The eternity ring offers a classic design that has endured the test of time. It is a symbol that represents undying devotion and heartfelt appreciation. Eternity rings have evolved into a universal piece of statement jewelry worn by both men and women.
Also known as infinity rings, eternity rings are straightforward in design. The band is made of gold or platinum and is set with uniform diamonds that are identical in cut and size. Traditionally, these rings are worn on the ring finger, alongside wedding or engagement rings. Eternity rings are often given as bold statement gifts for anniversaries or to commemorate a special milestone in life (for example, the birth of a child). As eternity rings continue to grow in popularity many eternity ring styles are replacing run-of-the-mill engagement or wedding rings.
History of Eternity Rings
Eternity rings take their inspiration from the Ancient Egyptians of 2000 to 1800 BC. According to Old Egyptian hieroglyphics, the circle represented eternity within Egyptian culture. Egyptians also believed that marriage is such a strong bond between a husband and a wife that even death cannot break it.
In fact, it’s believed that ancient Egyptians combined these two notions and likely invented the concept of the traditional wedding we know today. Archaeologists excavating ancient Egyptian tombs have found wedding rings, ranging from simple carved bone rings to intricate gemstone bands. The carvings and the gemstones discovered formed a continuous line around the band that symbolizes continuity. This design is what differentiates eternity rings from wedding or engagement rings.
The modern day diamond eternity ring concept was originally introduced by world renowned De Beers in the mid-1960s. Eternity rings were designed by default as an answer to a problem that plagued the jewelry industry at the time. The main feature of engagement rings during this time period was a single large diamond. However, the diamonds that were available in the market at the time were small. To avoid making several 0.25 carat diamond rings, De Beers introduced eternity rings. The campaign targeted mature, married women with the tagline, “She married you for richer or poorer. Let her know how it’s going”.
Symbolism of Eternity Rings
The symbolic meaning of eternity rings is everlasting devotion and commitment. Diamonds are the most common stones used in eternity rings because they’re the strongest and most precious gemstones in the world. Other gemstones such as rubies, emeralds or blue sapphires are also often featured.
Eternity rings are usually worn on the fourth finger of the left hand. This can be traced to the ancient Egyptians. Egyptians (and many other cultures including the Romans) believed that this finger contained the ‘vein of love’, a vein that ran straight to the heart.
Types of Eternity Rings
Over the course of time, different designs and types of eternity rings have emerged. The two most common types of eternity rings are full eternity rings and half eternity rings.
Full Eternity Rings
Full eternity rings are more traditional in style. These rings feature diamonds or other gemstones set uniformly next to each other around the entire circumference of the band. There’s no gap between the gemstones and they are set and designed to fit snuggly together, similar to a puzzle. One of the caveats to consider for a full eternity ring is that it’s almost impossible to resize them without compromising the original setting of the stones.
Half Eternity Rings
Half eternity rings feature diamonds or gemstones that are set half-way around the band. Halfway does not mean that diamonds cover the exact half of the circumference of the band. Half-way can include one or three quarters of the band covered in gemstones as well. These rings can be resized without compromising the integrity of the gemstones or design.
Eternity Rings Settings
Stone settings are vital elements for each eternity ring. Settings play a key role in the ring’s style, durability and more. Many eternity ring settings can be custom designed according to preference. The most popular settings include pave, channel and claw settings.
Pave-set rings include many smaller diamonds or gemstones. The stones are snugly held in place by ‘droplets’ of metals. Although individual diamonds may have simple cuts, the sheer number of them makes this type of setting attractive. When many stones come together in a pave setting, the results are fascinating.
Channel-set rings are perhaps the most secure of the eternity ring settings. In the set style the diamonds or gemstones are studded in between the channel formed by two strips of precious metal. The diamonds are held into place with grooves created alongside the walls of the channel. Suitable for princess-cut and round gemstones, channel-set rings present little to no risk of the gemstones snagging on clothing or other items.
A claw or prong setting is considered to be the most traditional and common type of ring settings. The gemstones are held in place by a protruding metal claw. Claw-set diamond eternity rings are perfect for those who love the sparkle, as claw-settings allow maximum light to enter the gemstones.
Eternity rings continue to be one of the most recognized pieces of jewelry around the world. Choosing between a full eternity ring featuring a claw-setting and a half eternity ring featuring a pave-setting can be overwhelming and confusing. Our team of custom jewelers can partner with you in finding the right design and setting at a time that is convenient for you.
Contact us to get started on your very own custom diamond eternity ring.