The Anatomy of a Ring

If you’re interested in purchasing or even designing your own ring sometimes it’s the technical details that can hold you back from approaching a jeweller. This shouldn’t be the case as it only takes a very basic knowledge for us to understand what you’re trying to communicate. We have put together this little guide just in case you want that extra knowledge/confidence so you can express exactly what you want, or do not want, when discussing your next ring with us.


Head – This is the top part of the ring where the gemstones are usually held. This part is the most changeable as there’s so many styles of settings and collets that can hold your stone but all you really need to know to start is that this part is called the head and the discussion will flow from here.

Claw/Prongs - The claws are the small metal pieces that grip a stone/diamond and hold them in place. Internationally they are known as ‘prongs’ but in Europe and Ireland they’re most commonly referred to as claws.

Shoulder – This is the upper part of a ring shank and it can be set full of diamonds or it can be tapered in such a way that complements the gemstone on top.

Shank – or also known as the band, is the bottom portion of the ring that curves around the finger. This is the piece that is used to size up and down the ring and is also the piece that can be engraved with a small message or a date.

Hallmark – is the mark stamped stating the metal of the ring and the jeweller who made it. In a previous blog I discussed the hallmarks of gold, silver, or platinum and how these stamps certify the purity of precious metal content. These marks are often put in a discrete location on the ring, typically the inside of the shank, so it doesn’t interfere with the design or take away from the ring in any way.

Cluster/Halo – these are the stones surrounding the centre stone. They often go fully around the centre stone in a circle formation to make it look bigger and this is where the term ‘halo’ comes from.

Centre Stone – This is the featured middle stone on the ring and is quite literally the centrepiece of the ring design. This can be a diamond, sapphire, emerald or any gemstone of your choice.


We hope this introduction to the anatomy of a ring has provided you with the terminology you need to describe and create the ring you desire. If you have any designs you wish to discuss, or any jewellery related questions, please contact us through our website, Instagram or email me at

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