What is the meaning of eternity rings? An eternity ring is a ring with diamonds or gems around all of most of the band and usually giften on a special landmark occasion. We delve into the meaning, facts, history and tips for buying eternity rings.
What is an eternity ring?
An eternity ring is a ring with diamonds or gemstones all around the band. A circle symbolises eternity. Diamonds or gemstones represent love. Therefore, the meaning of eternity rings is everlasting love.
What occasions are eternity rings for?
Eternity rings are usually given at special times in a couple’s relationship. A wedding day, an anniversary, or the birth of a child are considered traditional times to gift one of these rings to a beloved person.
Sometimes eternity rings can also mark important birthdays or make elaborate Christmas presents.
Many people consider eternity rings the ultimate type of romantic gift jewellery that you can give your spouse or life-partner.
What makes eternity rings different from other rings?
The key element of an eternity ring is that it has diamonds or gems going all the way around the ring’s band.
What is the band made of?
Full VS. Half eternity rings
- Full eternity rings have diamonds or gems set all around the band.
- Half eternity rings have diamonds or gems only on the top half of the band.
Full eternity rings
Full eternity rings have stones set in a continuous line all around the band. This makes them the most luxurious and sparkling rings you can buy. As a slight downside, the diamonds can catch on things as you use your hands, so you have to be careful while wearing a full eternity ring.
Half eternity rings
A half eternity ring has stones set across the top half of the ring. They may cover 1/2 or 3/4 of the band. Some people say half eternity rings are more practical and comfortable than full eternity rings. They allow for larger stones than full eternity rings because the gems sit only on the top of the band.
The meaning of eternity rings was invented by early Egyptians
The meaning of eternity rings comes from Old Egypt, where the circle was a powerful symbol that represented eternity. The Egyptians also believed that the bond of marriage between a man a woman was so strong it could not be interrupted by death.
When these two concepts were brought together, the Egyptians first invented the wedding ring as a symbolic way to represent a union between two people.
This idea of an “eternal” piece of jewellery continues to define eternity rings today.
A family heirloom
Eternity rings act as reminders of cherished moments in a couple’s life together. They can also be passed on to children and grandchildren as heirlooms. In this way, they immortalise a couple’s love for each other and symbolise family history.
Diamonds are the most popular stone
Diamonds are the decorative stone that people most often choose for eternity rings.
They are the strongest, rarest and most beautiful gems on the planet. As such, they are considered a perfect symbol of lasting love and commitment.
Coloured gems can have a special symbolism
Choosing coloured gemstones instead of diamonds can enhance the meaning of eternity rings. For example, the blue sapphire is September’s birthstone, and the red ruby symbolises 40th Ruby Wedding Anniversaries.
Which finger should it be worn on?
An eternity ring can be worn instead of a wedding band, or in addition to your wedding and engagement rings.
In many countries, the wedding ring finger is the fourth finger of the left hand, so this is often where you see people place their eternity ring.
Of course, eternity rings can be worn on other fingers too, even on the thumb. It’s simply a question of personal preference.
Read more about the different customs of wearing engagement or wedding rings.
Crafting an eternity ring requires experience and skill
Eternity rings are very difficult rings to make, and the most beautiful and lasting ones are handcrafted by skilled jewellers:
- Firstly, the jeweller cuts the gold or platinum into a metal strip – its length must match the ring wearer’s finger size exactly.
- Then the jeweller then shapes the strip into a band and joins it at the ends. No joins should be visible.
- Meanwhile, an expert diamond setter chooses diamonds or gems carefully. They must match in size, cut, clarity and colour.
- Setting the stones on the ring’s band is the hardest part. They must be measured exactly, so they fit perfectly side by side around the band without any gaps. As you can imagine, the diamond setter cannot just overlap stones at the end if he miscalculates the space!
What diamond shape is best?
Princess cut diamonds (which are square) and emerald cut diamonds (which are rectangular) are perhaps the most practical shape for eternity ring stones. These geometric cuts are compact and hard-wearing and they sit squarely within the ring’s metallic band.
Having said that, you will find eternity rings with all kinds of diamond shapes and the choice is entirely yours.
What setting is best for eternity rings?
- A channel setting or a rub-over setting is the most secure way to attach diamonds to your eternity ring’s band. This is because they provide plenty of metal around the edges of the stones. This protects the diamonds and keeps them firmly in place.
- A claw setting or pavé setting is the most dramatic way to display diamonds because it offers incredible sparkle. A claw setting utilises little prons to keep each diamond in place, whereas a pave setting attached multitudes of tiny diamonds in place with tiny metal beads. The downside is that these settings are delicate and have to be worn very carefully.
How much do eternity rings cost?
There is almost no upper limit to how much an eternity ring can cost. The number of diamonds, their quality, and the type of precious metas used, all affect the price:
- Platinum is more expensive than 18K gold
- 9K gold is the most affordable metal
- The more diamonds or gems you choose, and the better quality they are, the more you’ll pay
Examples of prices
- A modest half eternity ring in 9K gold with 0.02-0.05 carats of diamonds could be as reasonable as £150-350 online, or an average of £400-600 on the high street.
- A full eternity ring in 18K gold with 0.50-1.00 carat of diamonds could cost you around £750-1,800 online and about £1,000-2,500 in a high street store, depending on the quality of diamonds, the setting and the design.
- At the upper end of the market, a half eternity ring made with platinum and 1.50 carats of G/Vs quality diamonds could cost from about £4,500-5,000 online and well over £6,500 on the high street.
- A full eternity ring made with platinum and 5 carats of G/Vs quality diamonds could cost you in the region of £10,000 online and around £19,000 in a high street shop.
Do men wear eternity rings?
Traditionally, eternity rings were considered women’s jewellery. However, fashion trends have made them accessible to men too. Wedding bands, commitment rings and “man-gagement” rings that feature diamonds all around the band are the most popular. In recent years, the number of male celebrities, like David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo, Elton John and Johnny Depp, wearing diamond eternity rings as wedding rings or fashion statements has increased dramatically.
How to choose an eternity ring
Eternity rings aren’t cheap and as well as a financial cost, they are an emotional investment. Therefore, your eternity ring should symbolises a special moment in your relationship or your life. It should mean something, as well as capture the essence of your lasting love. Read more about how to buy an eternity ring here.
Any prices quoted in this article are meant as guidelines, not offers, and may change any time after the publishing.