Searching for your ideal diamond engagement ring or wedding band may introduce you to new vocabulary. Some terms such as “gold” may be clear, but others like “setting” and “mounting” can get confusing. Knowing the parts that make up a ring, may make shopping easier.
The band, also known as a shank or hoop, makes the base of a ring. With most rings, the band takes the form of a circle. It should be large enough to slide down the finger, and snug enough to not slip off. Diamond rings are commonly made of gold or platinum. The part of the band on top of the finger is where larger stones go. Smaller jewels may be mounted anywhere along the outside of the shank.
Variations on the band include the split shank. At the bottom, it’s a single piece. As it approaches the knuckle, it divides into two or more thinner hoops. Some splits remain apart, or twist around one another. The latter is known as an intertwined band. Those which create a series of infinity symbols are called infinity rings. Two bands which connect to form an X are crisscross rings.
The place where the main diamonds are set is called the bezel. This is not to be confused with the bezel setting, which use a rim of metal to hold a diamond in place. Most stones are secured with prongs, which are narrow strips of metal that grip the jewels. The tiniest diamonds may use beads, or flecks of metal to stay secure.
On either side of the bezel are shoulders. Depending on the design, shoulders may taper, widen or otherwise change. It’s a popular location for side stones and other decorations. Antique style diamond engagement rings may feature embossed shoulder designs.