The Tiffany head was designed by Louis Tiffany (yes, that Tiffany).  At the time Tiffany developed the Tiffany head, other jewelers were surrounding diamonds with more metal to hold the gem in place. Often, the diamond became overwhelmed by the boxed in type settings.  

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On a tapered head the prongs taper downward and inward, following the contour of the gemstone. Often the gemstone is set higher and seen from above, appears to float. The tapered head gives the ring a feeling of lightness and femininity.  

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A square shank is a shank that is square-ish in shape. Theses shanks can range from strongly visible in the design, to a mere touch of square element. Sometimes the inside of the shank has the straighter up-and-down square suggestion and sometimes the square element is only on the outside.

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