An Engagement Ring's Basic Anatomy

Est. Reading: 3 minutes
April 20, 2023
Table of Contents

Many people are often confused about the terminology used by jewellers to describe a ring – especially first-time buyers that have just started the adventure of finding their perfect ring. The anatomy of an engagement ring varies accordingly to the type and style and in this post, we will mainly focus on the traditional and popular solitaire diamond ring.

There are three main parts to a diamond engagement ring: the diamond, the diamond setting, and the band.

The Diamond

A picture showing the different cuts of a diamond used in a ring

The diamond makes up the most important (as well as the costliest) part of your ring – it is the centre stone, the focal point that the ring is designed around. The three main points of a diamond are the cut, the clarity, and the weight.

  • The cut is the shape that the diamond has been cut into with the most common being round, princess, emerald, and oval.
  • Because of the way diamonds are formed they have certain “birthmarks” which are small imperfections on or within the diamond – the clarity defines how many of these imperfections are present. The more imperfections equal a lower price at the cost of less brilliance/shine.
  • The weight of a diamond is measured in carats and the more carats, the bigger the diamond. We have a good post here on what the difference between a carat and a karat is.

The Diamond Setting

The setting is the part of the ring that holds your diamond in place as well as adds an extra element of design. Different types of rings use different settings that include a bezel, where the centre diamond is surrounded by a perimeter of metal; and channel settings that hold multiple diamonds together, in a row, with no metal separating them. The solitaire ring has what is known as a prong. A prong is the most common type of setting that includes several claws which almost form a basket that holds the centre stone firmly in place – the most common prongs have anywhere from 3 – 6 claws.

The Band

The band (aka the shank) is the precious metal ring that wraps around your finger. It comes in a variety of different metals and colours, and the type of metal or colour you choose is your personal choice based on what you like, what suits you, and your lifestyle. You should consider your lifestyle when choosing the metal, a softer metal like gold will be more delicate than the likes of platinum, or palladium. Have a read through our post that describes what the differences between platinum, palladium, and white gold are.

The band, as simple as it seems, comes in a variety of different builds and design that not only make the ring look better but also give you a more comfortable fit. A good example includes bands that have bevelled edges which add an extra dimension of detail and also help your ring slide smoothly onto your finger.


There are many different shapes and styles and with this information you should better understand the basic make-up of a ring. If you are shopping for a new ring and want to find out more about its anatomy, especially if it is more elaborate than a solitaire ring, pop on down to our jewellery workshop on 5 Mary Street, Dublin City Centre, where we will gladly explain in more detail the anatomy of a ring.

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