Cushion cut diamond engagement ring with trapezoid side stonesDiamond bands are not a monolith. There are engagement rings, wedding bands and anniversary rings. They’re made from a variety of precious metals and mounted with different diamond cuts. While some diamond rings are left plain, others are decorated, or made with certain motifs in mind.

The brightest decorations involve little diamonds. This can be as simple as side stones flanking a larger jewel. These may be cut to match the central stone, or have a different shape for contrast. Diamond halos get their name from the way they surround other, larger jewels. They’re frequently made of round brilliants, and sometimes baguettes. Pave settings too use small round diamonds to encrust some or all of the ring for added brilliance.

Shanks, also known as bands, are the part of the ring that encircles the finger. While it can be shaped as a plain circle, it’s also a place for adornment. Low key decorations involve grooves or engraved images. Fancier styles change the shape of the band. Split shanks are rings joined at the bottom and separate into thinner bands at the top. Crisscross bands form an X when viewed from above or below. Infinity rings are made of a series of crisscrosses which create the infinity symbol over and over.

Floral motifs are always popular, and diamond rings are no exception. They can be as subtle as a vine engraved down the band or a flower made entirely of diamonds. A common design is a halo modified to resemble petals. Modified versions mount these petals at different levels around the central diamond for a three-dimensional look.

A popular Victorian jewelry motif was snakes, which symbolized eternity. As rings, they coiled around the finger or bit their tails to form a circle. Snakes rings are still available today. They can be made of plain metal, mounted with a few choice diamonds, or pave encrusted. Its meaning and striking design make it a unique choice for diamond anniversary bands or wedding rings.