An eternity ring has a similar meaning to a wedding ring. They (eternity rings) are usually given to a spouse because of a very special occasion, such as a wedding anniversary – one of the big ones perhaps like the tenth or twenty-fifth. An eternity ring might also be given to a spouse or partner after the birth of a child. There is no specific occasion or time set for the giving of one of these rings, but it makes sense to use such a wonderful commemoration as a birth or anniversary to do so.
An eternity ring is symbolic of everlasting love, and consists of a band of precious metal with gemstones fitted all the way around the edge. These are usually called full eternity rings and because the stones – usually diamonds – are set around the outside edge, they need to be measured for the wearer and custom made. Because of this, buying a full eternity ring, especially if it is made of platinum or gold with a set of diamonds, can be a very expensive proposition. This expense can be mitigated because of the emotional value and what the ring represents to both the giver and the wearer.
Some wearers don’t like the gemstones to go all the way around the ring, and opt for what is called a half eternity ring. This doesn’t mean the giver loves his (or her) partner any less. It is just that some people find the full eternity ring uncomfortable; others prefer to be able to show all the stones on the ring, rather than having half of them hidden. The great thing about half eternity rings is that they do not need to be fitted to a specific wearer, and as a result can be much cheaper. And because all the stones do not need to meet perfectly in a full circle, a half eternity ring can accommodate larger ones. To have large stones on the full version would be pretty uncomfortable.
The stones themselves do not need to be diamonds. It is a matter of personal choice and budget. Of course, to imbue this type of ring with the meaning it is supposed to represent – eternal love and fidelity – it is worth spending enough to ensure excellent quality and durability. So common options are white gold or sterling silver rings with diamonds, rubies, emeralds or sapphires. Cubic zirconia eternity rings are available to reduce the cost if you are on a tight budget and want to express your feelings to your significant other without having to remortgage the house!
The nice thing about the many stones set into an eternity ring is that each stone can be assigned a specific characteristic. For example, one stone can signify getting engaged; another signify wedding vows; there can be separate stones for each child born – or reserved for children yet to enrich the couple’s lives. So the sentiment itself, denoted by each stone, is far more important than whether they are ultra-expensive diamonds or more affordable cubic zirconias.
The only other consideration when dealing with an eternity ring is where to wear it. It can be regarded as a renewal of your marriage vows, and many women wear one on their ring finger along with their wedding and engagement rings. Some decide to remove either the wedding ring or the engagement ring and use the eternity ring in its place. This is not governed by any rules, but is a simple matter of personal choice.