While shopping for your very-very important engagement ring, you have a lot to consider. Style is paramount of course—but what should it look like? With even just a bit of shopping around, you probably have seen a few rings with split shanks. Maybe you didn’t know what their official name is—but it’s the style of band that splits around the main center stone in front of the solitaire. And with its undisputable stylishness, and its classic vibe, a split shank engagement ring just might be your number #1 choice when you are looking for the ideal engagement ring to symbolize your new life together.
Everything Old is New Again
The “shank” of course is a jeweler’s term for the band itself. And if we do a little digging, we’ll be surprised to learn that while this style has a very current mood to it–the split shank ring has deep roots in French antique jewelry, making it an especially romantic choice. Some say the two bands that unite to become one band (shank) in the back signifies the couple who were once two separate people, now their commitment has united them into one unbroken strand of love. Let’s learn all we can about split shank engagement rings and discover why they are popular. The more you learn, the clearer it will become if this is the right choice for you when it comes time to select your engagement ring.
Split shank engagement rings became wildly popular during the actual Art Deco era which occurred from the 1920s through the 1930s. That’s because it was seen as a modern interpretation of a fashionable design type that became popular during the height of the industrial revolution. While other styles came and went in the years after that, the split shank style witnessed another popularity surge during the mid-century 1960s through1970s. While some styles fade into the background after they’ve had their day, the split shank engagement ring continues to be a top contender today.
What Makes the Split Shank Ring So Popular?
The classic split-shank engagement ring makes a chic statement with its single-band coming around to the front of the ring and then splitting into both sides as it reaches the center stone. Most often, this elegant band reveals a sideways V opening between the split band and the center diamond or gemstone. One of the most apparent effects of this design is that it makes the entire ring appear much larger and more detailed. At the same time, because the shank is split, you get a very impressive look without adding a lot of weight to the ring which could be uncomfortable for the wearer at times.
This artistic style of split shank presents opportunities for including distinctive engravings, filigree work, even modern design elements, all while creating the illusion of a much larger central gemstone—without adding unwanted weight. Choosing a split shank engagement ring gives the bride rich symbolism with her ring and a timeless setting she’ll be sure to keep treasuring decades from now.
Designers Love the Split Shank
Designers favor this large look for their bridal jewelry because many brides love the appeal of a more detailed engagement ring. But looking back in time, we can discover several antique rings created in that clever method.
Modern engagement ring jewelry that is vintage-inspired often features split shanks too owing to their popularity. On these true antique rings or modern vintage style rings, the band will often be French-set, which includes micro-pavé accent diamonds. By parting the band in front, a greater surface area is created to display these smaller diamonds. It’s a very smart way to increase the overall areas that sparkle on your engagement ring.
Split shank rings often take advantage of the center stone being halo set – a very glamorous way to showcase the center stone. Then between the split shank with its pavé diamonds and the surrounding halo of the center stone—the entire impression of the ring is one of a lavish style. From just a bit of a distance, these split shank rings dazzle all who see their wearer enters the room.
Certain split shank engagement rings feature a gold band that theatrically splits noticeably wider, giving a distinguishing variation on the traditional solitaire. This prominent band splits on each side of the finger give the effect of two dazzling diamond bands that meet in front. This highly dramatic style frames the center diamond giving it a stunning focus. In this specific type, a ring can have surprise diamonds cascading along its sides as well. This maximizes the striking effect of the main diamond itself, making the most of the surface area of the engagement ring against the finger. So, you see, with so many varieties of the split shank concept, each engagement ring crafted in this style has the potential to be utterly unique.
You’re in Good Company
If you’re starting to feel like this style is for you, you’re in very good company. Several well-known Hollywood celebrities have opted for split shank engagement rings and wedding bands due to the WOW factor and the romantic vibes they convey. A few of these top personalities include Blake Lively, Beyonce, and Paris Hilton.
So, while you’re shopping for this most important piece of jewelry, you’ll ever wear, give some thought to the perennially popular split shank engagement ring. You’ll quickly discover its broad appeal, and maybe you’ll love it too!