buyers guide

Eternity Ring Guide

Like wedding rings, eternity rings are symbols of everlasting love. Because diamonds symbolize love and eternity, a diamond-set eternity ring is the most popular choice. Diamond eternity rings are frequently given to celebrate an anniversary or other very special events in a woman’s life, such as the birth of a child. Whatever the occasion, the eternity ring carries a special meaning and will serve as a reminder of the love that is shared between spouses, partners and loved ones.

The history of the eternity ring closely follows that of the wedding band.  Eternity rings have served as symbols of everlasting love since as far back as 2000 BC.  It is an exceptional gift, showing love, caring and devotion to a spouse or partner.  Women traditionally wear an eternity ring on the same finger as their engagement ring and wedding band.  Some choose to replace their wedding band with the eternity ring.  

How do you pick out the perfect eternity ring for yourself or your special someone? There are many styles and choices available, and to make an informed selection it is important to have some basic background information on the stones, settings and metals that in the right combination will make up the perfect ring.

At the outset, it is important to know that eternity rings can either be “full” with stones set all the way around the shank of the ring, or “half” meaning that the stones are set only on the face of the band.

A full eternity ring is an absolutely stunning piece of jewellery, one that will ensure that the lady wearing it will never go unnoticed. It sparkles in every direction and even if it turns around with the finger’s motion the sparkle will never be hidden. However, as with all statement pieces, a full eternity ring has its downsides. Because it is set all the way around with stones it is necessarily thicker and bulkier than a half eternity ring. It is usually heavier and some ladies may find it uncomfortable to wear one continuously.

A half eternity ring usually comes with five, seven or nine stones, depending on the size of the stones and the style of the ring. The stones may be of uniform shape and size or it may be the case that the central stone is larger and the stones become smaller at the sides for a tapered design. Half eternity rings do not have stones all the way around, and so they are thinner between the fingers and more comfortable to wear. Also, if your budget simply does not allow the luxury of a full eternity ring, a half eternity is a great value for your money.

Eternity rings are typically set with diamonds, although other precious stones are also commonly used. In fact, there is something incredibly special about an eternity ring with alternating emeralds and diamonds or rubies and diamonds, especially if your special lady’s birthstone is either an emerald or ruby. All other gemstones can be found intermingled with diamonds in an eternity ring, and with beautiful and unexpected effect.

The setting of the stones within the eternity ring plays a very important part in the overall look of the ring. The most common eternity ring settings are claw, channel and bar settings, although many many other designs are available.

An eternity ring featuring a claw setting is an exceptionally beautiful piece of jewellery. A claw setting allows the maximum amount of light to enter the stone it holds, as the metal only touches the stone at the claw-tips. This means that the stones are at the most fiery and intense sparkle when they are in a claw setting. Five good-quality diamonds set side-by-side in this type of setting are an amazingly sparkly combination with a stunning effect. This kind of ring will instantly light up your lady’s hand.

A channel-set eternity ring is a completely different look to the claw-set ring described above. In the channel setting, the metal forms a channel in the centre of the ring, in which the stones are set. It is a more modern variant on the eternity ring, perfectly suited for both round and square stones. While a channel setting does not allow as much light into the stones, it is by far a more secure setting for them. Also, a benefit of this type of setting is that it is not prone to snagging as much as the claw setting and that the stones are lower and more flush against the hand.

Stones set in a bar setting are held in place using metal bars perpendicular to the ring band. The stones usually of the same size and are set in a row together separated by the metal bars. The effect is contemporary and modern. This setting lets in more light than the channel setting and typically better stones are used as they are more central to the ring’s design. In terms of security and durability, it is more sturdy than the claw setting but less so than the channel setting, and may be a good compromise between the two.

Eternity rings are available in platinum and gold. Typically, a ring of this brilliance and significance comes in the more luxurious 18 carat gold rather than 9 carat, but may be either yellow or white gold. An eternity ring should compliment the wearer’s other jewellery, especially as most women wear it on the same finger as their wedding and engagement rings. If your special lady wears mostly yellow gold jewellery, you should consider a yellow gold eternity ring.

If you are seeking an eternity ring in a white metal, you should carefully consider the differences between white gold and platinum, as both metals have a lovely white lustre. Although not much can be considered more luxurious than 18 carat white gold, platinum is the rarest precious metal on earth and is therefore more expensive. It is also more durable, harder and heavier than gold, will not react with chlorine or water and is completely hypoallergenic. Other than that, it is very difficult to see the difference between white gold and platinum with a naked eye. Your choice between white gold and platinum will most likely be mostly affected by your budget, as platinum carries a much larger price tag.

An eternity ring, whether set with diamonds or other gems and regardless of the metal and setting, is a truly fantastic gift for the special woman in your life (or maybe even a gift to yourself). There are very few pieces of jewellery that look better and carry a more special significance.

An interesting fact is that in addition to symbolizing eternal love, eternity rings are also symbolic of an unbreakable love.  A “full” eternity ring is set with stones all around the band, and can therefore never be broken in order to be resized.  It must be bought to fit.  In this way, more than a traditional wedding band, an eternity ring symbolizes an unbroken, continuous and precious love between spouses and partners.  

Glenray Jewellers have an absolutely stunning collection of eternity rings, both in the “full” and “half” styles. We recognize that this very special ring means a great deal to both the one giving and the one receiving it and we will show special care in helping you decide on your ideal one. Remember, nothing says “I love you” more than a beautiful eternity ring, and we are certain you will find the perfect one with us!