A ring shank is the body of a ring. The term is most often used in association with the erosion or wear that takes place on the lower portion of the ring. Jewelers will usually inspect the “shank” of your ring to be sure that it is not wearing too thin. Wear on a ring shank is most often caused by contact with hard surfaces or the constant erosion that takes place when a ring is worn against another ring.
When a ring shank has worn too thin a jeweler can cut away a portion of the ring and replace it with new metal of similar metal. This process is known as adding a quarter shank, or a half shank.