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Monday 6 January 2014

Eternity Rings - History & Buying Tips.

An eternity ring is a lady’s ring, worn on the hand, comprising a band of precious metal set with a continuous line of identically cut diamonds or other precious stones. It symbolizes the eternal love in between a husband and a wife and is usually presented after the couple has been married.

Where did this practice originate?

It is safe to assume that the ancient Egyptians, used rings as a token of both eternal love and life. Early examples found were a rather ordinary circle of metal, set with stones either on the top half of the ring or throughout the entire circumference of the ring.

When did “Eternity Rings” come into existence?

In 1960, diamond merchant De Beers was responsible for starting the concept of the eternity ring. However, the concept was not started with love in mind but was a business decision. At that time De Beers had a secret agreement with the Soviet Union which required the purchase of 90-95% of the uncut gems diamonds produced in Russia. It was fashionable back then for engagement rings to be set with a single large diamond. However the Russian diamonds were small, often less than 0.25 carats. To avoid overstocking, De Beers ran a promotional campaign introducing the eternity ring. A round wedding band which was encrusted with small diamonds on its entire circumference. This was the world’s first eternity diamond ring.

What to consider when buying an eternity ring?

There are a few factors you need to keep in mind when buying an eternity ring. For instance, the occasion, the style and the selection of the stone.

The Occasion

There isn’t an inappropriate time for gifting your better half an eternity ring, however the symbolism of the ring needs to be kept in mind when gifting. A special day, like a 10th anniversary or the birth of a child or your honeymoon, can all be great occasions to surprise your wife with an eternity ring.

The Style

Eternity rings are available in two styles, namely full styles and half styles. To put it simply, full style eternity rings are studded with stones on the entire circumference of the ring. Now what this means is that the stones are a lot smaller and cover the entire ring. Since the ring is completely studded with stones, these rings have a tendency to be uncomfortable to wear, however it all depends on the size, cut and the make of the piece.

Half style eternity rings are studded with stones only on the face of the ring and not on the whole ring. This means that the stones can be a lot bigger than full style eternity rings. Because the entire ring is not studded with stones, these rings are comfortable to wear.

Selection of the stone

Eternity rings are most commonly set with diamonds, but stones such as emeralds, rubies and sapphires also are popular choices. Some rings include a variation, such as diamonds alternating with rubies, all around the ring. The shape of the stones is as important as the type of stone, with oblong or square stones usually being preferred over round stones.

Finally how you wear the ring, is also important. Most women wear the ring on the same finger as their wedding ring often replacing the wedding band with the eternity ring. Of course, the choice is yours and yours alone.

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