The Anatomy of an Engagement Ring

If you're thinking about proposing, you're in the right place. You got the girl, now it's time to ring shop. And ladies, don't be afraid to show him what you like, that will help guide him in picking out the perfect ring.

An overview of the main parts of an engagement ring

Feeling confident enough to start shopping?

Popular Ring Settings & Styles

Ring shopping begins months in advance (yes, popping the question involves weeks, even months of planning!). Picking out the perfect ring is harder than it looks. Does she want a three stone or solitaire ring? Where exactly is the "shank"? What in the world is a bezel? If you're feeling overwhelmed, don't worry. Use this diagram below to help you get started.

One of our most simple and elegant designs, our four-prong and six-prong setting is a classic look that never goes out of style. If you are into bold statement pieces with a vintage feel, go for an estate ring. Bezel set rings feature a higher-than-usual rim that surrounds your precious gemstone – this gives the ring an added layer of security against daily wear and tear. Halo rings, one of today's most popular settings due to it's beauty and price, have a circle of smaller gemstones surrounding a large centerpiece. Take a look at the different types of settings in the gallery below. 

From left to right, top row: Six Prong Solitaire (starting at $589), Round Halo with Side Accents (starting at $1,399), East-West Solitaire (starting at $1,549), Round Solitaire (starting at $879)

From left to right, bottom row: Bezel Set Solitaire (starting at $999) Solitaire Half Bezel (starting at $899), Round Halo (starting at $999), Double Halo Ring (starting at $1,189)

Types of Shanks

You want every aspect of the ring to be perfect for the one you love. Prongs, settings and shanks (aka the bands) are an important foundation for the main stone. A prong is an extension of the metal that wraps around the edge of a gemstone and clasps the top of a gemstone, usually giving the metal a claw-like appearance. Many times, you will find between four and six prongs on an engagement ring to ensure the gemstone is held firmly in place. Settings are the shape and design of the piece of jewelry surrounding the main gemstone(s). Finally, the shank the piece of metal that surrounds your finger, providing the perfect base for your design. The shank ensures that the ring fits properly on the finger and prevents the ring from spinning. 

From left to right, top row: Split Shank Solitaire (starting at $979), Milgrain Tapered Solitaire (starting at $1,259), Solitaire with Milgrain Side Accents (starting at 939)

From left to right, bottom row: Oval Solitaire Bypass (starting at $689) Oval Four Prong Solitaire (starting at $899), Crossover Solitaire (starting at $1,739)

Setting Designs & Details

Finally, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty details of specific stylistic designs. Every aspect of the ring makes it one of a kind. Milgrain adds beading to the ring and gives it a vintage flair while carved bands have etched designs in the shank. You can choose a twisted band or rope band for a modern and delicate look or you can go bold with a swirl design. Floral bands are nature-inspired and whimsical while vine-like filigree details are common in antique, vintage-style rings.

From left to right, top row: Round Milgrain Halo (starting at $1,169), Solitaire with Carved Band (starting at $999), Twisted Band Solitaire (starting at $1,049)

From left to right, bottom row: Triple Row Swirl (starting at $1,619), Floral Solitaire (starting at $999), Floral Band Solitaire (starting at $1,019)

Want to know more about engagement rings? Read our blog "The ABC’s of Ring Settings: Guide to Engagement Ring Styles & Designs."