When it comes to visiting your local jeweler in the hopes of picking up a brand new piece of jewelry for yourself, it isn’t quite as simple as saying, ‘I would like a ring, please’! If you are not experienced in the world of jewels and rings in particular, then you may not be aware of just how many types of rings there are to choose from at any given retailer.
Whether looking for an engagement ring, wedding ring, or a ring to commemorate any other type of special occasion like a wedding anniversary etc., there is so much to consider in terms of ring styles that it can often be quite overwhelming for a humble customer!
We have put together a guide to one of the most popular kinds of rings, and that is a diamond eternity ring or infinity ring. In terms of high quality design that stands the test of time, you can’t do much better than a half eternity band or a full diamond eternity band.
Here is a guide to choosing the perfect cut eternity ring for yourself or for a loved one.
What Is An Eternity Ring?
An eternity ring, also known as an infinity ring or eternity band, is a ring that is made out of precious metal set with diamonds.
The endless loop of diamonds that is the key feature of the traditional ring design symbolizes never-ending love either for the wearer or for the person who has gifted the ring. The message of infinity is something that is believed to have been started in jewelry and general design by the Ancient Egyptians.
Due to the fact that the cut diamonds wrap all the way around a full eternity ring, it is a design that has been especially celebrated for offering more sparkle than other ring styles. Having said that, there are also different styles of diamond eternity rings that might stretch across just half of the band. As you might expect, this is called a half eternity ring instead.
When Do You Give an Eternity Ring?
Eternity rings are very often given as anniversary gifts to symbolize the infinity of true love of an established couple/relationship, but they can also be used for any number of special occasions or milestones like the birth of a child. An eternity ring is also a popular choice as a diamond engagement ring or wedding band.
Although an eternity ring is usually worn on the left hand ring finger along with the engagement ring and wedding band, there is no hard and fast rule. Sometimes the two other rings might be of such a different style to the eternity ring that the latter is best worn and shown off on a different finger. generally, the order for wearing them is the wedding band at the bottom, then the engagement ring, then the eternity ring.
Choosing a Metal for an Eternity Ring
Eternity rings can be made from any of the precious metals – yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, platinum and sterling silver. Sterling silver is not a regular choice because eternity rings are usually heavy on gemstones and deserve a more precious setting than silver.
Platinum – because of its strength and durability, platinum is the most utilized precious metal in eternity bands. Platinum ages beautifully and acquires a patina that only enhances the look of the ring.
White gold – a highly popular choice, white gold is the most durable type of gold and is liked because it enables an invisible setting style because of the way that white gold blends with diamonds.
Yellow gold – is the traditional choice and never goes out of style. Though not as hard as white gold or platinum, durability increases as carat quality increases.
Rose gold – though this metal is having its 15 minutes of fame at the moment, it is the least popular for eternity rings because it is the softest type of gold.
All these precious metals are as beautiful as one another, so it can really come down to what the rest of your jewelry looks like and what you want to match your new eternity ring to. If the eternity ring is to be worn on the ring finger, it is best if it coordinates with the engagement and wedding rings.
Traditionally, an eternity ring is all diamonds but there are plenty of options where diamonds are combined with other precious gemstones such as sapphires, emeralds, rubies and amethysts.
Choosing an Eternity Ring Setting
As well as the setting, you also need to consider the shape of the diamonds in an eternity ring. Originally, round brilliant diamonds were the most popular choice. These still offer the greatest flexibility in size and price because they are so widely available but other fancy shapes have gained in popularity.
The setting of an eternity ring can determine its overall quality and impact. The setting should show off the diamond shape you choose to its best advantage. No one setting is the best and you should consider how durable you need your ring to be. There are various types of settings. These are:
- Prong set – also known as a claw setting, this setting is a cradle-style that shows off more of the diamond’s angles. Prongs differ in style and each “seat” style offers varying degrees of protection for the stones.
- Single prong – increasingly popular in the last couple of years, the single prong is known as a floating diamond band. it is a hoop made from joined single prong set diamonds.
- Shared prong – the most popular prong setting, the shared prong band features two diamonds held in place by a pair of shared prongs joined to make a hoop. The flexibility is in the design under the stones which can be low seat, woven or gallery style.
- Full prong – this setting offers the most protection. Each stone is low set into four prongs without compromising the sparkle.
- Channel Set – the diamonds are set between two outer bands of precious metal. This is a fairly modern variant of the eternity ring one that suits baguette diamonds and princess cut diamonds very well. The channel set is very secure and isn’t prone to snagging because the stones sit flush within the ring.
- Bezel set – each diamond is held in a custom-made precious metal rim that surrounds the outer stone. The individual stones are then joined bezel to bezel.
- Pave Set – in this setting (that comes from the French word “paved”) lots of very small diamonds are set so close together, there is an illusion that there is no metal holding them in place.
- Bar Set – the stones are separated using metal bars that are perpendicular to the band. Used for a ring that features identically sized stones throughout, it gives a contemporary effect that helps to let in a lot of light to ensure that ring sparkles as much as possible.
The setting will be personal preference but the main considerations are how durable the eternity ring needs to be and how the setting works with the bridal jewelry if a match/complement is required.
Finger size should also be thought about if the eternity ring is to be stacked. Too much bling on one finger can look messy and cluttered as well as being uncomfortable for the wearer.
Choosing a Diamond Shape For an Eternity Ring
The most popular choice of shape for eternity bands is round cut diamonds and they fit well in most of the settings described above. Other shapes (cuts) work very well. especially ones with straight edges – hearts and ovals, not so much.
Suitable shapes are
- princess cut
- baguette cut
- emerald cut
- Asscher cut
- marquise cut
- radiant cut
Straight-edged diamonds are most striking because they fit together in a beautiful tessellation to provide a wall of brilliance that encircles the finger.
The 4cs should be considered when looking at diamonds in an eternity ring. Stones of equal color, clarity, cut and carat are needed to create uniformity.
How Much Should You Pay for an Eternity Ring?
There’s no single answer because as with other ring styles, there is a huge choice resulting in a massive range of prices from $500 to $50,000+.
Price will depend on diamond size, diamond quality, total carat weight and the precious metal of the band.
Set a budget but allow some flexibility to adjust it up or down. You might decide on smaller diamonds in a superior setting for example.
Are There Eternity Rings For Men?
Though traditionally associated with women, there is no rule to state that a man can’t choose to celebrate a loving union or a special occasion with an eternity ring.
The old-fashioned notion that certain types of jewelry should only be worn by women is very out of date in 2022, and any man who wants to express themselves with a beautiful set of stones across a platinum or gold band should feel free to do so!
Look on the Instagram pages of any male celebrity these days and you will see them decked out in their finest bling, so if you are a man who wants to join the crowd, then an infinity ring could be a great place to start!
Pave set diamonds are potentially the setting type that might suit a more masculine style of ring better than claw set round diamonds or bar set, for example, but at the end of the day, it is completely a matter of personal choice and style preference. And that goes for both men and women looking for the perfect item of jewelry.
No matter what ring size, ring set, pave settings, bezel set and overall diamond quality your personal preferences and budget allow for, the one thing that is certain is that eternity rings are notoriously associated with eternal love and relationships all around the world.