Eternity Bands: A Guide to Ring Styles, Materials and Costs - Meaning, History & Functions
Full and Half Eternity Rings: How to Make The Right Choice
Blog Article by Freelance Writer, January 23, 2021 in Bridal Jewelry
If you are thinking of giving an eternity ring? Follow this guide to the history and meaning of eternity rings to help you make the right decision. Lot of our customers want to invest in a beautiful diamond eternity ring. They have been browsing at pictures online or in store and were confused about the large difference in pricing for what looked to be the same ring. They have a certain budget in mind, they knew what style they liked best for her eternity band, and they generally like the full circle diamond look compared to half eternity ring. But usually weren't sure about the rest of the ring details.
Many women want to own a diamond eternity band at some point, whether for their anniversary gift to be worn above an engagement ring and wedding ring or as a right hand piece. With the variety of choices out there in the market, it can be extremely difficult. Many are left putting off their decision, or they have no choice but to go to a luxury jewelry store and pay 3-10x mark-up to get the advice and the ring they need.
The goal of this article is to shift the market to empower customers to shop for fine luxury jewelry online or in store with comfort, knowledge and clarity.
Form and Function
Throughout the history, people have used eternity ring for a number of different reasons:
as a symbol of power or marital status, such as a wedding ring or wedding band
to provide talismanic protection (in the case of amulets)
as a decorative item on their ring finger
to represent personal meaning � such as love, mourning, a major milestone
In many cultures at some point have had a practice of storing large amounts of wealth in the form of jewelry. These rings originated as purely functional rings but evolved into decorative rings as their functional usage decreased.
Eternity rings can symbolize love or marital status (as in the case of Western culture of married people wearing wedding rings).
Materials and Methods
In most cultures, diamonds weren't commonly used but other materials such as gemstones, metals, woods, shells, bones etc were frequently used. Nowadays, eternity rings are typically encircled with diamonds, but other gemstones such as rubies, emeralds and sapphires can also be used.
Methods that were commonly used to make eternity rings were casting, soldering or welding, cutting, carving and paste gems. Prong, channel and bezel settings are popular today, which usually feature a full or half circle of diamonds or other gemstones set on its metal band.
Impact on Society
In most cultures, Eternity rings was frequently used a symbol of power or personal status in the society. In ancient Rome, only certain people were permitted to wear rings; local laws ensured who could wear what type of jewelry and when.
The jewelry industry in the early 20th century launched a marketing campaign to popularize engagement and wedding rings for men and women, going so far as to create a false history and proclaim that the practice of wearing such rings had ancient Egyptian or medieval roots.
History and Meaning
Eternity rings have a long and interesting history that goes back thousands of years, with many different material and function among different cultures throughout the history of mankind. It provides various insights into how ancient cultures used eternity rings.
The idea of the eternity ring dates back almost 5,000 years to Ancient Egypt. While the Egyptians didn't use diamonds, but wore them usually as wedding rings or wedding bands made of other materials. The ring was usually worn on left hand's ring finger due to the belief that a vein of love ... The diamond eternity ring is a relative newcomer. It was the British Diamond Company De Beers which created the concept of diamond eternity ring to use small Russian stockpiled diamonds.
Most modern jewelry continues traditional materials, methods, forms and styles, but designers have changed the designs to fit modern women budget and style. The use new materials, such as diamonds or other gemstones, has led to a wide variety in new styles, shapes and functions.
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT A DIAMOND ETERNITY RING
Once you pick the ring style you like best and the budget you have in mind, there are important things to consider before investing in a diamond eternity ring.
The design and setting you choose is mostly based on personal preference - budget and style. Likely, if you are getting an eternity ring custom made by a small, jeweler at the jewelry district , you are getting the cheaper stone setters working on your piece. In order to compete, they must offer you the lowest pricing they can. It may appear the band looks just as good for a lower price when you first buy it. But over time, it will most probably not hold up as the stones will fall out, prongs will become loose, etc.
Eternity bands (also known as eternity rings or infinity rings) are symbol of everlasting love and make meaningful gifts for anniversaries, birthdays and other special occasions.
WHAT REALLY IS AN ETERNITY RING?
The idea of the eternity dates back 5,000 years to Ancient Egypt. While the Egyptians didn't give eternity diamond rings as wedding bands or wedding rings, but at that time a circle of precious metal or other gemstones symbolized never ending love. Sometimes eternity rings were used as a symbol of power or status.
Nowadays, eternity rings are typically encircled with diamonds, but other gemstones can also be used. Because the diamonds or other precious gemstones of an eternity ring circle the entire band, this type of ring setting offers an extra sparkle on your ring finger. Also known as full-eternity ring. Alternative styles of diamond eternity rings contain diamonds set only on half the circle of its band and are sometimes referred to as half-eternity rings.
Eternity rings are traditionally given as anniversary gifts. They're also given as gifts to celebrate major milestones such as the birth of a child or just as a romantic gift or some women even prefer as a right hand ring. The continuous circle of diamonds on an eternity band represents eternal love, giving eternity bands has a special meaning that's commonly associated with love and long lasting relationships.
Regardless of full or half style you choose, this ring is usually worn on the left hand's ring finger. If the ring is given to you as an anniversary gift, you can wear it above or in between your wedding ring and engagement ring. There are no hard and fast rules, you can wear in any arrangement that looks attractive and feels comfortable to you.
ETERNITY RINGS vs INIFINITY RINGS: WHAT's THE DIFFERENCE?
Are diamond eternity rings or infinity rings more expensive? The price of a ring depends on the style of the ring (full or half eternity) and total weight of diamonds set within it (or CTTW).
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FULL AND HALF ETERNITY RINGS?
Eternity rings are the most popular ring style of wedding bands and are highly sought after. They comprise of a precious metal band that is encircled by diamonds or other gemstones. These rings are known by the way diamonds are placed on them. As the name suggests, a full eternity ring is one in which have diamonds encircling the entire band, of the ring.
Can Eternity Be Resized?
Ring resizing depends upon the style of the ring - half eternity rings due to stones only on half the circle are usually easy to resize, while full-eternity rings feature stones all the way around its bands and are usually difficult to resize. Choosing the correct eternity band ring size is especially important to avoid surprises and extra cost.
What is Total Carat Weight?
Total carat weight (t.c.w.) is a term used to describe the total weight of diamonds or other gemstone in an eternity ring, when more than one gemstone is used. Diamond eternity rings, for example, are usually quoted in t.c.w., indicating the mass of the diamonds and not each individual diamond.
Is an Eternity Ring Worn on Right Hand or Left Hand Ring Finger?
This ring is usually worn on left hand's ring finger, but sometimes some women prefer to wear on right hand. In ancient cultures, the eternity ring was worn on the fourth finger of your left hand. People used to believe that a vein from this finger ran directly to the heart. Nowadays, it is a personal choice depending on lifestyle.
HOW DO YOU KNOW THE QUALITY OF AN ETERNITY RING?
There are many important factors to consider when it comes to evaluating the quality and beauty of an eternity ring. The first is the diamonds or other precious gemstones used in the ring. The second is the style of the setting, third is jeweler's craftsmanship while the fourth is the type of precious metal jewelers used to make the band.
Here, You Need to Extra Careful
Diamonds around 1 carats total weight are likely uncertified by official diamond laboratories like GIA or EGL, which means you need to trust your jeweler and what they say about the quality of the diamonds or other gemstones you're buying. For example, the price of grading and certifying the 16 diamonds used in a typical eternity ring would be about one thousand dollars. This would greatly increase the price of the ring and make it far less affordable for customers.
The truth about many jewelers is that they advertise and sell diamonds that say they are higher quality than they really are. Without a trained expert eye and a jeweler's loupe, it will be difficult to tell the difference, especially on stones less than 1 carat. If you find a price that seems too good to be true at an online jewelry store or even at the New York or Los Angeles jewelry district where the jeweler's claim they are offering 'wholesale prices,'- the item is likely not what is being advertised.
Much of what you are paying for in an eternity ring is the diamonds quality, jewelry's workmanship, setting style and metal used. The way the jeweler's make these bands and the way the stones are set makes a huge difference in the beauty and quality of the end product.
When inspecting diamonds, yourself, here you need to watch for the level of brilliance. You'll also want to check that the diamonds are pleasing to the eye and eye clean (this means they don't have any prominent, visible blemishes).
To evaluate color, check that the diamonds appear white in relation to the setting. For example, these G or H colored diamonds appear white in their 14K white gold setting compared to a yellow gold setting.
Eternity rings come in various total carat weights (in the industry, this is called as CTW) to suit every budget and taste.
If you are not sure where to start or would like assistance in reviewing and comparing diamonds, feel free to contact our jewelry experts.
Diamond vs Gemstone Eternity Rings: What's the Difference?
Are diamond or gemstone eternity rings more expensive? The price of a ring depends on the style of the ring (full or half eternity) and total weight of diamonds or gemstones set within it (or CTTW).
WHICH COLORED GEMSTONES ARE SUITABLE FOR ETERNITY RINGS?
While diamonds are traditional, forever, a girl's best friend etc. With a name derived from the Greek word adamas, which means indestructible, diamonds symbolize strength, eternity and ever-lasting love. It is the most popular gem for an eternity ring, and a gift that will be treasured forever.
DeBeers created the concept of an eternity ring. Because at the time rings with a single large solitaire diamond was in style, De Beers had to find a way to make small diamonds and they used the Ancient Egyptian concept of an eternity ring, and rest is history. Diamonds, therefore, are commonly used in a channel or pave setting but other precious gemstones, such as round rubies, emeralds or sapphires are also alternated with baguette-cut diamonds in eye-catching full and half eternity rings.
But colorful gemstones such as rubies, sapphires and gemstones have been used in various cultures since ancient times. The ruby is the birthstone for July so it's the perfect engagement ring, or eternity ring, for those born in that month. Ruby has long been associated with love and passion, sapphires symbolize truth and fidelity, and emeralds youth and rebirth.
In ancient times, sapphire was a typical gemstone for royalty given its royal blue color and its lucky powers. Today, however, a sapphire and diamond eternity ring are both symbolic and represents a unique personal style. Perfect worn alone or stacked with your other favorite rings. Sapphires tend to be more affordable than diamonds. The average price of a sapphire gemstone is $1,000 per carat, and you would spend much less than diamonds. Diamonds are rated a 9 on Moh's scale of hardness, while sapphires are rate a nine. Since sapphires are not as hard as diamond, their surfaces are more prone to wearing due to scratching and abrasion.
Fancy sapphires also come in pink, yellow, purple, green and other colors. Sapphires that aren't blue (think: pink sapphires and yellow sapphires) are a great option if you want the look of a pink or yellow diamond eternity ring but on a budget. White sapphires are often used as a diamond substitute in jewelry thanks to their lack of color and lower price than diamonds.
In ancient times, ruby was a typical gemstone for royalty given its romantic red color and its lucky powers. Today, however, a ruby and diamond eternity ring are both symbolic and represents a unique personal style. Perfect worn alone or stacked with your other favorite rings. Rubies tend to be more affordable than diamonds. The average price of a ruby gemstone is $1,000 per carat, and you would spend much less than diamonds. Diamonds are rated a 9 on Moh's scale of hardness, while rubies are rate a nine. Since rubies are not as hard as diamond, their surfaces are more prone to wearing due to scratching and abrasion.
Known for its enchanting deep green color, usually referred to as 'emerald green,' the emerald is a variety of the mineral beryl. The green color is caused by traces of chromium or sometimes vanadium that is present in the stone. Emeralds usually contain many surface reaching inclusions and are therefore it is important to read this article. The large number of inclusions also means that emeralds are not graded based on magnification, but rather, on what the eye can see. In fact, as long as there are not any visible flaws, the stone is considered flawless.
This means they are durable enough for everyday wear! It is important to know about Emeralds is that many have inclusions. Jewelers call these special emerald inclusions as 'jardin'. Emerald jardin is very common, as Emeralds are considered a Type III stone (inclusions are usually expected on the market). However, some of these inclusions can reach the surface. And, surface-reaching inclusions can make a stone prone to chipping. Stones that don't have surface reaching inclusions are extremely rare and therefore almost all emeralds are treated with oil to enhance the clarity. So, by choosing a stone without (or with less) surface-reaching inclusions, your Emerald is durable enough to be set in an eternity ring!
ETERNITY RING SETTINGS GUIDE: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Ring Setting Matters
With a diamond eternity ring, most pictures look alike, but there are many differences in the types of settings, usually require a certain style of setting for them to really look their best. These questions need to be answered by a jeweler making or vendor a diamond eternity band.
Setting Questions That Need to be Answered
Vertical or Horizontal East-West?
Simple or Angular Look?
Prong Set, Channel, Pave or Bezel?
What size and number of prongs?
Type of Metal Used to Hold The Stone in Place Securely?
Prongs can be wide, pointed or round where you will feel them between your fingers.
Do you want jewelers making these bands to maximize sparkle by using the least amount of metal possible or encircling with stones around the entire ring, or space out as much as possible to save money on the number of diamonds needed to go all the way around?
Some women prefer to wear this ring every day on her right hand, 4th finger. They live a active lifestyle and want to be able to do wear them without having to take her ring on and off. This means we need to make a band that will be very comfortable band that sits smoothly around her finger without a lot of metal. Some women prefer the classic vertical position of the diamonds and want to maximize the sparkle of the band. Given these preferences, our jewelers chose a shared-prong set band, with the size of the prongs and metal just large enough to hold the stones securely in place.
There are four setting styles: prong, channel, bezel and pave. If you want to pair the band with an existing engagement ring or wedding band, try to match the setting style and metal used as closely possible as you can.
The most popular diamond shape for eternity rings is the brilliant cut round diamond, though unique fancy shape diamonds are also becoming very popular for brides that want to stand out, such as this Emerald and baguette cut eternity rings.
Different Setting Types for Eternity Bands
There are variety of settings for eternity bands and it all depends on the look you are going for. The first case is to try and match the setting to the engagement ring. If your loved one does not require a perfect match or wants to try out different styles, here's a useful guide.
It means what its name suggests; the diamonds and/or gemstones are set between two strips of metal that form a channel. Grooves on each wall of the strip of metal hold the stones securely in place. Its a popular style for a wedding band and is equally suitable for smaller and larger diamonds, as well as the style in which the combination of round diamonds and square or baguette cut gemstones are set.
This type of setting allows the most light to radiate through, resulting in more brilliance as the only metal used in the setting is that which holds the stone. Prongs for eternity bands are generally rounded, although they could be v-shaped depending on the cut of the diamond. Often jewelers will use four or shared prongs to hold the diamonds/gemstones securely in place.
When you look at this setting, it appears that there is no metal between the diamonds at least when you inspect it with the naked eye - however, there are very tiny beads holding the diamonds in place. The French word pave comes from the fact that this type of ring looks like it is paved with diamonds. This setting is best for smaller diamonds or gemstone eternity bands.
This setting encases the diamond or gemstone by surrounding it with metal, making it the safest type of setting. This generally looks best with larger stones or those with millegrain (tiny cuts that look like beads) on the bezel. Its also a good choice for eternity bands that have a pattern of different diamonds or gemstones - for example, baguette-round-baguette all the way around or marquise-princess-marquise all the way around.
WHAT ARE RIGHT HAND RINGS?
It may sound simple, but right-hand rings are any rings that are worn on the right hand. You can make a real statement by wearing a significant right-hand ring. In American culture, the right-hand ring tradition has become more popular for women over the years. The tradition often represents a personal victory for women or to celebrate her independence.
But there are certain types of rings that might work best on the right hand. Some cultures do have traditions about the type of ring, too.
WHAR ARE PUSH PRESENTS?
Jewelry is one of the most popular push presents for new mothers. The right gift of jewelry serves as a symbol of love and appreciation that new mothers can appreciate forever. Choose from more classic to elaborate presents, like a pair of diamond earrings or a rolling diamond pendant necklace, to popular gifts like diamond, ruby and sapphire eternity rings, like a small charm or locket. Keep reading to discover ten push present jewelry ideas that will remain treasured keepsakes for years to come.
WHY DO WOMEN LIKE MULTIPLE ETERNITY BANDS?
This is where your wife and jeweler will love you and you certainly need to watch your budget. And this is when you begin to question if your 'lifelong love and commitment' is to just keep buying rings. In reality women love rings to have on multiple digits. It's the one piece of jewelry they can admire on themselves besides bracelets, earrings.
Today, women have personal preferences. Here is where your loved one can get creative to stand out from the crowd. She can wear her engagement ring on her right hand and add other eternity bands in different widths, metal colors, cuts of stones, sizes and settings to create a look that represents her unique personal style. If she loves colored gemstones like rubies, sapphires, or emeralds, this is your chance to give her what she really desires. They are available alternated with diamonds or set just on their own. For example, you can have the diamond wedding band between two pink sapphire bands or between two emerald cut diamond bands for contrast. The possibilities are vast - just watch your budget, at least they are less expensive than fancy colored diamonds.
ETERNITY RING STYLES GUIDE: HOW TO MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE
1. Round Brilliant Eternity Bands
Any diamond cut that is not a round brilliant is considered a 'fancy shape' diamond. Fancy shape eternity bands tend to be more expensive than classic rounds due to the fact that each stone has to be matched for color, clarity, and exact ratio for a perfect look, as well as the rough is lost in cutting fancy cut diamonds. Especially for anyone looking to keep within a budget, round brilliant eternity bands make for a beautiful classic choice. Round brilliant eternity bands are less expensive than other diamond cuts for three main reasons.
First, the round brilliant cut hides inclusions, meaning diamonds with lower color and clarity grades can be used without compromising the beauty and appeal of the final item. Round brilliants are also perfectly symmetrical, so they are much easier to match for size and look. Finally, there are more round brilliant diamonds of smaller sizes on the market than there are fancy shapes.
2. Fancy Emerald Cut Eternity Bands
Sleek andgeometric, emerald cut eternity bands are a perfect for an elongated effect on your ring finger.
Emerald cut eternity bands bring an elegant appeal with their clean design. The unique look of the emerald cut diamond is created by the step cuts and larger facets. Instead of the sparkle of a brilliant round, emerald cut diamonds bring a hall-of-mirrors effect.
3. Oval Eternity Bands
Oval eternity bands offer a wider elongated effect of each stone for a statement look and maximum sparkle.
4. Radiant Cut Eternity Bands
For something more unique, Radiant Cut Eternity Bands are a striking option that serves up major dazzle.
Like the Emerald Cut, Radiant Cut diamonds have straight edges and cut corners but feature brilliant faceting. Rectangular radiant cuts appear larger than square cut radiants and are especially eye-catching and finger flattering in an eternity band.
5. Baguette Cut Eternity Bands
Similar to our Emerald Cut Eternity Bands, our Baguette Cut Eternity Band delivers a clean, crisp, and elongated look on your ring finger.
WHAT SIZE DIAMONDS
Will you wear the ring on its own or pair with others?
Do you want the largest sized diamonds you can buy based on your budget that meets minimum sparkle requirements or would you like the best quality available?
The stone's shape will dictate what the minimum sparkle requirements are. For instance, for emerald cut diamonds, they have much fewer facets in the stone, therefore inclusions will show easier than on a round brilliant cut diamond.
My recommendation on emerald cut stones larger than .20 carats would be to use VS (Very Slightly included) stones which is close to the top quality of diamond grading. This means that your budget may allow an eternity band that has only .25 carat VS clarity emerald cut diamonds vs a larger eternity band with .35 carat SI (slightly included) round brilliant cut diamonds for the same price.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT METAL
Type of Metal: Platinum, 18k, or 14k gold? White, Rose or Yellow?
The metal color you should choose is based on preference. If you like yellow gold eternity bands, I recommend 14k gold as it is stronger than 18k. For white eternity bands, I prefer platinum due to its strength above gold. In the past, people would try to save money by using 14k vs platinum. But with the price of gold being at its record highs today, the difference in price between platinum and gold has narrowed. Note though, labor on platinum is higher due to it being a harder metal to work with. So, pricing will still be higher for platinum rings.
Like other jewelry, there is no best metal for a diamond eternity ring. Instead, the type and color of metal you choose is typically platinum, white gold, rose gold or yellow gold and is usually based on your personal tastes and preferences.
Eternity rings are designed for everyday wear, meaning the materials used to create them tend to be durable. Both 18K and 14K gold in all colors, as well as platinum, are more than durable enough to be used for an everyday wear eternity band.
Our guide to gold and platinum goes into more detail on the key differences between these two popular metals. You can also learn more about 14K gold here.
QUALITY OF THE JEWELER'S WORK?
This is a factor most people don't pay attention to. The range of skill set in jewelry setters is vast! It's much larger than you can think of. A quality jewelry setter setting prices can be three times more the price of a lower-end setter, as it requires years of experience.
Many jewelers cut corners in the setting process to save time and money. After all, it's very often that the customer will not be able to tell the difference between different setters work.
WHY SHOULD YOU BUY ETHICAL GOLD & DIAMOND ETERNITY RINGS RINGS?
Small-mine artisanal high quality Ethical eternity rings or stylish wedding bands crafted in Fair Trade certified white, yellow, rose gold or recycled are also popular with modern brides who care about the environment. Available in many different styles at guaranteed lowest prices.
SHOUD YOU CONSIDER COMMISIONING RECYCLED ETERNTY RINGS?
Bespoke eternity rings made from recycled gold and old-cut diamonds are also popular as wedding bands because of the sentiment.
WHEN ARE ETERNITY RINGS TRADITIONALLY GIVEN?
Eternity rings are traditionally given on a significant anniversary., and usually worn above or in between an engagement ring and wedding ring. Commonly given for milestone wedding anniversaries (i.e. 5th, 10th, 20th, 35th), eternity bands can also be a gift for:
The birth of a child, push present
Celebration of milestone
Christmas, and other holidays
Which Finger Do You Wear An Eternity Ring On? Are There Any Tradition to Follow?
An eternity ring is traditionally worn on the left hand ring finger, it is the same finger that is used for an engagement ring and wedding band. There are no hard and fast rules on how to wear an eternity ring, meaning you can wear your ring on any finger you prefer.
By choosing a precious metal that matches the engagement and wedding ring, a diamond eternity ring can add an extra special meaning and look to you or your partners ring finger.
WHICH ORDER DO YOU WEAR YOUR WEDDING, ENGAGEMENT AND ETERNITY RINGS?
It is traditional to wear your wedding ring first on your left hand ring finger. Then, your engagement ring is worn above the wedding band, with your eternity ring in between your engagement ring and wedding band.
Although the traditional order for wearing wedding, engagement and eternity rings, there is no hard and fast rule saying you need to wear your rings in a particular way. Some women prefer to wear the eternity ring on the right hand ring finger.
If you don't care about the tradition, it is perfectly fine to wear your wedding band, engagement ring and eternity ring in any order that looks good and feels comfortable to you.
How To Know The Exact Size For Her Eternity Band
Since eternity rings are worn on the left ring finger, it's easy to determine the right size by looking into the persons jewelry box for an existing wedding ring or engagement ring. You can use our bridal apps to find the size of an existing wedding or engagement ring - measure the inner diameter of the ring, then compare it to a circle on ring sizing chart online. You can also wrap a thin piece of paper around the person's finger, then mark the spot where the paper overlaps with a pen or pencil but sometimes altitude and temperature can make a difference.
Or, if you're not fully confident measuring someone ring size on your own, you can go to a jewelry store for a professional ring size measurement.
Famous Celebrity Eternity Bands
The idea of the eternity ring can be dated back to Ancient Egypt - although diamond eternity bands were not given as wedding rings or wedding anniversary rings
Notable eternity rings have been written about countless times throughout history and have been worn by few celebrity and royal women:
JoeDiMaggio gave Marilyn Monroe a platinum eternity band with Baguette cut diamonds for her wedding ring in 1954.
ElizabethTaylor received two Emerald Cut eternity rings from Richard Burton: one for their first marriage in 1964 and one for their second marriage in 1975.
KateMiddleton was presented a diamond eternity ring as a push present.
Guide on Finding The Right Eternity Ring
To purchase a beautiful diamond eternity ring that will represent a unique personal style of your someone special, look for one from a reputable vendor like Sndgems.com.
Don't know how to buy the right eternity ring? Need help finding a ring that uses high-quality diamonds or other gemstones? Contact our jewelry experts at any time for assistance in reviewing eternity rings and other high-quality diamond jewelry.
View our beautiful colored gemstone and diamond eternity rings by clicking here or on any of the images above.
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