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Ring Anatomy

Explaining what you want your dream ring to look like can be hard.

Shank, gallery, halo … what does that even mean?

If you are looking for a custom cocktail ring, right hand ring or engagement ring, this post is for you!

Knowing the ring design terminology will not only help you explain exactly what you are looking for to your jeweller but also help you when searching for rings for your moodboard.

For example you can search for "oval diamond halo white gold engagement ring" or "sapphire solitaire cocktail ring".

Here is a sketch to explain the terminology on a three-stone ring.

Ring anatomy, jewellery terminology diagram

Centre stone

The main stone in the centre, can be a diamond or a coloured gemstone.

Side stones

In a three-stone ring, these will be one stone on each side of the centre stone.

These can be diamonds or coloured gemstones. For example a diamond in the centre and sapphires on the sides, or other way around (sapphire in the center and diamonds on the sides).

"Side stones" can also be used to describe any stones other than the centre stone.


The area below the centre stone that can be seen from the side (profile view).

Claws / prongs

Small bits of metal that hold the stones in place.


Upper part of the shank, closest to the centre stone.

Shank / band

Lower portion of the ring.

Keep reading to see examples of a "split shank" design.


This part is usually used if your ring needs resizing.

cushion cut montana sapphire and diamond halo yellow gold engagement ring

Here is an example of a halo ring design with a cushion centre stone.

Ring anatomy, jewellery terminology diagram

Here are some popular ring designs to help you visualise yours:

white gold diamond engagement ring design ideas


A ring that only has one stone.


A halo of diamonds around the centre stone.

Accent stones

Extra stones running down the shoulders and or shank of the ring.

Three stone ring

Typically has three stones and can be a combination of diamonds and coloured gemstones.

You can of course also add more diamonds on the shoulders for extra sparkle.

round diamond three stone yellow gold engagement ring

Split Shank

Another popular design that has been trending in 2022 is the split shank. This design has a shank that is literally split in half and shows a gap.

A split shank can be designed with or without a halo. You can also choose whether you want diamonds running down the shoulders and shank or not.

Here are some examples:

split shank engagement ring design ideas

Prong setting vs. Basket setting

When creating a custom ring, people often focus on what it looks like from the top, but not from the side.

The profile view however is important, not only visually but also in terms of durability. The basket is often used to protect your centre stone and add unique detailing.

prong setting vs basket setting engagement ring profile side view

The basket doesn't have to be this elaborate, if that's not your style. But if you are looking for a vintage look or filigree design, this is where you would add those intricate details.

The idea is to add additional metal going across the diamond, horizontally, to protect the centre stone. You can choose to add diamonds here for additional sparkle from all angles.

Here are more examples of basket designs:

basket setting white gold diamond engagement ring profile side view

Cathedral setting

Cathedral setting typically has extra arches in the design compared to the basket setting. This setting adds interest to the side or profile view of the ring.

Once again, you can choose to add diamonds to any part of the setting or leave it as a solitaire design featuring only one stone.

cathedral setting diamond engagement ring profile side view


Pro tip: I highly recommend choosing a basket or cathedral setting to keep your centre stone nice and protected


Crossover or Twist design

Want to add a romantic or vintage feel to your ring? Just add a crossover twist!

round and pear shape diamond halo crossover twist shank white gold diamond engagement ring


The best part of designing a custom ring?

YOU get to call the shots!

Get as creative as you like or keep it minimalistic, it's completely up to you!


Ready to chat about your dream ring?

Schedule a complementary, 30 minute connection call with me here

Visit Tsarina Gems Instagram page for more stunning jewellery ideas and styling tips


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