setting styles feature designs that are best viewed from the side profile of the ring. A very common setting style is the hidden halo; from the top-down view, it appears as a simple and classic ring, but tucked away, under the center stone, in the gallery is a beautiful gemstone halo to add some extra sparkle and flare to your ring.
Like the first six settings we viewed, these styles can also be customized to your specific preferences.
Multi-Stone Setting Styles
Now that we have mastered popular solitaire ring setting styles, let's move on to rings that feature more than one stone.
And a few more notes:
There are so many ways to build your own dream ring! These setting styles are only examples of frequently chosen options. You can easily combine diamonds, sapphires and other precious gemstones to create your desired look! We have nearly 50 different setting styles that are variations of many of the aforementioned settings we explored here.
How Stone Shape Affects Your Ring Setting
Most of the settings we viewed feature either round or oval stones. The same ring setting can look quite different with other types of stone shapes and sizes. For example, let's compare how our most beloved ring setting — the 4-prong Evergreen — looks with different gemstone shapes.
We learned earlier that the prongs' job is to help secure the stone in place. You may notice that our four-prong setting is usually paired with more basic stone shapes such as round, oval, square and rectangle. This is because other stone shapes may not be secure enough with only four prongs. For example, if you want to avail of the prong style setting for your ring, pear shaped stones usually call for five prongs and hexagons typically use six prongs. (Not to worry, though! If you're using our build-your-own feature to create your own ring and select the 4-prong setting, we will contact you if your stone requires more prongs to keep it secure.) For our next example, let's use a setting that's a bit more versatile when it comes to keeping the center stone in place — our halo setting:
How Ring Setting Affects Your Stone Shape
We've now looked at different stone shapes in the same setting style. While this certainly impacts the final look of the ring, the greatest impact in the setting itself. Let's now view some examples of the same stone shape set in different styles. We'll start with a classic round stone and she how she shapes up in different setting styles:
- TRILLION SIDE DIAMONDS
- DOUBLE CLAW PRONG SOLITAIRE WITH FRENCH SET DIAMOND BAND
- THREE STONE RING WITH TRAPEZOID SIDE STONES
- THREE STONE COMPASS SET LOW PROFILE MILGRAIN ANTIQUE
- DIAMOND CLUSTER SIDE STONE
- LOW PROFILE HALO SETTING
- ASYMMETRICAL DIAMOND CLUSTER
- SPLIT SHANK SIX PRONG SOLITAIRE
And finally, let's view one more example of different ring settings on the same stone shape. For our last comparison round, let's use one of our personal favorite stone shapes: the pear.
- DIAMOND CLUSTER SIDE STONE
- PLAIN CLASSIC 4-PRONG SOLITAIRE (custom: use the 4-prong setting and add a note at checkout to add a fifth prong)
- SPLIT SHANK LOW PROFILE HALO WITH FRENCH SET DIAMONDS
- EVERGREEN CHUNKY BEZEL SOLITAIRE
- CONTEMPORARY BEZEL (custom: leave a note at checkout for the additional beaded design)
- CUSTOM SETTING: SCALLOPED ANTIQUE STYLE HALO RING
- TOI ET MOI RING
- POINTED VINE PRONG
DISCOVER YOUR DREAM RING
Your ring is only a dream away! Be it an engagement ring, or a right-hand ring, we're excited to help bring your vision to life. When you're ready to get started, let us know! Now that you better understand the components of a ring, you can head to our ready-to-ship section and scope out the perfect pick. If you or your partner have a specific design in mind, use our build-your-own option to curate your ideal ring. For a fully custom design, partner up with our Concierge Ring Design team.