An eternity ring is quite possibly the most thoughtful and best anniversary gift you could ever give to your wife. The style of ring has existed for well over 4000 years, and for most of that time, they have been a symbol of unity and undying love. If your anniversary is rapidly approaching and you’ve been stuck for ideas, then worry no more, because an eternity ring could be exactly what you’re looking for.
Traditionally, men from different parts of the world and within different cultures would choose to give their wife an eternity ring on either their first or third wedding anniversary, but don’t let that stop you considering giving one for a birthday, Christmas or holiday present. Eternity rings embody the eternal and everlasting love you have your partner. It also signifies a significant and powerful bond you share and the commitment you’ve made to each other. Traditionally speaking, an eternity ring is used to mark critical milestones in a serious relationship.
The design of an eternity ring is unique, and will most often feature gemstones or diamonds all around the outside of the entire band. The appeal of this sort of ring is that no matter the angle the rings is viewed from, it’ll looking uniformly beautiful, with gems and diamonds glimmering around the edge. With its enduring appeal and stunning significance, it has always been a very popular option as a gift for the special women in our lives.
Even though the popularity of the eternity ring is undisputed, it’s completely understandable if this is the first you’ve heard of them, which is why we’re here to guide you through the choices available and pick the perfect ring. So, if you don’t know the significance of the ring, when to give one, or which type would best fit for you lady, or if you’re just looking for a gift, or you’re responding to subtle hints, we’re here to help.
A Brief History of Eternity Rings
Eternity rings, as we’ve already discussed, have throughout the ages been the symbol of a man’s everlasting love to the special women in his life. Traditionally, the ring is acquired by the man to give it to his wife for a special event, such as an anniversary or other wedding milestones. The husband may wish to gift the ring to his lady to mark a very special day, such as the birth of their first child together, or in remembrance of an anniversary.
Historically, an eternity ring would only be given as an expression of love. The ring is most commonly worn on the third finger of the left hand. According to Roman beliefs, this the finger which contains the Vena Amoris or ‘Vein of Love’. This vein is connected directly to the heart. Even though by today’s standards, this belief is only recognised as a romantic sentimental myth, the influence the Romans had on today’s beliefs continue to be felt today, centuries after the fall of the Roman empire.
If we had the ability to look back in time, we would need to look back as far as 2000BC in order to glimpse the first known eternity ring being forged in ancient Egypt. During this time, the eternity ring was already synonymous with love but was not necessarily used to mark special anniversaries or occasions. The earliest examples of eternity rings featured quite simple designs, often featuring semi-precious stones. A common theme for eternity rings is a snake eating its own tail, which has long symbolised eternity and love.
During the 18th and 19th century, the design of eternity rings began to evolve. There are examples from the early 18th century, which demonstrate that eternity rings with selections of stunning gemstones were already being manufactured. Not only were the designs changing, but the rings were increasingly becoming available to the general public. In terms of timescales, gemstone eternity rings were the first to make an appearance, but diamond eternity rings soon followed and became increasingly popular throughout the 19th century. Since then, diamonds have come to dominate the eternity rings market, become the mainstream option for most shoppers.
Today, it’s not uncommon for an eternity ring to be worn together with the wedding and engagement on the ring finger of the left hand. The rings are most often sandwiched between the other two rings. However, this configuration is not absolutely set in stone, it could be worn on any finger on the left or right hand. Regardless, it still embodies the same significance, everlasting love.
When Should I Give an Eternity Ring?
Traditionally speaking, an eternity ring is most often given as a gift to women when there’s a significant event taking place in the relationship. Any worthy milestone taking place for the couple can be celebrated with the gift of an eternity ring. An important event such as a birth of the couple’s first child, a wedding anniversary, or even the birth of another child, can be commemorated with an eternity ring. These rings are beautiful and make for an impressively thoughtful gift, they are perfect for a multitude of occasions.
Why not disregard tradition and opt to give an eternity ring as a first-anniversary present? If you’re a traditionalist at heart, then you can always follow the anniversary calendar and buy the ring to mark the special years of your marriage. For example, you might want to match the ring purchase with the corresponding gemstone for the year of marriage. A ruby eternity ring could be used to signify the 40th wedding anniversary, a sapphire eternity ring could be used to signify the 45th wedding anniversary, an emerald eternity ring would make for a perfect gift for the 55th wedding anniversary and finally, the classic diamond eternity ring would make for a significant 60th wedding anniversary present.
Of course, eternity rings do not have to be only given on your wedding anniversary. They are the embodiment of symbolising the cycle of life, and as such would make an ideal gift for a new mum. If you do decide to gift one of these rings to the new mum, then I would personally recommend choosing a diamond eternity ring. Perhaps go above and beyond, and write down some of your thoughts and emotions during this special time to accompany the ring. You can tell her how much she means to you and how grateful you are for the sacrifices she has made to bring this extra person into your family. It will not only make her feel special, but it will also emphasise the everlasting love and commitment you have for her. Of course, a simple ‘I love you’ can also work wonders, perhaps written on a tag attached to the ring.
Full Eternity Ring
A full eternity ring can come with a range of gemstones or diamonds on all sides of the ring, leaving no part bare. The whole band, ring, or shank is covered with spectacular gemstones. This type of ring is embodied by sparkling stones viewable from all angles. Most often the base will be made from a slim ring. This type of eternity ring works particularly well when worn with other rings, and as such is perfect if you want to wear it on the same finger as your engagement or wedding ring. As this ring features stones all sides, they are extremely difficult to resize, and we would advise against even trying. For this reason, it’s extremely important to carefully select the correct size of eternity ring for your wife. You want to avoid picking the incorrect size and going through the hassle of returning the ring. If you can temporarily borrow an existing ring, or even the wedding or engagement ring, then you should be able to find the correct size. If you do happen to pick the wrong size, you can always ask the retailer if they can do an exchange, but be aware of restocking charges that may apply. If you want the best of the best, then a full diamond ring is the ideal choice.
Half Eternity Ring
As the name of the ring suggests, half eternity rings only feature diamonds or gemstones on one half of the ring. Of course, the number of gemstones presents largely depends on the size of the stones used and the size of the ring. On average, the stone content will likely be between five and nine stones. Most half eternity rings will feature uniformly sized gems or diamonds, however, some will feature a tapered gem design in order to create a more intriguing design. As you’d expect, a ring which contains fewer valuable gemstones will generally retail for less than full eternity rings, which makes them an affordable option which is well worth considering. Additionally, a half eternity ring can also be resized, unlike full rings, due to the fact it doesn’t have gemstones around the whole circumference.
Eternity rings can come in a variety of stone settings. Every setting brings a unique look and style to the ring, so it’s worth considering when choosing your ring. There are three primary types of ring settings which you might find, these include bezel settings, channel setting and claw setting.
The universally most popular type of setting you’ll encounter is the claw setting, this may also be called a prong setting in any literature. This type of setting is tried and tested having been used for setting stones for centuries, it’s one of the oldest types of settings known. It could be considered the traditional way of attaching a stone to a ring. The defining feature of the claw setting is the is the metal prongs that run up the side of the gem to hold it in place, effectively holding it like a claw, hence the name. This type of setting is definitely snug, the gems don’t have much ability to move around. We would warn you that it’s important to take care of rings with claw settings, you’ll want to ensure the claws do not become bent or misshaped.
The claw setting is particularly well suited for round gemstones because the claw does not cover the whole of the gem, it allows for the greatest surface area to reflect light and shimmer. If you’re interested in choosing shiny gemstones, such as diamonds, then picking a ring with a claw setting is an obvious choice, by maximising light penetration and therefore showing off the stones best optical characteristics. An eternity ring which utilises gems set in claw settings will almost certainly stand out, even when viewed from multiple angles. There a few different types of claw fittings, perhaps one of the most interesting choices for an eternity ring is the shared prong. In this configuration the gems share prongs, allowing the gems to be placed side to side, maximising the number of beautiful gems that your ring is capable of holding.
The channel setting is a relatively new type of ring setting, it’s non-traditional and offers several advantages over the other setting types, which could mean it’s the perfect choice for you. This type of setting holds gems in place by setting the gems within a groove or channel which has a lip that sits above the gems, meaning the gems can’t fall out. The groove often gives a floating appearance to the gemstones, which is an interesting feature all by itself. The setting is well suited for princess cut stones, round stones and baguette cut stones. If you’re buying the ring for someone that’s active, then this fitting might be an ideal choice. The stones are perfectly secured and flush against the ring, which means there are fewer protrusions which could cause the ring to snag. The stones will continue to have good lustre and shine as light is still able to easily penetrate the stones.
The bezel setting is another example of a very secure type of gem setting. Bezel settings can also be known as a bar setting. The characteristics of the setting mean not only are the gem and diamonds held firmly in place, but they are also framed by the metal of the ring. Unlike claw settings or paved setting, which generally puts each stone close to each other on the eternity ring, the bezel setting is good for presenting each stone as an individual.
The bezel frames every stone separately, which allows the eye to distinguish each individual gem, each diamond or stone is treated as an individual piece. If you’re in the market for a unique eternity ring, then look no further than a bezel setting. This type of ring is both fashionable and contemporary. One of the defining features of this type of setting is that the diamonds and gemstones used can be a variety of different sizes and cuts. The metal used on the ring and how it’s formed around them gems can play an important part, allowing for both the gemstone and the metal design to be significant. The setting still allows for decent light penetration, so your gems will still shimmer at their best.
We now hope that you’re armed with the prerequisite knowledge to go out and find the perfect eternity ring, and you’ll have a good idea of what design or shape would work best for the love of your life. Whether you decide to choose a full eternity ring or a half eternity ring, our top picks will hopefully make your decision that much easier.
Last update on 2019-02-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API