Because there are many components to consider when buying a ring, it is important to know ring anatomy before you begin. The anatomy of a ring, includes all angles, whether viewing from the top/down, viewing through finger, or from the side.
Looking at the ring from a side view and starting at the top, many rings feature a center stone setting held by a setting often referred to as the 'head' of the ring. The center stone, which could be diamonds or any other type of gemstone, may be accompanied by side stones. All are held into the setting with metal prongs that gently yet securely hold precious diamonds and gemstones. There are various types of prongs and other setting styles that are also used to hold stones, such as bezels.
Choosing a ring style depends on personal preference. When deciding on a bridal set, keep in mind that the engagement ring and matching band are created to complement each other. Depending on the set, there may be gaps between the ring and the band.
The diamonds or gemstones pictured below are set with prongs and have a gallery rail that helps keep the prongs secure, located about midway from the top of the stone to the ring rail, or bridge. The base of the shank is opposite the center stone, or head of the ring.
Each ring will have a unique shank style, which is the precious metal part of the ring that encircles the finger. As the shank leads up into the top of the ring and its settings, it may change depth or width and be referred to as 'shoulders'. Depending on the design of the ring, the shoulder area may taper, widen, split, cathedral, or take on a number of different shapes as shown below:
The ring shank will feature an outside shape or profile, which is the top of the shank, opposite the ring rail. The cross sectional view or ring profile, ranges from flat inside round, comfort-fit, inside round, flat and knife-edge.
Two popular ring profiles are half-round and slight-round. The inside of the ring along the finger is generally either designed to have a curved comfort fit or straighter flat fit, also known as a standard fit. When working with your reputable jeweller, be sure to discuss the desired shank depth and width as well as the profile and inside fit.
Choosing a ring style depends on personal preference.
Traditionally, buying wedding jewellery was all about finding the perfect engagement ring, with the wedding bands viewed as a minor consideration. Today, it's common for both rings to be viewed as equally important investments in your future together. Bridal sets combine an engagement ring with a matching wedding band, creating a two-ring set that has a unique, harmonious look. Two types are shown below:
A shadow band is masterfully crafted to shadow the engagement ring. The band is customized to perfectly accent the engagement ring so that no gap can be seen.
A straight band is designed to complement and sit next to the engagement ring. One advantage of a straight band is that it can be worn independently from the engagement ring. A straight band can fit flush against the engagement ring, however, if the engagement ring has a center setting that prevents the band from sitting flush, a gap can be seen between the ring and band.
Straight With Gap