Blake Lively. Jessica Biel. Emily Blunt. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. Reese Witherspoon. What do all these gorgeous fashion icons have in common? They have all chosen to symbolize their eternal love with eternity bands. Diamond eternity bands, sapphire eternity bands, channel set, prong set, yellow gold, rose gold....their left hands are beaming with variety & bands that are unique to them. Have you considered an eternity band for an engagement ring? For a wedding band? Wedding anniversary ring? What do you need to know when shopping for one? Here’s a little history on this iconic ring style and some tips for choosing the perfect one!
The history of eternity rings
Historians have stated that the first known eternity rings were created in Ancient Egypt around 4,000 years ago. Old Egyptian hieroglyphics from 2,000-1,800 BC show that the circle was a strong symbol of eternity. They believed that the circle symbolized perfection and that it represented holiness and peace. The Ancient Egyptians would present their loved ones with eternity rings as a token of both eternal love and life.
What exactly is an eternity ring today?
An eternity ring is made from a precious metals (yellow gold, white gold, rose gold or platinum) and is a band set with a continuous string of identical gemstones or diamonds. The most cherished way to set the gems is channel set, prong set, or pavé setting. Prong settings are arguably the most popular as this style of setting allows the diamonds to pop & show off the most.
Eternity rings have no defined beginning or end, just like eternal love. So this means any way you place it on your finger will be right.
Can an eternity band be an engagement ring and wedding ring?
Oh goodness, yes! After dating for two years, Joe DiMaggio spontaneously proposed to Marilyn Monroe sans diamond engagement ring. Thereafter, he gave her a platinum eternity band set with 36 baguette-cut diamonds that she wore as an engagement ring/wedding band rolled into one.
Mel Ferrer proposed to Audrey Hepburn with a slender platinum eternity band channel set with baguette-cut diamonds in 1954.
And when John Kennedy Jr. proposed to Carolyn Bessette in 1995 while the couple was fishing on Martha’s Vineyard, he did so with a sapphire and diamond eternity band.
In view of the foregoing, you’re in good company with an eternity ring as your choice for an engagement ring or wedding band - you do you!
What should I know when shopping for a diamond eternity ring?
The biggest tip, piece of information and thing you need to consider is this: a full eternity ring with gemstones or diamonds in a continuous loop cannot be sized...ever. This means that if you gain weight, lose weight, enjoy the birth of a child or even if your hands change over the years, you cannot have a jeweler adjust the size. Should you need a different size in the future, be prepared to have the ring remade at that point in time, using your original diamonds or gems.
When shopping for your eternity band, consider going just a hair bigger than you actually need and asking the jeweler to install sizing beads. These can easily be removed (by a goldsmith) in the future should your hands get larger and give you a smidge of wiggle room.
What diamond shapes can be made into an eternity ring?
Pretty much any shape your heart desires! Round diamonds are a timeless classic. The sides of princess cut diamonds create a seamless feeling. Emerald cut diamonds can be set north/south or east/west for totally different looks. Pear shaped diamonds are fun and whimsical. Asscher cut diamonds look incredible set eternity. Whatever diamond shape you chose can be an expression of your personal style.
Pro tip: try on various diamond shapes and styles of setting when shopping. You never know when something you never imagined hits your heart just right!
What gemstones are best for an eternity band?
Diamonds are always a good choice! These days you will have to choose not only what diamond shape makes your heart go pitty-pat, but also, do you prefer natural mined diamonds or lab-grown diamonds? Both have their own unique pros and cons- you can explore this topic in greater detail in this blog post from April 2023.
Sapphires are also an excellent choice. Blue sapphires have an undoubtedly regal appearance. Shop the eternity band on the left here!
Rubies can also be stunning in an infinity ring! If you think you might want gemstones in your eternity band, choose based on not only their color, but also their unique hardness. This is especially important if this is a ring for everyday wear and not just for special occasions. This is the time to brainstorm with your jeweler and be sure you’re making a choice to suit your lifestyle.
Pro tip: it is imperative that if your eternity band has gemstones like ruby or sapphire, have it checked at least yearly by a jeweler. While this is not a guarantee that you will never lose one, it will enable you to correct any loose gems early on. If a gemstone is lost out of an eternity ring, it can be very difficult to find a replacement that is an exact match color wise. At Perrara, we highly recommend insuring your precious ring with coverage by Jeweler’s Mutual so that in the event you do have a loss, this specialized coverage will get you a smooth replacement.
What setting style is best for an eternity ring?
As mentioned, prong set will showcase the diamonds or gemstones beautifully and expose most of the diamonds surface to shine brilliantly. That being said, prong set is one of those types of setting that requires slightly more maintenance. Prongs can get bumped, snagged or caught can cause the stones to loose their tension. Not to worry, it happens and a goldsmith can tighten those easily.
Channel set is very smooth and sleek. As there are no prongs holding the stones, this style can be very comfortable to wear, especially between the fingers. Channel set is most often seen with princess cut, emerald cut or round cut stones.
Pavé setting, or even micro pavé setting is an excellent choice for smaller diamonds.
Bezel set is less common for eternity bands but can be an absolutely stunning option for larger diamonds or gemstones.
The long and the short is there are so many options to create, explore, discover and have fun designing!
Do eternity rings make a good anniversary gift?
Eternity or infinity rings make such a symbolic gift! We love the commemoration of any milestone year with this type of ring. If you are a guy looking to give your wife an eternity band for an anniversary gift, here’s some tips:
Observe what color of metal her wedding rings are. If her engagement ring and wedding band are white gold, for example, consider choosing an eternity band in the same metal color.
Make a mental note of the style of her ring and if you think an eternity band would be a great compliment to her wedding set. If it’s a style that is already quite busy or perhaps just not suited to adding an eternity band, she may want to wear this anniversary band on her right hand. That way she can wear her original set & this new anniversary band at the same time. In that case, color of metal may not matter so much. She might enjoy a yellow gold eternity band on her right hand...yellow gold is the bomb!
If you don’t know her finger size, don’t stress. At Perrara, we would recommend you purchase the ring you like best out of the showcase and present it to her, gift wrapped with love of course. After the surprise, bring her in to have her finger properly measured and place an order for the ring in her correct finger size. Don’t worry, we’ve got it all worked out and will take care of all the details.
What is a half eternity ring?
Ah, the half eternity ring...this is when the diamonds or gemstones are half way (or even 3/4 of the way) around the ring instead of being a full eternity ring. Depending on how far the diamonds go around the ring, this style can have a very similar appearance to a full eternity ring but with one BIG benefit: resizing is possible by a qualified jeweler. Yay!! If her ring finger happens to change over time, simply visit a trusted goldsmith to have the ring size on your diamond band adjusted up or down.
Does she have to wear it on her left-hand ring finger?
Not at all. While an eternity band can make a wonderful accompaniment to a wedding set, it can be equally as stunning as an eternity ring on the right hand. Or, even stacked! If you really want to go all out, two or three eternity bands stacked makes a super powerful statement. Yes really really!
We love a great eternity band...can you tell?? At Perrara, we have an incredible selection from some of North America’s most desired brands. Noam Carver Glow has so many options in all the shapes of diamonds, lots of different styles of setting and colors of gold. Tacori handcrafts all their eternity rings at their design studios in California. They have a fantastic article called “6 Ways to Customize” - a must read before deciding on your bespoke eternity band! We can’t wait to explore so many options with you and help you craft a ring as unique as you are.
With Love, Perrara
Author: Lisa Maloney, Proprietor