What Are Eternity Rings and How Did They Come About?

Est. Reading: 4 minutes
April 20, 2023
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With no beginning and no end, an eternity ring symbolises the everlasting and eternal love between a couple. But what exactly is an eternity ring, where did the tradition start, and how should you wear one?

Where Do Eternity Rings Originate from?

The eternity ring is believed to have come from the ancient Egyptians. We say “believe” because we do not know much about how Egyptians embraced their love for one another or how marriage was seen through their eyes. Records suggest that an Egyptian woman was considered to be married if she took all her belongings from her parents’ house and moved into an unmarried man’s house, others suggest that it was more of a property contract between the bride’s father and groom. Even though we do not fully understand their relationship with one another and how they saw love, the story of the eternity ring originating in Egypt is still nice and romantic one to hear.

The legend goes that ancient Egyptians believed that the bond of marriage could not be broken, even by death, and the eternity ring was given to symbolise this bond of love for one another – a love that has no end and is everlasting and eternal.

The Egyptian version of an eternity ring was a simple metal band, usually made in the shape of a snake devouring its own tail (also known as a “Ouroboros” as shown in the image). The modern-day diamond eternity ring is believed to originate from sometime during the 1960’s when the diamond merchant De Beers purchased in excess of 90% of all Soviet diamonds. Most Soviet diamonds were often quite small and to avoid stockpiling them, De Beers started promoting jewellery containing smaller stones. One of the more popular was the eternity ring which contains a number of smaller diamonds around its circumference. The ring was targeted at already married women with their popular marketing slogan aimed at husbands: “She married you for richer or poorer. Let her know how it’s going.”

an ouroboros with a snake in a ring eating its own tail

It does not matter how the eternity ring came by because the meaning of eternal love is one that should be treasured and embraced amongst all married couples. But what exactly is an eternity ring?

What Is an Eternity Ring?

gold eternity ring set with a half band of diamonds

Also known as an infinity ring, an eternity ring is made from precious metals and has a row of gemstones (usually diamonds) around its band. The two main types of eternity rings include the full-eternity ring and the half-eternity ring. Full-eternity rings have a row of gemstones around the entire circumference of the ring’s band, whereas a half-eternity ring has gemstones set only around the top-half of the ring’s band. Eternity rings are supposed to be worn every day and many people have opted for practicality over aesthetics by choosing a half-eternity ring with diamonds set in a channel. It is difficult, if not impossible, to resize a full-eternity ring and having the diamonds set in a channel (instead of in claws) makes them more resilient to becoming lose and falling out.

Different cultures have different beliefs about eternity rings, when they should be given, and what they symbolise. In Ireland, people often wear an eternity ring as a wedding ring, but it is also given as a gift with the most popular occasions including the birth of a first child or on the first anniversary of being married.

Which Finger Should an Eternity Ring Be Worn On?

There are no specific set of rules as to which finger you should wear an eternity ring on. Some believe that it should be worn on your engagement ring finger with the wedding ring going on first, followed by the engagement ring, and the eternity ring last. Others believe that it should be worn on the corresponding finger on the opposite hand. The truth of the matter is that it is a personal preference, and an eternity ring can be worn on any one of your fingers.

How Much Do Eternity Rings Costs?

How much an eternity ring costs depends on several factors that include which precious metals are used (and the amount), and the size, count, clarity, and type of gemstones. A half-eternity diamond ring can be fetched for less than a thousand euros and can go well above the one-thousand-euro mark too – it all depends on the materials used. An example we have is a half-eternity ring that goes for less than one thousand euros.

Designing Your Own Eternity Ring

By designing your own you can create a unique ring that better matches and symbolises you and your partner’s love for each other. Another benefit includes the ability to save on costs by choosing materials and gemstones to better suit your budget – one such example would be to use morganite gemstones instead of diamond.

Contact us or come by our jewellery workshop on 5 Mary street, Dublin City Centre, where we can help you choose or design your own eternity ring and save you as much as 60% off high street prices.

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