The anatomy of a ring
Rings have been symbols of love, commitment, and fashion for centuries. Whether you’re shopping for an engagement ring, a wedding band, or just a new, stylish accessory, it’s essential to understand the various parts that make up a ring. This is for a few reasons, so that you understand the integrity of the ring, and so that you can ensure you ensure every part of the ring is exactly to your liking. In this article, we will explore the anatomy of a ring, from the band to the prongs, and discuss their significance in both design and function.
The band is the circular part of the ring that encircles your finger. It is typically made from various metals, such as gold, silver or platinum. Bands come in different widths, styles, and textures, allowing you to choose one that suits your personal taste and lifestyle. The band’s thickness and width can significantly impact the overall look and comfort of the ring. It’s important to understand why the band’s width matters when it comes to the size of your stone – if you use a band that’s very thin with a very large stone, it may not be structurally strong enough to keep your stone safe in place.
The setting (or mounting) is the portion of the ring that holds the gemstone(s) in place. It can vary widely in design, from classic prong settings that showcase the stone’s brilliance, to rub-over settings that encase the gem for added protection. The setting is a critical aspect of a ring’s design, as it determines how the gemstone is displayed and secured. There are also settings utilised for more decorative reasons – such as a pavé setting – and it’s important to understand how the setting can really visually impact your ring.
Prongs are tiny metal claws or prongs that secure the gemstone in the setting. Common prong settings include four-prong and six-prong designs, each offering a different balance between security and visibility. Prongs play a crucial role in keeping the gemstone in place and allowing light to enter and reflect off the stone, enhancing its sparkle. While it may not be the most exciting aspect of the ring, some prongs will allow more gemstone to be shown than others, so it’s important to closely inspect different prong options, and see which works best for you.
The gemstone is the focal point of many rings, adding beauty and significance to the piece. Popular gemstones include diamonds, sapphires, rubies, emeralds, and many others. Each gemstone has its unique properties, such as colour, cut, clarity, and carat weight, which contribute to its overall value and appearance. Ensure the centre stone you choose is of a good hardness on the Mohs scale, and can take daily wear and tear.
The gallery is the area beneath the centre stone and setting. It is often overlooked but can be intricately designed with filigree, engravings, or other decorative elements. A well-crafted gallery can enhance the overall aesthetics of the ring and provide a unique touch to its design.
Shoulders and shank
The shoulders are the part of the ring that connects the band to the setting, while the shank is the lower portion of the band that encircles your finger. These components can be plain or adorned with additional gemstones or decorative elements, adding character and style to the ring. The width and design of the shoulders and shank can significantly affect the ring’s overall look and comfort.