When it comes to buying a ring, you’ll quickly start to hear terms like setting and shank and prong and wonder what exactly those jewelers are talking about. To help you better understand the wonderful world of ring shopping, we’re proud to present the anatomy of a ring!

Understanding the different parts of a ring will help you choose from a variety of options with confidence, or even go so far as to share specifics when having a ring custom designed. It can even help you drop a few hints to that special someone on exactly what you have in mind! 


The entire ring is known as the “setting” including the stones that make it up, like diamonds, rubies or sapphires. The one exclusion to this rule is the center stone. The setting itself refers to how stones are mounted to the band. Its purpose is to help highlight the center stone. The setting can drastically change how the ring is perceived and there are many different types of ring settings, including:

  • Solitaire – The ever-popular solitaire engagement ring is an all metal band featuring a singular center stone that draws in all the focus of the eye.


  • Halo – With a singular stone that’s completely encircled by smaller stones, creating a “halo” effect, this type of ring makes the center stone look larger by comparison.

  • Three Stone – With a main center gemstone and two smaller accent diamonds, three stone settings have a special and symbolic meaning for couples. 


The top of the ring is known as the head. This is the part that holds up to center stone and contains the prongs and gallery (more on those below). 


The gallery is part of the head and refers to details on the underside of the ring’s center stone. You can see the gallery when you look at the ring from the side. It’s an ideal place to put embellishments or other design details like diamond accents that lend themselves to the sophisticated beauty of the ring. 


The shank, also known as the band, is the metal part of the ring that goes around your finger. It’s normally all metal but it can feature different gemstone accents. The metal chosen for the shank not only affects the appearance of the ring but also how it feels on your finger. 


The small metal pieces that hold the center stone in place are known as prongs. There are many different types of prongs and even the prongs themselves can have different ends, like pointed or rounded. You can have claw-like prongs, V-shaped prongs and more, but much of how the prongs are shaped will depend more on the stone itself. 


The bridge of a ring is the part which rests on the top of your finger. It helps add support for the head and can include additional accents like diamonds or other precious stones. 

Next Steps: Go Ring Shopping!

Now that you better understand the different parts of a ring, the next step will easily become your favorite — going ring shopping! When you work with a knowledgeable jeweler, like Valobra Master Jewelers, you can ask to be shown specific rings that match the anatomy of the ring’s design you have in mind. We welcome you to see rings of all sizes and shapes in our extensive showroom at our Houston Jewelry store and ask any questions you may have about buying the perfect ring! Come in today to learn more!