Anatomy of an Engagement Ring

You’ve found the one, and are now on the hunt for the ring. Ring shopping can be an overwhelming task for many soon to be engaged couples. You may have already heard some terms thrown around referencing parts of a ring such as head, shank, and shoulders. By familiarizing yourself with the anatomy of an engagement ring, you’ll be better equipped to find the best ring within your budget. View the infographic below to learn about the various components that contribute to a ring’s beauty, style and price.

engagement ring anatomy infographic


This is where you’ll find the center stone – most often the largest stone on the ring. The head normally consists of one mounted stone, called a solitaire, or three stones – large center and accent stones on either side. The head could also contain other additional small stones referred to as accent stones.


The most common type of setting is known as the prong. Prongs refer to the “claws” that hold the center stone in place on the head. Most rings will have four or six prongs, double prongs set side by side or chevron prongs(also referred to as v-prongs). Other trendy styles include halo and double halo which create a great amount of sparkle.


The part of the ring that wraps around the finger is referred to as the shank. The most popular style is the tapered shank, which gets wider (or narrower) as it approaches the center stone. Cathedral shanks have arches that rise from the main part of the band to support the center stone. Other styles include split shanks and European shanks which add intricacy to a ring’s design.


The shoulders of a ring help display and protect the center stone. They consist of one or multiple adjoined components that connect the shank to the setting. A ring’s shoulders can range from simple designs for solitaire rings to quite elaborate for vintage styles. Details will often consist of engravings, intricate scroll-work or accent stones to maximize sparkle.


The setting defines the finished look of the ring and should display the stone in its “best light”. It also secures the center diamond in place. The most popular setting styles include prong, bezel, channel, pave and contour. Prong is the most common as mentioned above and contains small claws that hold the diamond in place. The contour setting has rising slopes of metal, while the bezel has a band of metal that secures the center diamond in place. The channel setting holds a row of diamonds together within two walls. The pave setting features a seamless display of small diamonds without any metal or prongs showing.

Now that you’re familiar with a ring’s anatomy, view our collection of engagement ring settings to get inspired!