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Engagement Ring Anatomy 101

Updated: Jun 7, 2019

Almost all of us wear jewelry on a daily basis. Some of us more than others! Whether its your grandmother's engagement ring, a beautiful diamond halo pendant, or a memory filled charm bracelet, the jewelry we call our own is made up of many parts. Like the neck of a guitar, each part of your jewelry has a name. Jewelry is a fluid and ever-changing industry. However, the names we give to the anatomy of your jewelry remains constant. In this edition of Jewelry 101, I will lay out enough information for you to start building your very own jeweler's vocabulary!

Today, I will be talking about the basic anatomy of an engagement ring. There are many, many, many different styles of engagement rings on the market today. The process of finding the perfect forever ring can become quite overwhelming, especially if you don't know what the basics are called. Below are diagrams of more basic engagement rings with the different parts labeled..

Solitare Engagement Ring (Picture)

Head: The head of a ring is where the primary center stone or side stones reside. These come in many shapes and forms.

Prong: This is the tip that holds the stone in place. There are different styles and the number of prongs vary from ring to ring

Shank: The shank makes up most of the ring. Some will divide it into an upper and lower half. Repairs and sizings of engagement rings typically take place on the shank


Pictured here is a Tiffany style engagement ring setting. The difference between this and a "regular" Solitare is there is only one stone and the head typically has 6 prongs. The stone is traditionally a round, brilliant cut stone. This style came about in 1886 after Tiffany designer Charles Lewis Tiffany wanted a new way to maximize the sparkle of the set center stone following the Victorian era of jewelry.


Pictured here is a slightly more complex engagement ring that has become very popular in recent years. The Halo style engagement ring

Halo: This shaped "wrap" of metal and diamonds surrounds the center stone. The effect of added sparkle and depth is stunning. The halo can come in round, square, or virtually any shape that contours the center stone.

Shoulder: This is part of the shank that goes up and meets the head of the ring

Gallery: This area is not on every ring. It typically highlights a design that lies underneath the head of the ring


There you have it! A quick lesson on the anatomy of an engagement ring can help you make the best decision for that forever ring without getting lost in endless jargon. There are many more aspects to rings that we will dive into at a later date, but hopefully you are off to a good start!

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