Gallery, shank, head...all are important parts of an engagement ring, but what do these words *actually* mean? We're breaking down the jewelry terms you might not know—keep reading to learn some new, interesting information, and see some gorgeous ring inspiration!

anatomy of an engagement ring

ArtCarved "Adrienne" Style # 31-V746ERW

Center Stone
        This is an easy one: the center stone is the diamond or gemstone that resides in the center of the ring. A solitaire engagement ring has just one stone, whereas other rings may include side stones.

A.Jaffe solitaire, Style ME1689

        Prongs are the small pieces of metal that hold a stone in place. Stones can be set with four, six (as shown in the ring above), or more prongs. Prongs can be rounded or pointed ("claw" style) as well as split or “double” prongs, like this Gabriel & Co. three-stone ring:

Gabriel & Co Style  ER9044W44JJGabriel & Co. Style #ER9044W44JJ

      Or you can have no prongs holding your center stone if you opt for a bezel! A bezel is a metal frame that is smoothed over all or some of the edges of your diamond/gemstone. It is a very secure setting and is great for women who want something a little different!

Gabriel & Co Style  ER8895W44JJGabriel & Co. Style # ER8895W44JJ

 Head or Basket
        The head of a ring is the part that holds the center stone/side stones. Some people also refer to this as the basket, as it might look as if the stone is sitting in a basket-like frame. The head design may include prongs, a diamond halo, or even a bezel. This solitaire ring from Ever & Ever Bridal features a head with six prongs in a crown design with textured details.
ever and ever solitaire 122004

Ever & Ever Style #Style 122004

Shank or Band
        The shank of a ring is what most people refer to as its band. The shank can be smooth, plain metal, or adorned with diamonds or gemstones (Accent Stones), engraving, or milgrain details. Milgrain is the delicate, textured dot detail on the edges of a ring used in antique and vintage-inspired jewelry.

        A very popular shank style lately is the split shank, which creates a "V" or chevron look. A split shank adds flair and balance to a design:

a jaffe emerald cut ring with double prongsA. Jaffe Style MES861-180

        The gallery is the part of the ring under the focal stone(s). Some rings have a simple gallery that just shows the basket(s) that the stones are set in, but many have ornate details that add so much to the look of the ring.

        Designer Gabriel & Co. pays a lot of attention to the gallery of a ring during the design process. This ring features a pop of stunning rose gold accented with diamonds, and a bezel set round diamond:

Gabriel & Co. engagement ringGabriel & Co. Style ER10519R4T83JJ-2

We hope that this guide was helpful and that you can use it to find your perfect style engagement ring! When you’re ready to shop for this important purchase, allow Becker’s engagement ring experts to help you each step of the way, from choosing the setting and center diamond or gem, to adding custom details and personalized engraving.

 Visit us:

 West Hartford - 65 LaSalle Rd (860) 521-3202
Old Saybrook - 105 Elm St (860) 391-8281  

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