For all jewelry lovers and industry professionals, mastering the subtle art of ring design is crucial. One key component that dramatically shapes a ring’s overall aesthetic is the ‘shank.’
The shank, also known as the band, is the part of the ring that wraps around the finger, resting underneath the central gemstone or head.
This comprehensive guide will delve into the complexities of different ring shank types, their distinctive features, and their allure, providing you with essential knowledge for your journey into the world of ring design and jewelry craftsmanship.
1. Classic Straight Shank
The Straight Shank, also known as the classic shank, is a timeless design that maintains an unvarying width all around. It often features flat edges, although some designs incorporate a slight curve to ensure a comfortable fit.
This type of shank is ideal for highlighting large center stones and is available in various metals such as white, yellow, and rose gold, as well as platinum.
Flat Edge Shank is a type of Straight Shank. It presents a somewhat rounded top, but the side profile and the inside of the ring reveal sharp corners. This shank style offers a squarish look and feel, which has gained significant popularity among jewelry lovers.
2. Split Shank
The Split Shank is an elegant design where the single shank splits into two near the center stone. This shank type is often mistaken for two separate bands and can be adorned with pave along each split, adding a touch of sparkle and sophistication.
3. Split Shank
Similar to the split shank, the Open Split Shank starts narrow but splits wider near the diamond, creating a dramatic opening. This design is typically paired with larger center stones, making it an excellent choice for statement pieces.
4. Crossover Shank
The Crossover Shank is a unique design where the bands cross over near the center stone, similar to a split shank. This design is often accented with diamonds or other stones, commonly leading to a halo style with one central gem surrounded by smaller ones, creating a dazzling effect.
5. Tapered Shank
Next, we have the Tapered Shank, which changes in width from top to bottom. This shank is wider on top and thins out towards the bottom.
The Tapered Shank is a versatile design that maintains a normal width on most parts but thins out near the center stone.
This tapering effect is ideal for making smaller diamonds appear larger and can accommodate accent diamonds up to the setting, adding an extra layer of sparkle.
A specific variation of this shank type is the Comfort Fit Tapered Shank, which is rounded out on the edges, offering a comfortable fit.
6. Bypass Shank
The Bypass Shank is a distinctive design where the band does not connect at the center stone, creating a wrapped look with offset ends holding the center stone. This hand-specific design is a unique choice for those seeking something different from traditional ring designs.
7. Knife Edge Shank
The Knife Edge Shank is a popular choice among modern brides. It features a raised center that splits the ring into two parts, making the diamond look larger due to its thinness. This design is also ideal for stacking with other rings, allowing for a personalized look.
This shank type has a unique feature – it narrows to a point on top of the shank. Despite its ‘knife-edge’ moniker, it isn’t sharp and won’t cut you. It merely converges to a smooth center point.
8. Cathedral Shank
The Cathedral Shank is a grand design with a raised profile that highlights the center stone. It forms triangles where the shank and setting meet and can accommodate additional diamonds along the main part and the cathedral arches, adding a touch of grandeur.
9. Euro Shank
Next up is the Euro Shank, which is designed to prevent the ring from spinning around on the finger.
It has a square shape at the bottom that curves in and then rounds out, but not in a complete circle like previous shanks.
The Euro Shank is similar to straight shanks but features a flat bottom. Its thicker, angular edges prevent the ring from spinning, making it a practical choice for those who lead active lifestyles. However, it may be less comfortable than other shanks due to its angular design.
10. Reverse Tapered Shank
The Reverse Tapered Shank is a unique hybrid design that combines traditional shank and knife edge designs. It widens as it reaches the stone, making it an ideal choice for channel-set diamonds.
11. Chevron Shank
The Chevron Shank is a modern design that features a distinct V shape. It can accommodate pave, accents, or no diamonds and is often used in fashion jewelry, making it a versatile choice.
12. Crossover Trellis Shank
The Crossover Trellis Shank is a sophisticated design that combines the split shank and the interwoven prongs of a trellis setting. This design provides additional support to the prongs and can be embellished with diamond accents, adding a touch of elegance.
13. Diamond Shank Variations
The following shank types are adorned with diamonds:
- Half Eternity Diamond Shank: This shank type has diamonds that go halfway around the band. If the diamonds were to go three-quarters of the way, it would be called a 3/4 Eternity Shank. If the diamonds encircle the entire band, it’s known as a Full Eternity Shank.
- Cathedral Diamond Shank: This shank type is similar to the Half Eternity Diamond Shank, but the shoulders of the shank are raised to touch the center point of the upper part of the head.
- Infinity Diamond Shank: This shank type features a design that loops in and out like an infinity symbol. It can be plain or adorned with diamonds.
- 3/4 Eternity Diamond Shank: This shank type has diamonds that go three-quarters of the way down the band. Additionally, it features diamonds on all three sides of the shank.
- Cathedral 3/4 Eternity Diamond Shank: This shank type is a combination of the Cathedral Diamond Shank and the 3/4 Eternity Diamond Shank. It features raised shoulders that meet the gallery and diamonds that go three-quarters of the way down.
In conclusion, understanding the different types of shanks can help you as a jewelry seller to guide your customers towards a design that matches their style and comfort. Whether they prefer a dominant, bold look or a delicate, refined style, there’s a shank type to match every preference and taste.