Whether you’re considering designing your own custom ring, or just shopping and overwhelmed by all the insider terms, we’re here with answers! Learn how to speak jeweler and know all the parts of an engagement ring.
Once you know all the parts of a ring, you can get clear on what you love, what you don’t, and put it all together for a engagement ring that sings your soul song!
all the Parts of an engagement Ring
the Center Stone
This is the main (and largest) stone in your ring. In a solitaire design, the center stone stands alone. In other styles, the center stone may be flanked by smaller diamonds and gemstones.
Read our blog for pro-tips on picking the most shimmering, sizeable diamond centerpiece for your dollar!
the Side Stones
These are stones set on either side of the center stone. Usually found on three or five stone ring designs, and not to be confused with smaller stones along the band.
Side stones come in many shapes like trillion cut, round, baguette, or kite cut like the ring above!
the Shank or Band
The shank is the band that wraps around your finger. Whether white gold, yellow gold, platinum, rose gold, or our exclusive Peach Gold, the shank can be completely minimalistic, or heavily embellished with stones, elaborate carving, cutouts, and can even be split into two for a ‘split-shank’ design.
For more on choosing the perfect precious metal for your band (and entire ring), read our in-depth blog!
A prong is a small metal tip that holds your stone in place. Prong settings allow more light to interact with the stone, creating the illusion of a larger and more brilliant gemstone.
Of all the ring parts, prongs are the most underlooked detail - they can actually add alot to your design and can be customized to suit your style and best showcase your stone:
All Made by Gem Breakfast rings have hand-carved prongs so you can choose your distinctive look - dramatic and pointed, soft and rounded, modern square, or even hexagonal.
Single or double prongs
Round diamonds are usually made with single prongs, whereas Asccher-cut and Emerald-cut diamonds (like this gorgeous creation) are generally made with double claw prongs. There really are no rules though!
Orientation of prongs on your ring
The standard setting is diagonal from the top view; however, you can also choose a compass style with prongs set at East, West, North, and South.
We’ve gotten so many questions from you all on prongs, so stay tuned for a full prong-related blog with all the answers very soon!
Number of prongs on your ring
Most solitaire settings (like our signature Stella and Bella solitaire settings) have 4-6 prongs holding the center stone. However, some designers will add more prongs for a unique visual effect (a la this CvB Inspired Design ring for our Solitaire Squad Pop-up)!
Also read our definitive guide for Prong Settings to learn more
Head of an engagement ring
This is the structure that holds the center stone. It’s designed first for function, to hold the stone securely in place and resist bending, and secondly for beauty – to showcase your stone in its best light. The goal is to find the perfect balance between security and sparkle factor.
A pronged head allows the most light in, shows off more of your stone, and is very secure if set properly. A bezel setting head on the other hand, is bank-vault-level secure, but shows the least amount of the stone.
Other head designs include: cathedral, halo, three-stone, semi-bezel, tension, and more!
The upper section of the band that leads to the ‘head’ of the ring. The shoulders can be customized in many ways for a more elaborate, dramatic, raised appearance or sit flush against the finger for a lower profile design.
This ring has double shoulders for a dramatic, architectural side profile and extra support for the large center stone. The shoulders could also be set with diamonds or molded into a cathedral shank (swooping shoulders with an opening underneath them). Another entirely customizable part of a ring.
The part of the ring that rests directly on top of your finger - what we lovingly call the ‘booty’ of the ring. While most often left plain, some designers (ahem, Army Of Rokosz) may bling up this area for a bespoke, hidden surprise that only the wearer is aware of. And some designers, a la Maggie Simpkins and Jillian Maddin even slip in some gorgeously intricate hand-carved birds on the booty!
The section beneath the center stone that’s seen from the side view of a ring. This can either be an entirely open area, allowing the center stone’s profile to shine, or can be embellished with stones, engraving, milgrain, enamel, or all of the above like this jaw-dropping Solitaire Squad creation from Emily Gill!
Jewelers are required to hallmark or ‘stamp’ their pieces to identify their precious metal composition. Gold jewelry may be marked 10kt, 14kt, or 18kt depending on the karat weight, and platinum can be marked with plat, platinum, PT, platine, or 950. Sterling silver jewelry which will be marked 925.
Some designers and creators will also stamp their pieces with their logo or designer signature to identify the piece further.
the Sizing Area
The center bottom portion of the engagement ring shank. This is where a jeweler will make size adjustments; adding metal to size up, or removing metal to size down.