» Learn All About Eternity Rings

Learn All About Eternity Rings

Introduction to Eternity Rings

Carl Blackburn Eternity Ring
A Floral Eternity Band by Carl Blackburn.

Contemporary eternity rings are a traditional gift from husband to wife, usually given on the occasion of a significant anniversary or after the birth of a child.

Like all relationship rings, eternity rings have no beginning and no end, the endless loop symbolizing timeless love and devotion.

Eternity rings are stone set, usually with diamonds, but can feature other precious stones. A “full” eternity ring features stones around the entire circumference of the ring, and “half” eternity rings have stones set only on the top half of the band.

Early Eternity Rings

An example of An example of the Ouroboros, which inspired the design of some early Egyptian eternity rings.
The ancient Ouroboros, which inspired the design of some early eternity rings.

The concept of the eternity ring follows the history of the wedding ring. The ancient Egyptians were the first to wear them. These early examples were simple metal bands with stones set on the top half of the ring, or sometimes around the entire circumference.

The Egyptians believed that marriage was a bond so deep it would not be interrupted by death, and eternity rings were thought to represent this magical union.

Other early eternity rings were designed as Ouroboros, the ancient depiction of a serpent eating its own tail. The Ouroboros symbolizes eternal renewal, infinity, and eternity, all attributes we would like to ascribe to a strong marriage.

These serpent rings became incredibly popular in Victorian England, thanks to the serpent style engagement ring of the young Queen Victoria.

Eternity Ring Design

Example of an eternity ring with diamonds in a channel setting.
Example of an eternity ring with round diamonds in a channel setting.

Diamonds are the most popular stones for eternity rings, and can be set in a number of ways. The type of setting will often determine the style of the eternity ring.

A shared prong setting will allow excellent light penetration, highlighting the diamonds’ fire and sparkle. This setting is now found in both half eternity rings of three to twelve diamonds and full eternity rings.

Micro pave settings are often used for full eternity rings. In this setting, many tiny diamonds are set into the band, making them flush with the ring. Micro pave settings can be used to make rings with multiple rows of diamonds, creating a “diamond studded” look and full eternity ring that is comfortable to wear.

Channel settings feature two pieces of metal forming a channel that holds the diamonds securely in place, creating an illusion that the diamonds are floating in the ring. This setting highlights round brilliant cut diamonds well, and compliments most engagement and wedding rings.

Bezel settings are a contemporary look that elegantly frames the diamonds in metal; thus offering the most protection and security for the stones. The diamonds appear larger in a bezel setting, and imperfections are generally hidden, so you don’t need to be as concerned with diamond clarity as you would be with other settings.

Eternity rings with a bezel setting also feature a low profile, and can be used to make a comfortable full eternity ring. For an active woman, bezel settings are a great choice, as the diamonds are least likely to get lost or damaged.

Full or Half Eternity Ring

San Diego Eternity Rings
Carl Blackburn Floral Eternity Band

Though full eternity rings have been called “dress wedding rings” and are the most traditional choice for a bride, some couples choose the half eternity ring due to affordability and ease of purchase.

Because of the number of diamonds in a full eternity ring, it can be up to two to three times as expensive as a half eternity ring, and thus a more economical choice for young couples.

In addition, half eternity rings are more easily resized and purchased immediately. Some full eternity rings cannot be resized at all, while others (depending on the design) can be sized by a skilled jeweler up or down more than one size–some contemporary eternity rings have small “sizing bar” about 5mm long which can be utilized to size the ring up and down more than one size easily.

Full eternity rings like Carl Blackburn’s floral eternity bands are custom made and truly works of art. Therefore, these types of eternity rings must be special ordered in advance and sized perfectly to fit the finger of a woman.

While you may have heard that a half eternity ring is more comfortable than a full eternity ring, this is only true of some eternity rings–especially mass market rings. An expertly hand-crafted eternity ring (half or full) should be equally comfortable on the wearer.

Eternity Rings with Other Precious Gems

Other precious gems are sometimes used in conjunction with diamonds, including emeralds, rubies, and sapphires. By mixing other stones with diamonds, you can not only lower the cost, but you can personalize the eternity ring. For example, emeralds might highlight a child’s May birthday, or rubies for a 40th wedding anniversary.


To order a custom-made eternity band or custom engagement ring from Carl Blackburn, please contact us today for a free consultation. We serve clients in San Diego County and nationwide.