Terminology is something taken for granted and used freely within any industry. The same can be applied to the jewellery industry. Since an engagement ring represents (for some) a rare jewellery purchase, this terminology can be a little daunting. Speaking with clients and working with their own descriptions tells us this, and so we try to provide some basic information on such elements as parts of a ring. Today we are going to keep things fairly brief, with a little basic information on parts of an engagement ring – generalised of course, just to note a few parts common in many ring designs.
The setting of a diamond engagement ring is the part of the ring that holds the diamond in place. This is the area of the ring, where the greater proportion of the budget goes. The setting itself can vary greatly in style, but here we have a four claw setting. shown above in the compass setting style, with claws oriented North-East-South-West. You may see reference to prongs instead of claws, but where claws are not present, there is usually a retaining area of metal – a circle or bezel around the diamond, or a bar, holding the diamond within the ring. More claws offer greater stability, but fewer claws show more of the diamond, hence their popularity. The underbezel shown in the diagram tends to strengthen claws by providing a bridge between which holds together the structure of the setting. Thicker, stronger claws are often built requiring no underbezel to open up the setting and allow more of the diamond to be visible. An underbezel can, however, be useful for other innovative styling elements such as diamond accents.
The shoulders of a diamond engagement ring fall below the setting, irrespective of whether or not the ring is a one part or two part design (adjoined setting & shank.) The shoulders can vary in width to the underside of the band or can run at constant with all of the way from underside to setting. Many traditional styles narrow or taper under the setting. Viewed as above, from the side, the shoulders can be solid, or can appear to divide – one part continuing the band, whilst part of the shoulder splits and rises to the setting. Alternatively this triangular ‘open’ aperture can be solid metal, another subtle design variation. More elaborate styles include designs with diamonds set into the shoulders which are a popular category of diamond rings in their own right.
The Shank / Band
The band or shank of the ring is the part of the ring that wraps around the finger, holding the ring on the hand. The profile, or cross section of the band is typically a court profile, being curved slightly on the inside and outside of the ring. Variations do exist across in many styles, from engagement rings with flat court bands, to styles with heavy D shaped shank profiles. With is also a consideration, with 2.5mm being fairly standard, and 2mm – 3mm being regular variations to this.