Eternity rings have become a jewelry staple worn to commemorate special occasions. It’s also a symbol of everlasting love. Typically, this ring is worn by women, but sometimes by men as well. It comes in a different range of designs and styles.
What is an Eternity Ring?
Eternity rings are traditionally a band made of precious metal with a complete loop of diamonds, but now other gemstones are also used. With an endless circle of stones, it symbolizes a never-ending, eternal love. It’s a symbolic ring – the circular shape represents eternity, completion, perfection, equality, and everlasting love. Diamonds, on the other hand, symbolize love, purity, trust, fidelity, and strength. When you put the two symbolisms together, you’re left with a piece of jewelry with a weighty meaning. It’s an ideal gift between two lovers, or for very close friends and family members.
History of Eternity Rings
Since it has no beginning and end, rings have been a symbol of eternal love for thousands of years. The concept of giving rings to a loved one dates back to ancient Egypt, about 6,000 BC. They believed that the ring symbolizes eternity, and the space in the middle signifies a passage into the future. But they did not necessarily use rings to mark a specific occasion – instead, they gave rings as a token of love.
Some of the first eternity rings looked like snakes swallowing their own tails, symbolizing the cycle of life and death. The rings exchanged at the time were made of metal, and sometimes reed. Ancient Egyptian tombs also reveal some simple eternity rings made of beads, carved bones, metal, and gemstones.
It wasn’t studded with diamonds until the 1960s when diamond eternity rings became a thing. The idea of giving diamond eternity rings was created by the famous de Beers diamond corporation, who also popularized the diamond engagement ring revolution. Since engagement rings are all about large diamonds, their idea for eternity rings was to create a market for smaller diamonds aimed at married and older women. They ran an advertising slogan that said, “She married you for richer or poorer. Let her know how it’s going.” The campaign was a success, and diamond eternity rings have since become a jewelry staple.
Eternity Ring as Engagement Rings and Wedding Rings
Although it’s not traditional, some people choose to propose with an eternity ring, instead of a conventional diamond ring. Instead of giving one large diamond, you’ll be giving a ring with plenty of small diamonds. But unlike most engagement rings, infinity rings are more complicated to resize. Before you decide to buy one, make sure you know your partner’s ring size before you propose with an eternity ring.
Because of the symbolism of eternity rings, it has also become a type of wedding ring. The bride commonly wears this type of band since wedding rings for grooms usually don’t have an array of stones.
When to Give an Eternity Ring
While eternity rings were initially designed for an older demographic, it’s no longer the case today. It can be given when proposing marriage or given to the bride at the altar.
Besides these, eternity rings are usually given as a gift for celebrating major milestones in a marriage or other romantic relationships. It’s commonly given for milestone wedding anniversaries, like 5th, 10th, 20th, and 25th anniversaries. It can also be given for:
- Birth of a child
- Valentine’s Day
- Birthday gift
- As a promise ring
In this age of fashion freedom, there are no hard rules to abide by when giving an eternity ring.
How to Wear an Eternity Ring
Traditionally, an eternity ring is worn on the ring finger of the left hand, same as an engagement ring and a wedding ring. It’s the first option, mostly if you don’t own any engagement or wedding rings yet.
If you have all those three rings, it’s traditional to wear the wedding ring first on the left ring finger, then the engagement ring. The eternity ring is placed outside the engagement ring, so the order frames the engagement ring in the middle.
However, there’s no hard rule about this. If you have a large engagement ring and don’t want three rings to weigh down your finger or clash with the big stone, you can wear the eternity ring on the middle or ring finger of the right hand.
Eternity Ring Styles
There are two main styles of eternity rings: full and half eternity rings.
Full Eternity Rings
It refers to eternity rings set with stones around the entire band. These rings are typically slim and work perfectly when worn with an engagement ring and a wedding ring. It cannot be resized, so make sure you get the right size.
Half Eternity Rings
This type of ring is set with stones halfway around the band. Depending on the size of the stone, it usually features five, seven, or nine gemstones. The stones may be of uniform shape and size, while some may have tapered design with gems of graduating sizes. It can also be resized on the part where the ring has no stone.
Types of Eternity Rings
Eternity rings are either made with diamonds or other precious gemstones.
Diamonds are a traditional symbol of love since there’s no gemstone as precious, as pure, and as beautiful as the diamond. Since diamonds for eternity, rings are significantly smaller than center stones used in engagement rings. It’s not economical for them to be graded and certified as a real engagement ring diamond. The cost of grading, for instance, 14 diamonds in an eternity ring, would range for around one thousand dollars, making it less affordable for consumers.
Because of this, you usually won’t get certifications for diamond eternity rings. To avoid being duped, it’s essential to buy this type of ring from a reputable brand like Blue Nile and James Allen to ensure that the diamonds are of high standards.
Diamonds used for eternity rings are typically found in these cuts:
It’s the most common diamond cut found in eternity rings. Since the diamond is already small, it’s only logical to give a cut that yields the maximum return of light to make the eternity band sparkle. It’s the classic diamond cut of choice that is sure to be cherished by the recipient.
It’s a square-shaped cut that’s common in diamond engagement rings. This cut is applied to diamond eternity rings because they can be set closely together to form an almost seamless band of brilliance across the finger, unlike round diamonds where you can easily distinguish one stone from the other. Princess cut eternity rings offer a timeless contemporary elegance.
Baguette diamonds are long and rectangular, and they are usually alternated with princess cut diamonds for an eternity ring with extra texture.
Colored gemstone rings are a beautiful alternative to diamond eternity rings. They can be meaningful and personal, especially if your woman has a favorite gemstone.
Eternity rings made of gemstones are usually set with rubies, sapphires, and emeralds. These are the three most precious gemstones next to diamonds because they are harder than most gems. But don’t rule out other gemstones. You can pick your recipient’s birthstone or zodiac stone if you’re giving an eternity ring as a birthday gift. You can choose an eternity ring featuring a baby’s birthstone for a mom as you celebrate the newborn.
If you’re giving an eternity ring for a wedding anniversary gift, you may go with one that’s set with your anniversary stone, like, for instance, an emerald ring for your 20th anniversary, a ruby ring for your 40th, or a sapphire ring for your 45th.
Eternity Ring Settings
There are different settings for eternity rings: prong, pave, channel, and bar.
Also known as a claw setting, the prong setting is the most common type of setting used in eternity rings. It features prongs that hold the diamonds securely in place. This setting allows the maximum amount of light to enter the stone.
It contains diamonds that are set close together on the metal like a pavement stone; hence the word “pave.” The stones in this setting are highly brilliant because of the higher number of diamonds used.
In this setting, a metal forms a groove or channel between two edges of the ring in which the stones are set. The diamonds sit flush against the band, or just under, and are placed side by side with no metal that separates them. It’s a very secure setting that isn’t prone to snagging.
Eternity Ring Metals
Most diamond eternity rings are set in equally prestigious metals: gold and platinum. These metals are durable, valuable, and aesthetically pleasing.
Platinum is the most precious metal on earth, making it a durable and rare metal of choice for a ring. It has a naturally brilliant white sheen that helps showcase the brilliance of diamond magnificently. It’s a metal harder and denser than gold, so it’s an ideal metal of choice for a ring that is to be worn every day.
Gold is a precious metal commonly used in precious rings like wedding rings, engagement rings, and eternity rings. It has three primary colors: yellow, white, and rose.
Yellow gold is the traditional gold color that gives off a vintage, chic look. When paired with diamonds, it offers a warm setting and beautiful design that will never go out of style.
White gold is a more affordable alternative to platinum. It’s fashionable and the most popular metal used in jewelry because it can suit a lot of skin tones and gemstone colors.
Rose gold offers a vintage, feminine, and soft appearance to jewelry. It’s also popular these days, giving off a modern vibe.