The anatomy of a ring

The anatomy of a ring

The anatomy of a ring

When it comes to picking out the perfect engagement ring, there are a lot of details that you want to get right. There are so many features that come attached to a ring that many people don’t recognize. It’s not essential to have every section of a ring memorized in order to find the perfect one, but it can help to make sure that every nuanced detail is to your liking. 

By knowing the anatomy of a ring, you can communicate clearly to our 14 Karat jewelry experts what exactly you are looking for and they can help you to find a flawless new ring.

Center Stone

The center stone is the main star of the show. This is the gem that the whole ring surrounds to make it brighter and show off. The center stone can be a variety of different shapes, or gems itself. The center stone can usually be found in the head of the ring, and the most noticeable part of the ring. This is usually the aspect that many people will have the most opinions about to find their perfect engagement ring. 

Side Stones

The side stones can usually be found next to the center stone. They are most of the time smaller in size so as to not upstage the main stone. Sometimes side stones can be confused with accent gems that are found either alongside the band or in a channel setting. These side stones traditionally have their own set of prongs, and like in a three stone engagement ring setting, they complete the ring’s design. 


The setting is the entirety of the ring minus the main gemstone. Sometimes the setting is referred to as the head of the ring as well. In both cases, they are the details that set the ring apart from other rings that hold a similar center stone. This is how a round cut diamond can look so different depending upon whether it is in a solitaire setting or a double halo. Settings for the head can also make a huge difference in how a diamond stone looks like a center stone that is held up with prongs, or metal rods on the outside of the stone, from a bezel head setting, or metal surrounding the whole stone. 


The gallery refers to the section of the ring that you can see from the ring’s side profile. It can also be considered part of the “head” of the ring. Some brides want their perfect engagement ring to have a more elaborate gallery that can elevate a ring to a new level. Meanwhile, some other brides prefer a more simple gallery to best let the center stone shine on its own. 


The bridge is the portion of the ring that is right under the gallery. This can make it elaborate or more minimalist. Most bridges are either plain or multifaceted with diamonds. 


A shank is the technical term for the actual metal that surrounds your finger. The ring would be nonexistent without a shank. Over time, with lots of wear, shanks can shrink and wear thin. In order to resize a ring, the shank has to be cut and more metal added or taken away. 

Visit Us

Once you know what your preferences are in all the different components of a ring, come and visit our 14 Karat jewelry experts to find your perfect engagement ring. They can help you to find a ring among our collections or help to create your own custom piece.