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Split Shank Settings: Elegant and Unique

By Mike Fried,

Split shank settings are a style of engagement ring featuring a band splitting into two or more strands as it approaches the center stone, giving the appearance of multiple bands. This design not only adds dimension and allure to the ring but also offers a larger canvas for additional diamonds or intricate detailing.

When considering a split shank engagement ring, it’s crucial to pay attention to the quality of the craftsmanship, as the split in the shank requires precise design for both aesthetic appeal and durability.

You should also consider how the split interacts with the center stone—whether it frames it, enhances it, or competes with it—since this will significantly impact the ring’s overall look.

Lastly, bear in mind that split shank rings may require special fitting, given that they tend to feel looser than solid-band rings. With these considerations in mind, a split shank setting can offer a unique and eye-catching alternative to more traditional styles.

Split Shank Flowering Tulip Diamond Halo Engagement Ring
To help you with the diamond buying process we lean on our expertise and experience. The author of this article, our CEO, Mike Fried has over 20 years of experience in the diamond industry. Mike started from the bottom, sorting and evaluating hundreds of thousands of diamonds to learn every facet (pun intended) of diamond quality and value. Mike followed that up by spending years buying and selling diamonds on the wholesale market as well as selling tens of millions of dollars worth of diamonds to diamond retailers.

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Split shank settings add character to an engagement ring with two slender shanks stemming from the center stone. From designs like this split shank halo from Blue Nile to this marquise split shank ring from James Allen, the beauty of this setting is endless.

No matter which setting style you choose, remember to buy your ring from a reputable vendor. We highly recommend the Blue NileJames Allen and Brian Gavin Diamond collections to ensure you’re getting the best value and quality.

What is a Split Shank Engagement Ring?

In an engagement ring, the shank refers to the band or part of the ring that encircles your finger. Almost all shanks are round, but there are square shaped-shanks and other more creative shapes, too. A split shank is a ring in which the shank splits into two, creating two separate metal pieces that stem from the center stone.

A range of styles and variations of split shank settings exist. This halo ring from Blue Nile features a split shank design, with smaller diamonds lining the shanks. This open split shank ring from James Allen showcases a wider gap between the two shanks. As long as there are two shanks originating from the center stone, it’s considered a split shank ring.

Why Choose a Split Shank Engagement Ring?

A split shank setting offers something extra: sophistication and symmetry. The two shanks leading up to the diamond add character—and make the diamond the central focus. The split shank design is fluid and stunning for various diamond shapes and setting colors.

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Many split shank rings are designed with a halo (a circle of diamonds around the center stone) and pave detailing (smaller diamonds edging the shanks). These settings make use of melee diamonds — small diamonds under 0.2 carats that can add to a ring’s brilliance at a lower cost than a single large diamond. As the GIA explains:

“Melee diamonds, which weigh less than 0.2 carats, are inexpensive compared to larger stones, so they can be generously used as dazzling accents in jewelry and watches. Their brightness and scintillation enhance the center stone in a halo-style ring or create intricate patterns in a pave-set design.” Gemological Institute of America (GIA)

These additional diamonds add sparkle and style to the ring, complementing the center diamond and giving it extra presence on the wearer’s finger.

Split Shank Settings for Every Shape

Split shank settings can be crafted for any Diamond Shape because of their secure design. The beauty of two shanks often compliments a range of styles, from Round Cut to Princess Cut rings.

Split shank engagement ring examples:

Pros and Cons of a Split Shank Setting

Want to know if a split shank setting is right for you or your fiancé-to-be? Review the pros and cons below to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of this ring style.


  • Features additional surface area for side stones and sparkle
  • Offers a unique, attention-grabbing appearance
  • Leads the eye toward the center stone, making the diamond more noticeable and prominent
  • Can be designed in either a classic or modern look


  • Requires more cleaning than simpler settings
  • May not be as practical for those who do frequent work with their hands

Where to Buy a Split Shank Engagement Ring

In the jewelry world, there are brick and mortar stores and online vendors who will overcharge you while offering you inferior beauty and value. That’s why it’s so important to choose a reputable vendor for your engagement ring purchase.

Throughout our years of experience in the diamond industry, we’ve closely vetted sellers to determine the best and most reliable. The diamond dealers below are highly reputable and offer excellent value. All diamonds come with a GIA or AGS certificate—giving you confidence in what they’re selling you.

James Allen

  • Select a diamond and setting from a large inventory
  • Review each diamond closely with high-tech imagery
  • Receive an excellent customer experience

Blue Nile

  • Choose from the largest online inventory of diamonds and settings
  • Opt for a remarkable diamond and high-quality setting
  • Recieve an excellent price for your jewelry

Brian Gavin Diamonds

Leibish & Co. (Gemstone Alternative)

  • Choose from a wide selection of colored gemstone jewelry
  • Review colored diamond alternatives like canary yellow diamonds and purple diamonds
  • Receive a high-quality setting for any gemstone you choose

Evaluating a Diamond Ring for Beauty and Value

Our primary goal here at Diamond Pro is to help readers purchase the most stunning diamond within their budget. Our Diamond Pro resources can help you select the ideal ring for the love of your life.

  • Diamond cut: Only consider Excellent and Ideal cut diamonds for the most stunning stone. Cut is the factor that most greatly impacts a diamond’s beauty and brilliance.
  • Diamond shape: Review the variety of diamond shapes to decide which one matches your significant other’s style.
  • Diamond clarity: Find a diamond that’s eye clean. In other words, no blemishes or inclusions should be noticeable when you look at it without magnification. Usually, VS1 or VS2 clarity will offer you an eye clean diamond, without the higher price of a higher Clarity grade.
  • Diamond color: Your diamond should always appear white in relation to its setting. A diamond in the G to I range will almost always appear colorless but will cost far less than a D to F range diamond.

Want assistance in selecting an engagement ring? Send our experts an email.

Here are more specific setting style topics to browse:

James Allen James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. They have the largest exclusive loose diamond inventory online and fantastic prices. They also have the nicest collection of lab-created diamonds online.
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. James Allen will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free International Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisals
  • One free resizing within 60 days of purchase
  • Free ring inscriptions
  • Best-in-class high quality imagery of all diamonds in stock
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Best-in-class packaging
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Blue Nile Blue Nile is the largest and most well-known internet jewelry seller. They have a very large exclusive online inventory. Their high-quality images are catching up to James Allens' and their prices are amazing. 
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. Blue Nile will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisal
  • One free resizing within the first year of purchase
  • High quality images of about half of their diamonds
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • 100% credit towards future upgrades (must be at least double in value)
  • Best in class fulfillment
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About the author

Mike Fried Mike Fried Mike Fried has over 25 years experience in the diamond industry working with Leo Schachter Diamonds, Moshe Namdar Diamonds, and joining The Diamond Pro in 2007. He is recognized as an industry expert and has been quoted in publications such as Us, People, Page Six, The Next Web and more.

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