Instead of having one to five feature stones, as with most rings, eternity rings feature identically sized and cut gemstones, set halfway or all the way around the circumference of the ring. A symbol of never-ending love, eternity rings are traditionally given by a husband to his wife as a gift to commemorate their wedding anniversary. Though they can also be used to celebrate the birth of a child, or on any occasion significant enough for a declaration of love.
What Do Eternity Rings Symbolise?
Eternity rings are embellished with a circle of gemstones, which is why they are often seen as a form of wedding band. Eternity rings can be traced back almost 4000 years, to the time when the Ancient Egyptians established the tradition by giving rope rings to their loved ones as a symbol of eternal commitment and love. The earliest extant eternity rings are simple circles made of metal, set with various stones either on one half or running the entire circumference of the ring. Some early examples of eternity rings were designed in the form of a snake devouring its own tail – a common symbol representing ‘eternity’ and eternal love.
Today, eternity rings are usually given to mark a particular occasion. Presenting your spouse with an eternity ring is a wonderful way to celebrate a milestone in a marriage, as this continuous circle of diamonds set in gold or platinum signifies the time you have spent together, as well as the unending future you wish to share. Eternity rings are therefore often presented on marriage anniversaries, traditionally for a 50th anniversary.
Another interpretation of the eternity ring is that of the eternal circle of life. This makes the eternity ring an excellent gift upon the birth of a couple’s first baby to celebrate the new addition to their family.
What is the Difference Between a Full and Half Eternity Ring?
There are two main types of eternity rings:
The full eternity ring features stones around the entire length of the band, ensuring an uninterrupted sparkle whichever way the ring rotates around the finger.
The half eternity ring, however, features a line of stones only on the face of the band, also known as the head of the ring. Half eternity rings are usually more affordable, and some women find this type more comfortable to wear. They also have the benefit of being available for resizing, where a full eternity does not have that option.
Normally, eternity rings are worn on the ring finger along with the wedding ring. More recently, however, it has become fashionable and popular to wear an eternity ring as a single ring on the right hand.
Diamond eternity rings as we know them today got their start from De Beers in the 1960s, who wanted to find a way of utilising smaller diamonds in a time where large solitaire rings were the preferred engagement ring. Marketed towards older, married women, De Beers crafted the excellent advertising line of:
‘She married you for richer or poorer. Let her know how it’s going.’
The De Beers marketing team found success with this slogan, and the trend of eternity rings continues today, both as an anniversary gift, and the celebration big events such as the birth of children. Sometimes, eternity rings are saved for a 10 year anniversary.
How Much Should You Spend on an Eternity Ring?
Whenever luxury jewellery is involved, the question of how much money to spend. Typically, between £2,000 and £5,000 is considered an appropriate amount of money to spend on such a special gift. Considering that eternity rings are frequently used to commemorate significant anniversaries, they are a great opportunity to be more extravagant. There are, however, less expensive options available, and it’s important to keep a strict budget in mind.
Eternity rings are an ancient piece of jewellery, and it seems as though they’ll be a main stay for millennia to come.
Claire Hall – Senior Sales Assistant
Claire is the Senior Sales Assistant at AC Silver. Claire commenced her career in 1999, undertaking various roles within the jewellery industry in addition to successfully gaining qualifications in the field.