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.

Ring parts


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.


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. 

It is unprofessional to call a gallery a "Donut" or "Bagel"

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.

East-West or North-South

Most engagement rings have center stones positioned “North-South” – aligned with the finger. The “East-West” rings have the center stone set across the finger. They are less common and better suited for slim, elongated stones.

Upper Gallery, Box, or Upper bezel

The upper gallery is the top tier, which aims to support the stones. The upper gallery provides “seats” for the stones, preventing them from moving lateraly.

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. The lower tier touches the finger and serves as a base for prongs or stems. The gallery size is determined by the prongs’ angle and the distance between the two galleries.


Parts of a shank that are directly attached to the ring’s head. The cathedral shank’s shoulders are split from the base, so the bottom part of the split is connected to a lower gallery and the top part to the upper gallery.

The shoulders are often set with diamonds to minimize the appearance of the bare metal.


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.

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.


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.

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