Anatomy of a Ring | Boca Raton, FL
THE CENTER STONE
Round Brilliant Cut Diamond
Marquise Cut Diamond
Princess Cut Diamond
Cushion Cut Diamond
Emerald Cut Diamond
Asscher Cut Diamond
Radiant Cut Diamond
Oval Cut Diamond
Pear Shaped Diamond
Heart Shaped Diamond
Prongs are the small pieces of metal that hold a stone in place. Stones can be set with four, six, or more prongs. Prongs can be rounded or pointed ("claw" style) as well as split or “double” prongs, or even three prong martini. Each type adds a different look to the ring. The following are the most common prong types.
Round shaped prongs are the most common type of finishing you will find in prong settings. Rounded prongs cover a small area of the diamond’s surface and provide a strong clasp to secure the center stone.
Pointed or claw prongs look sleek and are widely used in diamond engagement rings. They help emphasize the outline of the diamond and blend seamlessly into the diamond ring’s appearance.
Double Claw Prongs
Prong settings that contain double clawed design give an illusion that the claws are slimmer looking compared to using a single solid prong.
The V-prong setting is typically used in fancy shaped diamonds like pears, marquises, and hearts. The idea behind having a v-prong is to protect the tips of the diamond since they are susceptible to chipping.
Flat Tap Prongs
Flat tab prongs have a lower height profile compared to other types of prongs and this makes them less susceptible to snagging.
Sometimes referred to as the setting, this is the piece that holds the center stone in a ring. It is made up of the prongs and the piece to which they’re attached. The head of the ring forms the design of the mounting. Listed below are the most common head styles for a ring.
Basket Head Style
The basket head style secures the center stone using four or six prongs. The openings beneath the diamond allow light to enter the diamond from that direction. More light means more sparkle, brilliance, and fire from your diamond. This style can be used with almost any gemstone shape and any style of band.
Trellis Head Style
The trellis head style is like a basket in that it has space beneath the diamond to allow light to enter. The difference is that the prong design weaves down to the ring shank. This can be a very attractive element of the ring design. This is a great head style for round and princess gem shapes and a solitaire classic look.
Cathedral Head Style
The cathedral head style gets its name from the archways on the sides of the head. The prongs in this elevate the ring slightly higher which allows more light passage. This style provides an elevated appearance and makes the center stone more of a focal point than usual. This style can be used with a plain shank or one decorated with diamonds. It is a very popular choice for engagement rings.
Bezel Head Style
The bezel head style completely surrounds the sides of the diamond with precious metal, leaving only the top of the gem visible. This contemporary look is also a very secure setting for a diamond. The only drawback is that less light enters the gem so its sparkle is less. Use a bezel with a round or princess diamond shape and a plain band with no accent diamonds.
Semi-Bezel Head Style
The semi-bezel head style is a secure setting like the bezel. And, because the gem is not completely surrounded by metal, more light enters the diamond and the sparkle is much better. Use this style of head with an oval or round diamond.
Halo Head Style
The halo head style is just what it sounds like. There is a center diamond and a circle with smaller diamonds or colored gemstones surrounding it. This ring will have a lot of sparkle and from a distance it appears to be one, much larger, diamond. You can use any shape of diamond for the center stone in this head style.
Three Stone Style Head
The three stone head style has a larger central gem and two smaller gems, one on each side. It is important to match the gems used in this head style. The three stone style also has a deeper meaning. It represents love and commitment in the past, present, and future. This style goes well with a plain band or one accented with diamonds. Use a round or princess diamond for this head style. The central part of the head can be a bezel, trellis, or classic basket.
This refers to the upper part of a band as it transitions to the head of a ring. Shoulders often graduate higher in height from the rest of the shank creating a dramatic visual. Accent stones are often set in this portion of the ring as well. Engagement ring shoulders vary enormously by design. The following are the most common styles of ring shoulders.
Parallel (Straight) Shoulder
A parallel or straight shoulder gives a contemporary look to many rings and contain a constant width from the underside of the ring to the setting.
Split shoulders form when the design of the band includes a fork, at or above the mid-way point. This can be longer and more pronounced, or more of a style element for the diamond setting.
Tapering or narrowing shoulders normally accentuate the diamond size by reducing the width of the band – this offers greater contrast between the stone size and band, especially useful in designs incorporating smaller carat weight sizes.
Flared shoulders are quite the reverse of the narrowing or tapering shoulder. They can either gradually or suddenly widen at the setting, to meet or to form the claws, bezel or part bezel as a design alternative to the straight or tapered shoulder styles,
Claw Set Shoulder
With a claw set shoulder, the diamonds are set across the width rather than within the shoulder. They are held across the full width of the shoulder, unlike the channel set styles which are usually a little wider than the diameter of the diamond.
Diamond Encrusted Shoulder
Fully utilizing each surface of the shoulder, diamonds are encrusted around each surface with the exception of the inner surface of the band.
The ring shank is quite simply the band of the ring. A band usually has the same width all around (like a wedding band), while a shank can have different widths. The shank is divided into the upper and lower shanks. The shank can be smooth, plain metal, or adorned with diamonds or gemstones (accent stones), engraving, or milgrain details. Each different type of ring shank is often categorized by its appearance.
A straight shank is just as it sounds. The band of the ring is straight and doesn’t taper off or split. Straight shanks are most commonly flat edged. This means that the edges of the shank were not rounded off. Instead, they’re formed with a rectangular strip of metal leaving you with flat edges all the way around the band. Where the edges of a ring shank are rounded off, this can be referred to as a comfort fit, as it more naturally fits the circumference of your finger.
A tapered shank is when the band tapers off to a thinner section either where the stone is set or in the opposite direction from where the stone is set. When the band tapers off to a thinner section on both sides of the stone, it can make the stone look larger and make the band itself look much more delicate.
A cathedral shank is when the stone at the centre is framed by two arches. This is when the two ends of the shank are lifted to create these two arches just below the stone. It’s almost as if the two arches are supporting the stone setting, mimicking the grand architecture of cathedrals but also making the stone much more prominent.
A split shank is a much more complex design as the band splits into two before it meets the stone at the top of the band. This can give the illusion of two bands and can be as subtle or as prominent as the customer would like. The split shank design can also be modified so that as the band splits off in two, it can cross over with a woven or twisted design until it meets back up again where the stone is set.
Bypass Ring Shank
With a bypass ring shank, the two ends of the band will not uniformly meet the stone. Instead, each end of the band will run around the stone, almost as if it’s bypassing it. This creates the illusion that the band is flowing around or overlapping the stone.
A knife-edge shank is named so because of its sharp edge that runs along the outer edge of the shank. Of course, it’s not razor sharp, but it adds a different look to a ring shank. It adds a new element of design to the shank with two slanted sides that meet to a more prominent point than you would usually see in traditional shanks.
Interlocked Ring Shank
An interlocked ring shank style is when the engagement ring and the wedding band interlock together perfectly. This can be done in many ways and is interpreted in many ways by different jewellers. It may be that one jeweler creates the engagement ring fits inside the wedding band or it may be that the two bands follow the same silhouette so that they sit alongside each other perfectly when worn.
The gallery is the part of the ring under the center stone(s). Some rings have a simple gallery that just shows the baskets that the stones are set in, but many have ornate details that add so much to the look of the ring.
The hallmark on a ring is the marking on the underside of the shank that identifies what the precious metal is (14 karat, 18 karat, Platinum).
Rings in Boca Raton
We hope this introduction to the anatomy of a ring has assisted you by providing the terminology you need to describe and create the ring you desire. Stop by our jewelry store in Boca Raton to view the variety of rings that we carry or to create the ring of your dreams.