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8.03.2013

Jewelry Education: Identifying Parts Of A Ring

Shopping for jewelry should be an enjoyable, relaxing experience.  However, it often comes with a lot of pressure and angst.  There are many specific terms used in the jewelry industry that don’t make a lot of sense to everyday people.  If you’ll be shopping for rings anytime in the near future or if you just want to learn a little more about what’s available on today’s market, this guide put together by Tom Shane will help you get started. 

The Anatomy of a Ring

Any ring that is more than a simple band of metal has several different parts.  Most engagement rings will typically have all these elements.
  • The shank – This is the body of the ring that slips onto the finger.  The shank is further divided into full, ¾, and half portions.  These terms are used when decorative elements are present on the outside of the shank.  For instance, a leafy floral design may extend to half or ¾ of the shank.
  • The lower bezel – This small portion of the ring is where the prongs meet on the shank; this meeting point is usually reinforced to provide added stability and security.  The lower bezel is more visible in solitaire-type rings.
  • The mounting – The difference between the mounting and the shank is sometimes difficult to discern.  In brief, this term refers to the unified body of the shank and the lower bezel.  The term is also used to describe the entire non-gemstone portion of an engagement ring.  Mountings are often sold separately from gemstones.  This allows for greater design flexibility.  For instance, if a shopper already has a gemstone that they would like to be placed in their wedding or engagement ring, they only need to purchase the mounting.  This option is a very good way of purchasing affordable engagement rings.
  • The prongs – These are the branches that support a ring’s center stone.  Prongs are present on many engagement rings though numerous other settings can be found.  There will be a minimum of four prongs supporting any one stone.  Each prong is tipped with a slight hook that grasps the center stone.  This is usually called the claw though may be referred to as the prong tip.
  • The gallery – This portion of the ring exists between the lower bezel and the stone that’s held up by the prongs; this space is most readily seen in solitaire rings.  The gallery allows light to enter from underneath a stone in order to give a stone its sparkle.  Nuances in color also become evident when light enters a stone.
  • The head- just as the mounting refers to the shank and lower bezel portions of a ring, the head refers to the gallery, prongs, and claws of a ring.  The head may include a single solitaire setting or the settings for several stones.
  • The stone – The gemstone set into an engagement ring is the showiest element and is the part of the ring that each other portion is designed to highlight.  A stone is cut to reflect the light that enters it from the gallery underneath and from the space around it.  Once inside a stone, light bounces off each facet and reveals the inner sparkle and fire that’s unique to each stone.
Now that you know a few things about rings, you’ll find that you have an easier time communicating with your jeweler and expressing your opinion on different rings.  You’ll also have a much easier time picking out exactly the right ring for this special romantic occasion.

3 comments:

  1. I guess I have so much to learn about jewelry, Rovs, I really have no idea about the parts of the ring, and I enjoyed learning about the parts in this post.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is a very interesting post. I love jewelries but I never paid attention to its important parts. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love your post.Thanks for sharing. Like ruthi, many of the people doesn't know about the parts of a ring. This blog will help many to select the best engagement or wedding rings for their beloved.

    ReplyDelete

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