The eternity ring is an ideal piece of jewelry to promise your beloved to love her for infinity and beyond. Everyone who believes that a marriage should last forever won’t make a mistake with it. Not to mention that every woman adores diamonds, and such a ring features a whole range of them.
So, what is an eternity ring? Ancient Egyptians had the custom to give this ring to their wives as a token of love. Nowadays, this fantastic combination of attractive stones and precious metal has become the most romantic gift you can give. If you choose a gem such as a birthstone that holds particular value to the wearer, the gift will become perfect.
The Eternity Ring History
The first eternity rings appeared in ancient Egypt about 4,000 years ago. They were a symbol of both eternal life and infinite love. The old Egyptians believed that the bond between a man and his woman was so strong that even death couldn’t interrupt it.
The oldest models consisted of a metal circle and a set of stones incorporated along the entire ring circumference or only in its upper half.
Archaeologists found some astonishing designs with a snake devouring its own tail. This ‘ouroboros’ signified infinity and was an ancient symbol of the birth and death cycle.
Nowadays, you can find the contemporary ouroboros ring models on the market, but the most popular option is the band with a gemstones line. The most common gems used for this design are diamonds, emeralds, and rubies, but you can choose other jewels, as well.
The diamonds or any other gems used in an eternity ring are significantly smaller than the center stone used in a solitaire model. The British diamond company De Beers created the modern eternity ring variation back in the 1960s.
After they had promoted a diamond ring as an ultimate choice for an engagement ring in the 1930s, they faced the problem with a stockpile of small gems. Therefore, they offered the eternity ring as an elegant solution for married women celebrating some crucial anniversaries.
American investigative journalist Edward Jay Epstein discovered that this company made a secret deal with the USSR. They bought most of their uncut diamonds in exchange for full control over the world’s gem supply.
All these diamonds were usually smaller than 0.25 carats, so the company solved the problem using the ancient ring as a role model. The contemporary eternity ring was born and has become highly popular over the years.
What is an Eternity Ring?
The eternity ring is actually a band with diamonds all the way around. You can give it to your girlfriend as an engagement ring, use it as a wedding band, or buy it to celebrate an important anniversary or the birth of a child. It can signify the years of marriage you have spent together and those that are yet to come.
The eternity ring usually features a band made of gold or some other precious metal and a continuous line of diamonds or other jewels. Since gemstones represent love and a circle symbolizes eternity, this band means full commitment and never-ending love. There are two basic eternity ring types:
Full eternity rings
In this case, diamonds are set along the entire band circumference, making gems look extra sparkle and more opulent. It is a luxurious and expensive model, but they have two serious downsides. First, it is almost impossible to resize this model when necessary.
The second issue is connected with gemstones. They are prominent all over the band and can catch on clothes and objects in your hands. That makes this option a bit impractical for everyday life.
Since this ring is beautiful, you can find a way to solve these tiny problems. Be more careful while wearing it or put the ring on your finger only outside the house when you don’t have to work manually.
Half eternity rings
This alternative eternity band style includes a diamond set over the top half the ring. Most of them feature gems that cover 1/2 or 3/4 of the surface.
That solves the problem with resizing when necessary. Plus, it is more practical, lighter, and won’t catch things while working with hands. One of its advantages includes a price. Since this model contains fewer gems, it is a more affordable choice.
There is one more advantage of this choice. You can choose quality over quantity and buy this ring with fewer diamonds, but bigger ones with higher carats.
How to Wear an Eternity Band?
Traditionally, you should wear your wedding band on your left hand’s ring finger. The reason was the ancient Egyptians who believed that a blood vessel from that particular finger ran directly to the heart.
There was no physiological evidence for such a claim, but that tradition has lasted to this day. However, women from some cultures, especially members of the Orthodox Church, wear wedding bands on their right hands.
If the eternity ring is also your wedding band, the way of wearing is simple. You should wear it close to your heart. In case you choose this model as an engagement ring, you should wear it next to the wedding band.
The third possibility is to have all three rings. If you prefer wearing all three on the same finger, the proper order implies the wedding ring closest to the heart, then the engagement ring, and the eternity one in the end.
However, some women prefer wearing their eternity band between the two the most significant rings in every women’s life. It is visually more appealing, and there is nothing wrong in making such an arrangement.
Determining the Eternity Ring Quality
The eternity ring is different from all other models available. Before purchasing one, you should check three crucial aspects to evaluate its quality.
In most cases, women choose a round diamond shape for their eternity ring, but it can look highly attractive with an Asscher cut, as well.
In most cases, the diamonds that this particular model has are too tiny. Therefore, it is often impractical and uneconomical to grade and certify them as engagement ring gemstones.
For instance, the manufacturer needs to pay approximately $1,000 to get the diamond graded and certified. It is a too high price for smaller gems, and this procedure would increase the ring cost. Consequently, it would make such a ring more unaffordable for customers.
As a result, you will get a shiny diamond ring that looks attractive, but without any diamonds’ certifications in most cases. Therefore, it is crucial to check the level of the gem’s brilliance, color, and cleanliness.
Keep in mind that F to G colored diamonds appear less white with a yellow gold setting than when placed in a white gold ring. Plus, their total carat weights (CTW) vary significantly, which affects the ring price.
You can find four primary eternity ring styles, including:
There is always a possibility to pair this band with an existing engagement ring or the wedding band when desired. You should match the precious metals your rings are made of and the style of workmanship.
Some models feature prongs for settings that allow more light to reach gems by increasing the number of accessible angles. That way, the light comes to the stones better, and they get more extraordinary brilliance.
The choice of precious metals used for an eternity band is limitless. The type of metal or its color will only depend on your personal preferences.
So, you can purchase this ring made of highly appreciate platinum, traditional 18K or 14K yellow gold, fashionable white gold, or a bit eccentric rose gold. The silver models are not standard, but you can find such a model if you are persistent.
The Most Popular Eternity Rings
Marilyn Monroe wore a platinum eternity ring instead of the traditional combination of an engagement ring and wedding band most women choose. That ring symbolized her eternal love with baseball legend Joe DiMaggio.
This piece featuring 36 baguette-cut diamonds was sold in 1999 at Christie’s auction. Although the ring was without one stone, it reached an unbelievable price of $772,500, approximately fifteen times its estimated value.
Another famous diamond eternity ring belonged to Elizabeth Taylor. Well, there were two actually. Richard Burton gave her a gold one with baguette-cut diamonds as a wedding band in 1964.
He picked out circular-cut diamonds for their second marriage in 1975. The white gold band was of an unusual octagonal shape. Both bands were sold together in 2011 at Christie’s auction for an impressive $1,022,500.
In 1987, one eternity ring inspired fashion designer Calvin Klein to create his famous perfume. Klein bought a diamond eternity band for his wife, Kelly Rector, for the first wedding anniversary. It was a part of the Duchess of Windsor jewel collection.
The legend says the former King Edward VIII had the word ‘Eternity’ engraved in the ring as a romantic symbol of his love. The designer launched his perfume Eternity in 1988, and it has become one of the most desired perfumes ever.