Eternity Rings: Meaning, History, and When to Give Them

(Collaborative post)

Over the course of most relationships, one party is likely to buy the other several significant items of jewellery (with just a few travelling in the other direction). The most significant of these, naturally, is the engagement ring. But another gift item might come later in life, perhaps on a significant anniversary. We’re talking, of course, about an eternity ring: a special kind of ring set with a continuous circle of gemstones, which symbolise the endless nature of love.

When were they first used?

You might assume that an eternity ring is a creation of the modern jewellery industry (and to a certain extent, this is true). But it can actually trace its history back much further than that. More than four millennia ago, ancient Egyptians presented continuous rings of this sort to one another, and they’ve been a feature of dozens of civilisations since then.

When should you give them?

Almost by definition, an eternity ring is given by a husband to his wife, usually on a wedding anniversary. Given the cost of the ring, you’ll want to wait for a big anniversary: Silver (being the 25th anniversary) and Gold (being the 50th). Of course, there are non-financial reasons to wait for such an occasion: if you present an eternity ring every year, then it will begin to lose its symbolic potency.

If you want to be a strict traditionalist, you’ll need to wait for the diamond anniversary (the 60th) before presenting a diamond eternity ring – though most modern couples will present the ring long before then.

What finger should your wear an eternity ring on?

The eternity ring should be worn on the opposite hand to your engagement (or wedding) ring, so the right hand. If you have an eternity ring but you aren’t married, then you can just as easily wear it on your left hand.

What kinds of eternity ring are available?

Eternity rings come in almost as many shapes and styles as engagement rings. You can break from tradition and have the eternity gemstones end halfway (or three-quarters of the way) around the ring, or you can stick with the proven formula and have the gemstones go all the way round. Then, of course, there’s the choice of stone itself. Though diamonds are indisputably the popular choice, there’s nothing to stop you from choosing any precious stone you like. You might go for uniformity, or set them alternating patterns of shape, size and colour.

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*Disclaimer – This is a collaborative post*

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