Ring parts

Knowing the ring parts’ names is the key to understanding a design. Unfortunately, most jewelers are inconsistent in their terminology, which leaves too many holes in the discussion. The brief glossary courtesy of Leon Mege Center for Advanced Jewelry Studies will help communicate with your jeweler.

Three-stone ring parts illustration by Leon Mege

Ring

Most rings can be split into two essential elements: the head and the shank. The shank straps the head to the finger. The head is a holder for a stone or stones.

Band

A metal strip of uniform width, height, and profile folded into a circle is a band that can be set with diamonds, gemstones, or left plain. As long as there is no single prominent stone or element, it is still classified as a band. 

A jeweler calling a gallery a DONUT or BAGEL is an unprofessional hack who should be fired.

Head, Basket, or a Mount

The head is the s ring’s focal point that holds a center stone or an arrangement of several stones. It can be a single setting, as in a Tiffany-style solitaire, or an elaborate assembly of many parts such as prongs, stems, halos, galleries, baskets, and bezels.

Upper Gallery

The upper gallery is the top tier whose purpose is to support the stones. The upper gallery provides “seats” for each stone, preventing it from lateral movements.

Lower Gallery, or a Bridge

The lower gallery is a projection of the ring’s head, shadowing its outline. In solitaires, the gallery usually has the shape of the center stone. It is the lower tier that touches the finger and serves as a base for prongs or stems.  The size of the gallery is determined by the prongs’ angle and the distance between the two galleries.

Halo

A halo is made of diamonds or gemstones surrounding the center stone. A halo blends in with the center stone creating a bigger look or quite the opposite; it frames the view bringing the center stone into focus.

Stems

Stems are pillars supporting a halo.  Just like columns in architecture, stems usually have a round profile, but they can also be flat. Unlike columns of a building, stems are getting thicker towards the top. Stems are often decorated with diamond pave.

A hidden halo is a myth, much like the Yeti, or his North American cousin, the Sasquatch. By definition, a halo is a border around a stone. A “halo” is hidden from the view is simply an upper gallery set with pave.

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