Whether you’re popping the question or celebrating an anniversary, an eternity ring promises love and commitment for eternity – hence the name! If you’re looking to invest in an eternity ring, keep reading to find out what they look like, its history and our tips for buying eternity rings.
What’s an eternity ring?
An eternity ring is a ring that features diamonds or other gemstones around the band. The diamonds or gems are identically cut and set in a continuous line within the metal of the band. Also known as an infinity ring, the circle shape symbolises eternity and the gems represent love, so together the ring symbolises eternal love.
The eternity ring can be traced back to the Ancient Egyptians who offered them as a token to never-ending love and life. The circle and stones were already part of the design, but some earlier versions featured a serpent devouring its own tail, signifying the cycle of birth and death.
Modern concepts of the eternity ring first appeared in the 1960s by diamond merchant, De Beers. According to investigative journalist Edward Jay Epstein, De Beers had a secret deal with the Soviet Union where they agreed to purchase uncut diamonds produced by Russia in return for a single channel controlling the world’s supply of precious gemstones. These diamonds were small, so De Beers used the stones to make eternity rings.
Types of eternity rings: metals & gems
The key characteristic of an eternity ring is the diamonds going all the way around the metal band. The precious metal is typically platinum, white gold or yellow gold. Diamonds are the most popular choice for an eternity ring. The stones represent purity, faithfulness and commitment so a diamond eternity ring is a powerful and heartfelt statement. The cut of the diamond or other gemstones is typically round, baguette or princess cut gems to really show off the gems.
Eternity rings are also available featuring other gemstones. Coloured gems add an extra bit of sparkle to an eternity ring and tends to be less expensive compared to diamonds. Popular gemstones include emeralds, rubies and emeralds. Picking your favourite gemstone to encircle the ring makes it personal to you or the person you’re giving it to. You can also play with the gemstone combinations, either sticking with one gem or interspersing them with different gemstones. This adds colour, sparkle and is a nice way to tie your eternity ring to your other rings.
Full eternity vs half eternity
Full eternity rings are when stones are set around the entire band of the ring. This style is usually quite slim and worn alongside an engagement or wedding ring, but you can also choose a full eternity style with multiple rows – typically two or three. Half eternity rings have stones that are set halfway around the band. Depending on the stone size or size of the band, the ring features five, seven or nine gems.
So, how do you pick between the two? Full eternity is the most classic and traditional type of eternity ring and a great companion to a flashy engagement ring. If you’re looking for extra rows rather than a singular row, a full eternity gives the more exciting effect. Alternatively, half eternity is more low-key and normally less expensive than a full eternity. It’s a great choice if you prefer a simpler style and if you like to show off the metal of your band.
Eternity ring settings
Settings play a crucial role in the composition of an eternity ring. The three main types of eternity rings settings are bar-set, channel-set and claw-set. Bar-set is a contemporary style where the stones are separated using metal bars. Channel-set is a secure setting where the stones are set flush within the ring. Claw-set or prong-set is where the gems are held in place with a metal setting that runs up the side of the stones and overlaps slightly. This keeps the stones in place tightly and allows a good amount of light to enter the stone and enhance its sparkle.
When would you give an eternity ring?
Eternity rings can be gifted on many occasions, but an eternity ring is traditionally given as a wedding ring or anniversary gift. Eternity rings sit beautifully alongside an engagement ring so are beautiful choices to tie the knot with. As an anniversary gift, this style of ring affirms your love for your partner as the years go by. A more modern way to give an eternity ring is as a ‘push present’. A push present is a gift given to a new mother to celebrate her giving birth. This concept came about in the 2000s and a diamond eternity ring is the perfect gift to celebrate a birth of a child.
Image credits: www.marieclaire.co.uk and www.pinterest.co.uk