Knife Edge Bands Are The Key To An Edgy Ring Stack

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Lizzie Mandler
yellow gold and diamond knife-edge rings by Lizzie Mandler
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Whether you’re searching for a new stackable ring to add to your everyday collection or seeking inspiration for the perfect engagement ring and wedding band, knife-edge rings are a sleek and modern option with a flicker of edginess. Though subtle, knife-edge detailing is distinguishable by its angular profile, coming in thin and chunky designs. “A knife edge is a triangular-shaped silhouette,” explains fine jewlery designer Lizzie Mandler, whose collection prominently features knife edges. Another way to look at it, as designer Lauren Harwell Godfrey tells TZR, “A knife-edge ring is a setting style where a peak in the middle of the band with a fine edge creates a ‘V’ shape.”

With a freshness that appeals to contemporary tastes, knife-edge rings also appear classic, offering versatility for everyday and bridal jewelry. You’ll find these angled rings in every metal, from sterling silver and platinum to white, yellow, and rose gold. The most modern and playful designs will feature colored gemstones and enamel in vibrant and monochromatic tones. At the same time, timeless iterations, which lend themselves well to engagement rings and wedding bands, range from minimal solitaire and pavé-adorned designs to vintage versions featuring antique diamonds like Old Mine, round brilliant, and cushion cuts.

“A knife-edge band was the second piece I made in jewelry school 17 years ago and part of my collection since the beginning,” Mandler tells TZR. “My mother had a knife-edge wedding band that I always loved, which is where I learned about the silhouette,” she continues. “The knife-edge shape runs through about 98% of every design I make, sometimes in very subtle ways. I started with more obvious knife-edge styles, like bands with diamonds in different variations. Then I started incorporating them into my bridal styles, making simple solitaire engagement rings with a knife-edge shank and prongs.”

Similarly, for Harwell Godfrey, knife-edge bands have been a mainstay in her collection since the start in 18-karat gold, most recently adding 22-karat iterations to her repertoire. “I use a lot of geometric shapes, and I find knife-edge bands to complement that,” she tells TZR.

Keep reading for more on knife-edge rings with Mandler and Harwell Godfrey’s insights. Then, shop the edit, including stacking bands and engagement rings.

The Knife-Edge Ring Look

Lizzie Mandler

One of the unique attributes of knife-edge rings is their visual trickery. “The eye will read the point of the knife-edge first, making things appear much more delicate than they are, and adds an extra layer of complexity to an otherwise simple design,” says Mandler.

They can be more challenging to design, as well. The point of the knife-edge is easily distorted with sizing or even over-polishing,” Mandler explains. “The process isn’t different per se, but they do require an extra level of attention to detail to make sure they come out symmetrical and soft without diluting the knife-edge shape too much.”

Mandler points to another feature of a knife-edge ring. “The two sides allow you to play with different patterns — one-sided, two-sided, half one color, half another, flipping from one side to the other,” she says. “There are so many combinations; it looks amazing when you start to stack them.”

How Knife-Edge Rings Fit

Harwell Godfrey

The implied sharpness of a knife-edge band can cause concern over comfort and fit, but Mandler and Harwell Godfrey both offer reassurance. “Knife-edge bands tend to protrude off the finger more than a standard band,” says Harwell Godfrey. However, “The edge isn’t actually sharp,” she adds. “If you’re super sensitive, it might be a slight adjustment.”

Mandler notes, “Comfort is definitely something some of my clients worry about with a knife-edge band, but I’ve never had someone return a ring because it was uncomfortable. It’s just a shape that takes getting used to as it’s not as flat as other ring shapes.” Both designers note how the width of a knife-edge band will affect the fit — the thicker the ring, the larger the size you may need — but not the comfort. “The knife-edge itself doesn’t impact fit,” Mandler says.

Knife-Edge Engagement Rings & Wedding Bands

Lizzie Mandler
Harwell Godfrey

Mandler says knife-edge engagement rings draw in those seeking a timeless and classic design with a distinctive quality, highlighting her knife-edge solitaire rings as a popular style over the last few years. “Adding the knife-edge to a solitaire stone creates complexity to an otherwise simple design,” she explains.

While the distinguishing qualities of a knife-edge ring are subtle, Mandler says the visual illusion is particularly ideal for those seeking an ultra-thin band for their engagement ring. “The band will appear much more delicate but maintain strength in the triangle-shaped base, making them really durable,” says the designer. Though, with the rise of chunky engagement rings, knife-edges work just as well if you’re after such a look, as they come in a range of thicknesses.

The designer also points to a new signature within her bridal collection — knife-edge prongs. “It’s a very, very small detail, but I think it makes all the difference,” she says. “These delicate and tapered prongs appear modern but still have the strength to hold a center stone in place securely.”

Styling Knife-Edge Rings

Lizzie Mandler

“Knife-edge bands look great stacked against one another,” says Mandler. “You can also add them into a rounded or square profiled rings stack.” However, the designer’s favorite look is mixing various thicknesses of knife edges to create variation.

“Knife-edge bands look great layered with other shapes, and when paired with a more traditional bridal setting,” says Harwell Godfrey. “It can bring a bit of edginess to the look.”

Caring For Knife-Edge Rings

Knife-edge rings don’t require specific care, though they can be fragile. “If you really knock it on something, it might dent,” says Mandler. They’re also difficult to resize, says Mandler, making it even more essential to your sizing before purchasing a knife-edge ring.

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