A Brief History on Eternity Rings
The history of eternity rings is very similar to that of the wedding ring - that is a ring, or circle of metal, that has no beginning and no end – in other words, it is ‘eternal’. Eternity rings are rings, usually made of gold, white gold, or platinum, that feature stones that encompass the outside of the ring all the way around. The stones most often used are diamonds.
- A “full eternity” ring is one where the stones are set completely around the ring
- A “half eternity” ring only has the stones set partially around the ring
Eternity rings are used very often for wedding bands, but are becoming increasingly popular as anniversary gifts and a symbol for many special moments in a couple’s life. There is a recent fashion for diamond-set wedding rings, which are closely related in style to eternity rings. Diamond wedding rings or eternity rings usually match the style of the engagement ring, provided it is a diamond engagement ring.
Diamonds are the most popular gemstones for eternity rings, but rubies, sapphires, emeralds and other stones are also popular, usually in conjunction with diamonds. A full eternity ring can cost 2 to 3 times the price of a similar half eternity, because there are more diamonds in it.
Useful Information on Eternity Rings
Because a full eternity ring cannot usually be adjusted for finger size, they need to be custom ordered and made. Half eternity rings can be fairly easily sized, making them a more economic stock line for retail jewellers. Full eternity rings can be uncomfortable to wear because of the depth of the shank between the fingers. This limits the size of stones which can be used.
When To Give An Eternity Ring
There is no set date on when to give an eternity ring. Many believe that the first wedding anniversary is the right time. Others believe that the birth of the first child is an appropriate time, and if most men could empathise with their wives over the pain of childbirth, I am sure they would gladly prefer to buy an eternity ring, than to go through the alternative. We believe it is for the individual couple to decide upon an appropriate time for an eternity ring. In Ireland, the most popular time is after the birth of the first child.
Which Finger / Order?
Eternity rings, having evolved from wedding rings, are also worn on the “ring finger”, which is normally the third finger of the left hand.
Many people wear their wedding ring all the time, so that it is the first ring placed on the finger, and because the engagement ring is often removed, then this goes on after the wedding ring. This leaves the question whether the eternity ring should go on second or third. This is a matter of personal choice. Do whichever feels best or right for you. If you wanted to wear your eternity ring instead of a wedding ring, then you should do so. Similarly if you prefer to wear your eternity ring first, then your wedding ring followed by your engagement ring, then follow your feeling.
If wearing all three rings together does not suit your personal taste, replace your wedding band or engagement ring with the eternity ring. Eternity rings are becoming more common as wedding rings and can be worn with a complementing engagement ring or alone.
Eternity rings are quickly growing in popularity as a choice for an anniversary ring. To wear an eternity ring as an anniversary ring, either replace your wedding band with the anniversary ring or wear it alone on the fourth finger of your left hand. If you want your wedding rings to remain more traditional, wear the eternity ring on the fourth finger of your right hand, keeping your original wedding rings on your left hand.
Other Names For Eternity Rings
The rings are also sometimes known by alternative names such as “infinity rings”, “anniversary rings”, “promise rings” and “special occasion rings”.
See here for a full list of Eternity Rings on this site