Diamond Eternity Rings – Origin, History & Meaning

Diamond eternity ring

Diamond Eternity Rings – a Look at the Concept, Designs and Styles Available.

Introduction

The diamond eternity ring remains the third most popular item of meaningful jewellery. Most couples naturally progress from an engagement ring, to the wedding ring, and finally to the eternity ring. Prized for it’s durable, wear resistance and beauty, diamond eternity rings offer the perfect display of luxury and meaning.

Origins of the Eternity Ring

There are many examples of rings excavated from the remains of ancient races. Giving purpose to ring styles is often very difficult. Rings conveying the concept of eternal love are found across many cultures through time. Dating back to the start of civilization, archaeologists constantly make new discoveries. Many made from bone, horn, strung beads, and stone.  The Middle Kingdom, Ancient Egypt, offers examples dating from 2040-1750 BC. Examples included more elaborate rings, inscribed and set with semi-precious stones. From Egypt, a material called Faience was sometimes used to make these rings, often coloured yellow, to possibly mimic the colour of Gold.

The First Appearance of the True Diamond Eternity Band

DeBeers-Eternity-Rings-Adverts
DeBeers advertising for diamond eternity rings dating back to 1960’s marketing campaigns

Modern diamond eternity rings began as a concept in the 1960’s. Effective marketing by DeBeers resulted in increased global diamond sales. Eternity rings provided an opportunity to market to those who had already been through an engagement ring and wedding ring purchase.  The concept of a love lasting forever, was now represented by a continuous band of diamonds. The following are a few advertising straplines to campaigns released by DeBeers, relating to diamond eternity rings.

“She married you for richer or poorer. Let her know how it’s going.” (DeBeers 1960’s campaign)

When a man actually remembers an anniversary, he ought to make it unforgettable.” (DeBeers 1970’s campaign)

“We never made it to the restaurant. What better way to celebrate your next anniversary. A diamond is forever.” (DeBeers 1990’s campaign)

Purpose and Traditions

Diamond eternity rings are typically presented with the concept of eternal love. Since diamonds denote permanence, endurance and eternity by their physical properties, a full set diamond band combines these characteristics with the unending circle. The traditional occasion has always been an anniversary, with a 60th being the Diamond Anniversary. Modern traditions dispense with waiting this long. Modern eternity rings are usually presented after one year of marriage, ten years, or even a chosen ‘milestone’ anniversary of choice. Another popular reason connects to the birth of a child. Birthstones can also be combined with diamonds for variety and colour.

Which Hand is an Eternity Ring Worn on?

Tradition suggests that diamond eternity rings sit on the wedding ring finger. In the UK this is the third finger of the left hand, on which the engagement ring is also worn. Some people choose to wear an eternity ring on the opposite hand. The reason for this might be where the eternity ring will not sit, or match with an existing wedding ring / engagement ring set.

Half vs Full Eternity

Confusion can arise from the difference between a half and fully set diamond eternity ring. The classic style is a fully set band. An advantage is that the ring appears identical around the entire ring.  Since the lower section of the ring is usually unseen from above, eternity rings half set with diamonds, are equally popular. It stands to reason that a half set design will also be less expensive than a ring fully set with the same size of diamonds. On a cautionary note, correct ring size or finger size is very important, since adjustments cannot be made on styles fully set with diamonds.

A Look at Some of the Modern Eternity Ring Styles

Many of Today’s rings are precision set. Machine setting the diamonds ensures a perfect finish every time. The amount of diamonds can also be varied. If you prefer a 25% set, 33% set, 50% set or any other variation, this is easily achieved. A large choice of styles exist, across many band profiles. This in itself means you can always find a design to match existing jewellery. Setting styles are also available across many diamond eternity rings. Choose from claw settings, bezel settings, bar settings, grain settings and channel settings among the more popular styles.

Click the images below to discover more about each product in the following mix of popular and more fancy ring styles.

1 Carat Princess Cut Full Eternity Ring0.75 carat claw set full eternity ring with round diamonds0.50 carat half eternity ring set with round brilliant cut diamonds

Fully set marquise diamond eternity ring with 1 carat of diamondsHalf carat diamond eternity ring with half carat of round diamonds fully bezel setOne of our full eternity rings set with 1 carat of round diamonds in channel settingFancy diamond cluster half eternity ring claw set with 1.20cts of round diamondsChequerboard style diamond eternity ring set with 1.65cts of Princess cut diamondsBaguette cut half eternity ring with half a carat of baguette diamondsBar set diamond eternity ring, fully set with 1 carat of diamondsoffset-channel-half-eternity-ringOrnate fully set diamond eternity ring pavé set with 2.80cts of diamonds

Mark Johnson

About Mark Johnson

Mark co-founded Serendipity Diamonds in 2007 after 20 years working with loose diamonds and jewellery. Mark is a keen jewellery and gemstone photographer, blogger and content writer. He works alongside a small team in their Ryde showroom and spends his spare time working on jewellery photography projects and with his two young children.

Mark Johnson

About Mark Johnson

Mark co-founded Serendipity Diamonds in 2007 after 20 years working with loose diamonds and jewellery. Mark is a keen jewellery and gemstone photographer, blogger and content writer. He works alongside a small team in their Ryde showroom and spends his spare time working on jewellery photography projects and with his two young children.