Your guide to every piece of your engagement ring
Mounting: The mounting is basically the entire ring – usually without the center stone. Mountings include gold, accent diamonds (or not), and every other detail to a ring except the center diamond.
Shank: This is the band of metal that goes all the way around the finger. Without the shank, there is no ring! The bottom of the shank, opposite the center diamond, is where the ring is resized. Over time, the shank can wear thin as the gold is worn away. Your jeweler can re-shank the ring and make it look good as new again.
Gallery: The gallery is the area below the center diamond. This sometimes can be adorned with diamonds, engraved details, or other decorative pieces. The gallery provides support to the center head and sits flush against the top of the finger.
Gallery Rail: A gallery rail is a small metal ring that supports the bottom portion of your diamond. It’s usually attached to the head at the base of the prongs. If you have a large center diamond, a gallery rail helps keep the stone in place if you lose a prong.
Head: The head is the piece that holds the gemstones. You might see one head holding a center diamond, or three heads in a three-stone design, or more! Every major diamond in a ring is held in a head. A head can have 4 or 6 prongs, based on preference, or the head can be a bezel. A bezel head is shaped like a tube and the diamond is held in place by its rim all the way around. The prongs on a head require the most maintenance, we recommend retipping the prongs every 6 to 12 months, based on wear.
Shoulders: The shoulders of a ring are on either side of the center head. Sometimes they come up from the shank to meet at the head, creating an attractive look called a Cathedral setting. The shoulders can hold accent diamonds or they can be plain. Some rings don’t have shoulders at all, this style is called Tiffany.
Bridge: The bridge exists between the shoulders and below the gallery. The bridge joins the shoulders together. Some rings are designed without a bridge and some are designed to make the bridge a focal point – it all depends!
Accent Stones: Accent stones are smaller stones (diamonds, sapphires, rubies, etc.) usually found along the shank of a ring.
Halo: A halo is a ring of diamonds, attached to the head, that goes around the center stone. A halo is a popular way to give the illusion of a larger center diamond. They can come in many shapes and styles and can even be doubled or tripled to create a more pronounced effect!
Let’s bring these terms together and talk about a few popular styles:
This is a classic solitaire engagement ring with one center diamond held by a 4-prong head.
This is a diamond halo mounting with an accented shank. There is one center diamond with a halo (the ring of diamonds around the center stone) and accent diamonds along the shank.
This is a diamond halo mounting with a split shank. There is one center diamond with a halo and the accented shank splits in two to meet at the head.
This is a three-stone diamond ring with an accented shank. There is one center diamond and an accent stone on either side with an accented shank with engraved details.
This ring will be on her finger for the rest of her life – make sure it’s the one she would love to wear! It’s always recommended to bring your jeweler a photo of the type of ring you’re looking for. They might have that exact style or something very similar! If you have no idea what you’re looking for yet, don’t worry – your jeweler is there to help guide the way.