A traditional Eternity ring is a single band studded with diamonds. There are two modern styles: the full, which has diamonds all the way around the band, and the half, which has diamonds half way around the band. The stones of both styles are set in a band of some precious metal such as gold, silver, or platinum. Like the wedding and anniversary bands, this ring is a symbol of eternal love and is typically worn on the same finger. The simplest eternity rings date back to the ancient Egyptians in 2800 BC, although these were just simple circles of metal.
Today’s eternity ring with its circle of diamonds was created in the 1960s by the diamond merchant DeBeers. At the time, DeBeers was acquiring most of its diamonds from Russia. While the current trend was for engagement rings to a single, large diamond, most of the gems coming from Russia were much smaller – usually less than 0.25 Carats. DeBeers turned this to an advantage and began marketing jewelry containing many small diamonds rather than one large one. The numerous smaller diamonds don’t detract from the ring’s elegance at all. Marilyn Monroe wore an eternity ring composed of 24 rectangle cut diamonds set in platinum. The former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown presented an eternity ring to his wife to make up for not having proposed with a proper engagement ring.
The symbolism of the eternity ring is timeless. It represents unending, continuous, eternal love. An eternity ring would be an appropriate gift from husband to wife on many different special occasions including special anniversaries, wedding vow renewals, and the birth of a child. This ring is also becoming popular as a promise ring between young unmarried couples. Among this group, the ring can be given to symbolize their commitment to the relationship.