At Reiner’s Fine Jewelry, we work with couples every day to help them find their perfect engagement ring. We believe this process doesn’t have to be overwhelming— especially when you understand the basics of engagement ring shopping.
While we recognize the vocabulary around cut, color, style, and more can sometimes feel more like a lesson in terminology than picking out a meaningful piece of jewelry, we are here to make the engagement ring shopping process easier— and therefore more enjoyable— for you.
If you’ve ever felt lost when talking with a jeweler or doing engagement ring research, this vocabulary guide is for you. Save this handy guide so you’ll never doubt again when finding the perfect ring for your partner.
The Complete Engagement Ring Vocabulary Guide
4Cs: Acronym standing for cut, color, clarity and carat— these are the top four characteristics to look for when purchasing a diamond.
Accent diamonds: Diamonds that surround or enhance the main diamond; they are typically smaller in size than the main diamond.
Crown: Top half of a diamond.
Halo: Ring of diamonds or stones surrounding a center diamond or stone.
Pavilion: Lower half of a diamond.
Scintillations: Sparkles in a diamond that are seen as the diamond moves under a light.
Table: Flat surface that is the uppermost part of a diamond; it is calculated by dividing the width of the table by the width of the diamond.
The Ring Style
Art deco: Rings created during or inspired by the art deco era from 1920 to 1935, known for bold line and geometric shapes.
Baguette: Meaning “long rod” in French, the baguette cut features long, clean lines, and is typically used in side stones.
Band: Ring that tends to accompany an engagement ring. Can be made of a precious metal, alloys, and/or include stones.
Bezel: Metal that completely surrounds the diamond or featured gemstone. A half bezel is the term used when half of the stone is framed by metal. Bezel ring settings are stronger and more protective than prong settings.
Colored diamond: Natural and dyed color diamonds. Popular diamond color options include yellow, pink, blue, chocolate and black.
Colored gemstone: Engagement rings featuring a colored gemstone stone ranging in a variety of colors. Popular gemstone options are sapphire and ruby.
Halo: Ring featuring a center stone that’s surrounded by a circle of stones. Engagement rings can have more than one halo, referred to as a double halo if two circles of gemstones encircle one center stone.
Hand-crafted: Ring that’s been made by hand instead of the casing process of filling a mold. It’s shaped by hand by the jeweler.
Pavé: Setting of stones where they’re placed close together so as to avoid seeing metal in between the stones.
Side Stones: Ring featuring a main stone and surrounded by smaller stones. Can also be referred to as a three-stone ring or a halo.
Solitaire: An engagement ring with a single, solitary center stone.
Tension set: Gemstone is held in place by metal on either side, thus creating tension.
Three-Stone: Ring featuring three stones, typically three diamonds or a diamond centered between two other stones. Known to celebrate a couple’s past, present, and future together.
Unique shank: Engagement ring with an individualized lower part that goes around the finger, also known as a shank.
Vintage or Vintage-Inspired: These are classic-style engagement rings typically created, or modeled after, jewelry from the early 1900s or earlier. An antique engagement ring is technically defined as being over fifty years old.
14k gold: Made of 14 parts gold and 10 parts other metals or alloys.
18k gold: Made of 18 parts gold and 6 parts other metals.
24k gold: Pure gold. The softest gold, as gold gets softer the purer it is.
Alloy: A mixture of two or more metals mixed together.
Gold plated: Thin, almost microscopic layer of pure gold used to coat another type of metal.
Platinum: Precious metal with a silvery white color and shine.
Rose gold: An alloy of gold tinted with copper to create a rosy tone. The deeper the pink color, the more copper there is in the alloy.
White gold: Yellow gold mixed with a white alloy.
Yellow gold: The color of pure gold, yellow gold gets darker or changes color the more alloys are mixed with it.
The Diamond Cut
Asscher cut: Square shaped diamond with a high crown, step facets, and a small table.
Cushion cut: Square cut diamond with rounded edges and the third most popular diamond cut.
Emerald cut: Rectangular shaped with small, rounded edges and a large, open table.
European cut: Antique diamond cut created before the precision created by modern technology was available.
Heart cut: Diamond in the shape of a heart typically found in solitaire settings.
Marquise cut: Long and narrow diamond-shaped similarly to a football. It’s best set with prongs on each end to protect the points from chipping.
Oval cut: A unique take on a round diamond. Oval-shaped stones come in a variety of widths ranging from slim to wide.
Pear cut: Combination of a round and a marquise shape diamond available in a variety of narrow to wide sizes.
Princess cut:The second most popular diamond cut, below round and above cushion. The cut has a square or rectangular shape when viewed from above, and from the side is similar to that of an inverted pyramid with four beveled sides.
Radiant cut: Square or rectangular diamond with minimal curved edges similar to an emerald shape.
Round cut: Circular-shaped diamond. It’s the most common shape for engagement rings.
Trillion cut: Triangular shaped diamond, often used as side stones to frame a square diamond.