Eternity bands feature a row of same-size sparkling diamonds or other gems going all the way around the ring. This endless ring of stones is meant to symbolize eternal love and commitment, making it a popular choice for weddings and anniversaries. Eternity rings don't have a center stone or a focal point like traditional engagement rings, but no rule that says that an engagement ring has to have an obvious center stone.
Choosing an Eternity Style Engagement Ring
As Brides.com points out, "eternity bands are just the way to go if you're looking for something a bit non-traditional but still special." If you're wondering whether you'd like this kind of band for your engagement ring, there are a number of factors to consider.
Be Comfortable Breaking with Tradition
If you are dreaming of a bended-knee proposal and a sparkling diamond solitaire, you may find that an eternity band just doesn't fit with your expectations for your engagement. However, if you're already a little non-traditional, you might prefer a ring that looks a little different than everyone else's. Be prepared to get some questions from friends and relatives. After all, people expect an engagement ring to look a certain way, and they will be surprised (often pleasantly) when yours is a bit different.
Understand That it May Not Be Cheaper
If you choose an eternity band for your engagement ring, you may expect it to cost less than a traditional design. However, this isn't always the case. Standard engagement ring designs feature one large center gem, sometimes surrounded by a few smaller ones. While eternity bands don't have that costly large center gem, they do have more gems.
The cost of the ring will depend on the size and number of gems in it. If you go for smaller gems, such as a narrow, pave-set white gold band with a 1/2 carat total weight, you could spend around $1,000. However, if you go for larger gems, like in this seven-carat total weight platinum design, you could spend over $27,000. There are plenty of options between these two price points.
Love the Symbolism and Simplicity
A traditional engagement ring symbolizes love and commitment, but an eternity band takes that one step further. This row of repeating gems has no end, just like the relationship it represents. It's a powerful symbol that will always be special. What's more, the simple design sparkles beautifully but doesn't call attention to itself like a solitaire might. If this type of simple elegance and meaningful design appeal to you, this might be your ideal engagement ring.
Understand Durability Concerns
An eternity band is both more and less durable than a more traditional engagement ring style. A traditional ring has a higher profile than an eternity band, making it more likely to catch on things - especially if you work with your hands. This can cause damage to the ring, especially if the setting is delicate filigree or another intricate design.
The low-profile design of an eternity band makes this far less likely to happen. However, there are other durability concerns to consider. Because there are so many gems in the band, there are more prongs to worry about loosening and more gems to worry about losing. If you choose this style for your engagement ring and plan to wear it for the rest of your life, have it regularly checked by a jeweler to prevent stone loss.
It's About Personal Preference
With their simple, sparkling style and beautiful symbolism, eternity bands are romantic and meaningful. They are traditional as wedding and anniversary jewelry, but they are far less common as engagement rings. However, that doesn't stop some brides-to-be from opting for this modern and unexpected choice.
Ultimately, whether you choose an eternity band for your engagement ring is completely about personal preference. Consider whether you want a classic ring with a clear focal point or if you will be happier with an endless band of sparkling gems. If you're happy with the ring, there's no wrong choice.