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The John Atencio Jewelry Glossary The John Atencio Jewelry Glossary
Glossary › Split Shank

Glossary: Split Shank

Split shanks refer to a style of ring band that splits apart into a pair of metal strands near the center stone.

There are several different parts that make up a ring. The setting or head is the portion that typically holds the gemstone, whether it’s a diamond, sapphire, ruby or other precious or semi-precious stone. The prong is the small metal claw that holds the gem in place. They can be flat, pointed, rounded or V-shaped.

The shank is essentially another name for the band. The shank’s edge, shape and width all contribute to the feel and aesthetic of the ring. It can impact the comfort of the ring and the way it feels on your finger. There are a variety of split shank ring designs available to modern consumers. These include straight shanks, tapered shanks, cathedral shanks, knife-edge shanks, crossover shanks, bypass shanks, domes, down edge, step-down edge, flat-pipe edge and, of course, split shanks.

What Is a Split Shank?

A split shank is a ring band that splits into two, creating two adjacent metal pieces that sprout away from the center stone. There are several variations and styles of split shank settings, including halo rings with small diamonds lining the band. Whatever the case, as long as there are two shanks stemming from the center gemstone, the ring is considered to have a split shank.

Artfully divided as they approach the center stone, split shank bands can have two, three or four separate strands which are either separated with space or beautifully interwoven. In many engagement rings, the shanks will unite at the very bottom of the ring, beneath the finger. That said, some rings will maintain the split all the way around.

Split shank rings can be striking or subtle. Although the design style can seem specific, there are broad variations. The variations in the ring's proportions will generally depend on the center gemstone’s carat weight and shape. These two traits will often influence the depth and number of splits, as well as the width and size of the shank. The gemstone's parameters also influence how the edges of the shank meet at the center gemstone.

Advantages of Split Shanks

One of the most appealing characteristics of split shank rings is their compatibility with diverse design options. They can be as simple or fancy as you want them. They can be bold and striking, with lots of space between the arcs of the ring band. If you want a subtle look, they can also follow a classic design.

Another benefit centers on durability. Split shanks have secure settings, particularly for the center gemstone. If you work with your hands or have an active lifestyle, you enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing the center stone will be held firmly in place.

Significance and Styles

Split shank engagement rings are often paired with pave set diamonds along the shank. This adds elegant beauty that leads all the way up to the center gemstone. Split shanks are a nice option for people who want a ring with pave diamonds because the parting bands provide extra surface area for the smaller gems.

Split shanks nicely highlight the center stone, whether it’s a diamond or other gem. Split shanks also help create an illusion of a bigger stone, making a ring appear to have a greater value than it actually does.

A very popular option for engagement rings, split shanks have become trendy over the past 20 years, particularly among actors and musical artists. From Beyoncé to Blake Lively to Paris Hilton, noted celebrities have flaunted split shank engagement rings on magazine covers and red carpets. This has helped thrust the ring style into the limelight.

A Fully Customizable Option

One appealing characteristic of split shank rings is that they provide nice opportunities for customization. You can browse John Atencio’s collection of beautiful preset engagement rings online or at one of his numerous convenient locations. Then, speak to one of John’s knowledgeable jewelry experts to learn all about the customization opportunities. From there, you can choose the available options to help create a breathtaking ring unlike any other.