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10 Unusual Facts About Eternity Rings

02 December 2019
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A classic symbol of never-ending love, an eternity ring is a timeless piece of jewellery. Here are 10 unusual facts.

Eternity rings are an increasingly popular piece of jewellery and are typically given by men to their partners or wives to mark a milestone, such as the birth of a child. 

 

They usually comprise of a precious metal setting, which forms the band, adorned with a number of diamonds that are cut in an identical manner. This uniformity is why eternity rings are considered to be a classic symbol of never-ending love.

 

While the reason for gifting your loved one with an eternity ring varies in recent times, where do eternity rings originate from? We'll reveal 10 of the most unusual facts about eternity rings, including where the tradition originates from and some of the trends inspired by them.

 

1. The Origins of Eternity Rings are Well-Established

The idea of eternity rings has been around for... well, practically an eternity. It's believed that 4,000 years ago, Ancient Egyptians presented such rings to loved ones to demonstrate eternal love and the lifetime they wished to spend together

 

A popular design at that time was that of a snake eating its tail, as it was seen to symbolise infinity and the circle of life.

 

2. Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend

Eternity rings come with both half-eternity and full-eternity options, with some featuring gemstones other than, or in addition to, diamonds. 

 

As well as representing a lifetime of commitment to your loved one, diamonds are also a symbol of friendship.

 

Symbolising the eternal closeness and fidelity of a couple, the sentiment of diamonds is magnified when they are set in a ring that demonstrates never-ending love.

                                         A Round and Baguette Diamond Eternity Ring   Description automatically generated with low confidence

 

3. Diamond Eternity Rings are a More Recent Trend

While eternity rings in their general design have been around since Ancient Egypt, diamond eternity rings were only established during the 1960s.

 

An innovative advertising campaign by diamond merchant DeBeers is said to have led to the trend. According to an investigative journalist called Epstein, DeBeers had a secret agreement with the Soviet Union to purchase at least 90% of the uncut diamonds produced within Russia in exchange for a sole channel that would supply these gems to the entire world.

 

To avoid having a surplus supply of these diamonds, which were usually under 0.25 carats, DeBeers used them to form eternity rings. The rings were then advertised as the perfect, romantic gift for a husband to give his wife. 

 

The slogan which accompanied the advertising campaign was: "She married you for richer or poorer. Let her know how it's going."

 

                                       A Round Diamond Ring   Description automatically generated with low confidence

 

4. Eternity Rings Now Mark Many Milestones

From one year of marriage to a decade, there's no one right answer as to the appropriate time to give your loved one an eternity ring. 

 

For those who choose to buy their loved ones an eternity ring after the birth of their first child, it's traditional to incorporate the child's birthstone into the ring as well. Combining gemstones with diamonds is seen to add to the sentiment of the ring.

 

5. Precision Set Rings are Popular

Within the jewellery industry, it's now more usual than not for diamonds to be precision set. This means that a machine is used to place the diamonds into the ring to ensure a flawless finish and complete uniformity is always achieved.

 

The claw, which is also known as the prong, is the most popular setting for diamond rings. This is due to claw settings optimising the number of angles from which the light can reflect off the stone. 

 

The diamond shape and cut chosen most often is a round, brilliant-cut diamond.

 

                                            A Round Prong Set Diamond Eternity

6. The Vein of Love

In many cultures, eternity rings are worn either alongside or in place of wedding and engagement rings. This is often the third finger from the thumb on the left hand. 

 

Why do we wear rings on the third finger, on the left hand? The tradition is thought to date back to Ancient Egypt, where it was believed that a blood vessel ran from this finger directly to the heart. 

 

This is not scientifically proven but has nevertheless become a long-standing tradition, with the ring finger sometimes being referred to as ‘the vein of love'.

                             A Round Diamond Eternity Ring   Description automatically generated

7. Trends of the Era

When it comes to the size of the diamond itself, celebrity engagements today would imply the bigger the stone, the better the ring.

 

However. this was not always the case.

 

In 1954, American actor Mel Ferrer proposed to actress Audrey Hepburn with a slim platinum eternity band, adorned with baguette-cut diamonds in a channel setting. 

 

8. Eternity Rings can be Worn Instead of Wedding Rings

While fellow Hollywood legend Marilyn Monroe also got married in the same year as Hepburn, she took a less orthodox approach towards her eternity ring.

 

Monroe opted to wear hers as both an engagement ring and a wedding ring combined upon marrying baseball star Joe DiMaggio.

 

The ring, a platinum eternity band featuring no fewer than 36 baguette-cut diamonds, sold at an auction in 1999. Despite missing a stone, it sold for an astonishing $772,500 at the famous Christie's auction house in New York.

 

9. Eternity Rings Inspired a Perfume

In 1987, one year after marrying Kelly Rector, fashion designer Calvin Klein purchased an eternity band for his spouse.

 

It was bought as part of the landmark estate sale of The Jewels of the Duchess of Windsor.

 

The ring is said to have been inscribed with the word ‘eternity', which was seen as especially romantic by Klein. Released in 1988, it gave him the inspiration for the name of one of his most successful perfumes to date: Eternity by Calvin Klein.

                                 

 

10. Designing Them Takes a Highly-Skilled Jeweller

One reason why eternity rings are admired so much is due to their value and sentiment. 

 

Their value is seen as an especially significant factor, as their intricate design means only the most highly-skilled jewellers are able to successfully create them. 

 

The design usually requires a team of specialists to focus on specific parts of the ring, to ensure that the band precisely matches the diamonds, which must fit exactly within the ridges,

 

They're also extremely difficult to resize, so the measurements skilled jewellers must work with are even more precise, with more reliance on expert craftsmanship.

                             A picture containing metalware, cup, gear, indoor  Description automatically generated

 

Now that you're aware of the history and significance of these stunning rings, why not consider making the grand gesture of giving an eternity ring to your loved one? Contact us today, so an experienced member of our team can advise you on choosing the perfect ring. If you'd prefer a face-to-face discussion, please book an appointment at your nearest branch.