The ring is a small ornament and you probably haven’t given much thought to its anatomy. You will be surprised to discover the intricacies and the structural nuances that go into the creation of a ring, all of which are explained below.
Let’s know all the ring parts (ring anatomy) in detail.
The center stone is the soul of a ring. It is usually the largest rock on the jewel and is placed at the center of the shank. While white diamonds are the most favored center stones, color gemstone engagement rings have been trending lately. Color gemstones like sapphires, rubies and emeralds have remained classics. However, alexandrite, morganite, aquamarine and tanzanite have also gained immense popularity.
The head holds the center stone in place. Claw head, prong head, channel head and basket head are some of the varieties. The most commonly used heads are known as prongs, which are thin metal extensions fixing the center stone in place. Since prongs don’t conceal the sides of the gemstone with metal, light can easily pass through the center stone and add to its brilliance. Sometimes a metal casing, called bezel, is used to render maximum protection to the centerstone.
The gallery lies directly underneath the centerpiece. Gallery is integral to the ring’s structure as it holds up the head and with it, the center stone. The gallery also connects the centerpiece with the shank. In some rings, galleries are barely noticeable while in others, they are thick, elevated and molded into different designs. The gallery may also be embellished with accent stones or filigree carvings.
If you think of the head as an actual human head, the shoulders are exactly what you expect them to be. The shoulders extend on both sides of the centerpiece and are structurally part of the shank. Since the shoulders are the most visible part of the band, they are often used to enhance the design component in a ring.
Simply put, the shank is the band of the ring which glides onto the finger. The ‘band’ can be designed as a split shank, bypass shank, double shank, rope shank, criss cross shank etc. Apart from molding the metal into various shapes, shanks can also be embellished with accent stones or indented with carvings to create edgy patterns.
Cathedral rings have arched extensions of metal rising from the shank towards the center stone, creating a triangular hollow beneath. The design is inspired by the architecture of cathedrals. Most of the time these extensions are sleek and plain but they may be widened as per the design requirement and even embellished with accent stones.
Side stones are placed beside the center stone. Three stone rings are a popular choice where two side stones grace the sides of a much larger center stone. The side stones may be the same gem as the center stone, but that usually isn’t so. White diamonds are the most popular choice of side stones when the center stone is a color gemstone.
These are small stones that embellish the peripheral parts of the ring – like the shank, girdle, cathedral etc. Accent stones are used to manipulate the brilliance of jewels and heighten the attraction of the center stone. They are not to be confused with side stones.
A halo is an embellished periphery that surrounds the center stone. The word halo refers to an elliptical silhouette levitating over the heads of angels and enlightened sages but when it comes to rings, a halo takes the shape of whatever center stone it is surrounding. Halo rings are a specific style and have gained immense momentum in jewelry fashion. However, it isn’t significant to a ring’s structural integrity.
The sizing area is that part of the shank which lies directly beneath the gallery. The sizing area lies towards the inside of the palm and therefore, it is not immediately visible. However, it is structurally important as it determines the size of the ring and consequently, the comfort of the wearer.
Now that you’re a ‘ringmaster’, check out our collection of preset rings or better yet, design one yourself!