Eternity rings. Everyone’s heard of them, but not many men know exactly what one is or when one should be given. Or if one should be given at all…
Perhaps you’re looking for a special gift - or perhaps she’s been dropping hints. Either way, read on. This article will tell you everything you need to know about why and when to give a diamond eternity ring as well as how to go about buying one.
What is an eternity ring?
You know it’s not an engagement ring and you know it’s not a wedding ring. So what is it?
Dictionary-definitionally speaking, an eternity ring is a precious metal ring consisting of an unbroken circle of identically cut stones, typically diamonds.
Or, to put it another way… an eternity ring is what happens when an engagement ring and a wedding ring get together and make a baby. From “Dad” (obviously the wedding ring), the eternity ring inherits its strong, unbreakable, eternal circle. And from “Mum” (the engagement ring) it gets its sparkling beauty and diamond smile.
For a ring to be called an eternity ring, it should have five or more small gems in a row with no central stone and - if you’re being pedantic - the diamonds should go all the way around the band. In reality, that’s not massively practical (or comfortable) so most eternity rings only have stones across the top.
When should you give a diamond eternity ring?
Some say on the first wedding anniversary. Some say on the tenth. Others will insist that you wait 60 years until your diamond wedding anniversary. (It’s okay, life expectancy is going up - there is a chance you’ll be around that long.)
There’s also a growing trend to give an eternity ring on the birth of the first child, or to give a different eternity ring on the birth of each child. Though be warned: there’s a risk that your eternity ring budget might mysteriously get devoured by the “how-does-he-need-another-car-seat-already-didn’t-we-just-buy-one” budget.
The truth is, the only real answer to when an eternity ring should be given is…
You don’t give an eternity ring because you should. You give one because you want to. It’s like a relationship top-up. Engagement and wedding rings are expected at very specific points in your relationship, but an eternity ring is given freely and spontaneously. And therein lies the secret power of the eternity ring. It’s the perfect “Just because…”
- Just because…I still love you.
- Just because…I’d marry you again in a heartbeat.
- Just because…I love our life together.
How do you choose an eternity ring?
Okay, you've decided you want to give her an eternity ring. But how do you go about choosing one? These are the things you’ll need to consider.
Full eternity or half eternity?
Full eternity rings have diamonds all the way around the band. Half eternity rings - you've guessed it - don’t.
As mentioned before, full eternity rings aren't that comfortable. They’re also difficult to resize and, because they contain more diamonds, they’re more expensive.
On the other hand, a complete unbroken circle of diamonds is quite stunning so don’t be put off if you think she’ll love a full eternity ring. Just bear in mind that it might not be worn as often as a half-eternity ring might (and try to get the size right first time)!
Does it have to be diamond?
Traditionally, eternity rings are made up of diamonds and nothing else. A diamond eternity ring is elegant and is guaranteed to suit everyone.
However, you can also mix in other gems - for example, alternating diamonds and sapphires, or rubies, or emeralds. And, because there really are very few rules when it comes to eternity rings, you can get as creative as you like with the stones you use and how you arrange them.
What about the shape?
Most eternity rings are made up of round brilliant diamonds. But don’t feel you have to choose round. It’s becoming more and more common to see other shapes such as Princess cuts (squares) or even miniature baguettes (rectangles). Or why not choose something more unusual, like pears, which create a striking wave-like pattern when laid horizontally.
And the setting?
Eternity ring settings may seem simple - it’s just a band, right? - but it’s surprising how many options you have. From the colour of the metal to the arrangement of the gems to the width of the band and the shape of the outline, there are as many styles of eternity ring as engagement rings - if not more. Do an on-line search for inspiration and you’ll see just how different eternity rings can look.
From here to eternity
Whether you stick with ‘tradition’ and opt for round brilliant diamonds on a plain ring, or get creative and design something truly unique, an eternity ring is the perfect way to show her she’s still worth the effort.
After all, diamonds may be forever, but eternity rings are for… eternity. ;-)
Want to know more? Quality Diamonds can help you choose and design an eternity ring she’ll love, whatever your budget. Contact us for free, friendly advice.