If things proceed as they should, your diamond engagement ring is something you’ll be wearing almost all the time for many years to come, so it’s reasonable to say that you can probably never know too much about it.
Shopping for the perfect engagement ring for you offers a great opportunity to do that, whether you eventually opt for a traditional diamond engagement ring, a less usual fancy colored yellow diamond engagement ring or its popular peer the pink diamond engagement ring, or you decide to opt for a gemstone ring such as an emerald engagement ring.
One of the things many people don’t understand about their diamond or gemstone ring - and that could be any ring, including diamond cocktail rings, gemstone promise rings and more - is its anatomy, the parts it is made up of that create the whole.
Knowing the various components of a diamond engagement ring can assist you in making a better decision when purchasing a new ring and determining when your current ring requires repair. It's also a great way to show off your extensive knowledge of jewelry jargon to your pals.
A shank is a part of every ring. This is the specific term for the metal band that wraps around the finger. Without the shank, there would be no ring. If the ring's upper section includes a distinct design feature, the ring shank is often regarded to begin where the design ends.
When sizing a ring, a jeweler will normally add or subtract metal from the bottom of the shank. This can sometimes be done so well that looking at the shank with your naked eye, you'd never know it was sized or had been repaired in any way.
A ring shank can become thinner with time—yes, even high karat weight gold and platinum can deteriorate in this way. In such circumstances, a jeweler can "re-shank" the ring by replacing the metal at the bottom of the shank and continuing up the sides as far as the design and level of wear necessitates.
The shank of your ring may last a lifetime though if you take good care of it (removing it when scrubbing dishes, cleaning with harsh chemicals, gardening, etc.). Ring shanks that were thin to begin with, on the other hand, are more prone to require maintenance sooner.
When shopping for a diamond engagement ring, look for a ring with a solid, thick shank that will hold up to a lot of wear while also complimenting the overall design you want. This does not have to mean choosing a thick, chunky option, just one that is not too thin.
Diamond Ring Gallery
The underside of the ring beneath the central stone is referred to as the gallery of a ring, which is a fairly vague word. On the top half of the ring, which is lifted over the finger, there is frequently a design. A gallery is added beneath this design to support it and encircle the top of the finger, ensuring the ring's structural stability and comfort.
In terms of upkeep, a ring gallery is occasionally constructed of tiny wires that wear out and break or split over time. The gallery is also a good place to check for wear from other rings (such as wedding bands) worn next to each other. The continual friction with another ring can wear the gallery down, putting the center stone at risk of falling out. This is why, if you want to wear your rings together all the time, you will need to be more vigilant.
When shopping for a diamond or gemstone ring, pay close attention to the gallery's construction. Does it appear to be strong enough to keep the ring together? Are the gallery wires flimsy and prone to breakage? Will it accommodate any additional bands or rings you plan to wear alongside the primary ring? All of these are considerations to bear in mind and, if you are in any way confused, ask the jeweler about.
The gemstone in your diamond engagement ring is held in place by the ring head. The most common ring heads are pronged. The prongs are the metal claws that hold the stone in place.
The majority of ring prong heads have four or six prongs. Six prongs are obviously more secure because more points must fail for the stone to fall out, but they also cover more of the diamond or gemstone itself, which is something of a trade-off between style and security.
Prongs, like shanks, may wear down over time and need to be rebuilt to keep the precious stone they are supposed to secure from falling out. The "tip" is the very top of the prong, the part that actually lays on top of the stone.
It's usually a good idea to have your diamond ring’s prongs examined by a jeweler, especially if any of the points appear to be missing or worn down, or if any stones appear to be loose. The more thin or missing points you have, the more likely you are to lose a stone.
Prong ring heads are far from the only option, though. Bezel, half-bezel, and channel heads are available in addition to prong heads. The most secure approach to set a stone is using a bezel head, which encircles the entire stone in metal.
However, some individuals dislike this style since it hides more of the gemstone. The half bezel is a solution to this problem that consists of two pieces of metal that wrap around the stone on opposite sides about a quarter of the way around it.
Finally, the stone is placed between two straight pieces of metal on either side by a channel head (this style is most commonly utilized with square or princess cut diamonds). As you may expect, all forms of head can wear thin with time and require a jeweler's repair.
Pay particular attention to how the main diamond or gemstone is set when you're buying your fancy colored diamond engagement ring . What kind of head is this? What compromises are made between security, design, and the amount of stone visible?
Finally, when it comes to ring heads, it's crucial to remember that not all diamond rings have one. Some designs incorporate the gemstone setting directly into the rest of the ring, eliminating the need for a separate portion.
To keep the central stone in place, these designs can use a variety of prongs, channels, beads, or a flush setting. The crucial thing to remember is that the stone must be set in some way, so think about what is holding the diamond in place when deciding whether you prefer a particular diamond ring or if your band requires some attention.