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The Foundry Journal

Engagement Rings 101: A Visual Guide

July 8, 2015

In the News

Style Guide

Diamond Industry

Engagement Rings 101: A Visual Guide

July 8, 2015 BY Alon Ben-Shoshan IN Engagements

Congratulations! You did all the hard work and found the love of your life! Now all you need to do is sort out this ring business. Easy-peasy, right? Wrong! If you already started the search for your perfect engagement ring, you may have noticed the jumble of insider jargon used to talk about all the different parts and pieces that make up this seemingly simple piece of jewelry. But not to worry! I am here to help.

Let’s begin at the beginning.


solitare200This is a basic, classic solitaire engagement ring. It is called a solitaire because it possess a single, solitary diamond.

  • The setting or the head include the prongs which hold the stone.
  • The area underneath the stone is called the gallery.
  • The shoulder which can be styled in many different ways.
  • The shank or band of the ring.
  • There should be a hallmark stamped inside your ring that tells you the type of metal used to make the ring.


There are many ways to hold the stone within the head of the setting. Below are the different kinds of ways to secure the diamond to the band.

Shape of the Band

The shape of the band makes a big difference to the look of the ring.

Cathedral Variations

When two arches of  metal sweep upwards from the shank to meet the head it is called a Cathedral Setting. Classically, it resembles the arches of a cathedral, hence the name. Here are some variations.


The halo is a popular way to frame a solitaire and add sparkle.

Alternative Settings

Here are some other possible configurations of settings.

Accent Stones

Accent stones can be added to the solitaire in many interesting ways.

Unique Finishes

Special finishes and finishing touches to the band, or shank, make a ring unique and special.

Here is a dictionary of commonly used terms for more definitions and some in-depth explanations.

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