The Diamond Pro

Eternity Ring: Expert Buying guide |The Diamond Pro

By Michael Fried
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Eternity bands (also known as eternity rings) make meaningful gifts for anniversaries, birthdays and other special celebrations.

The style and setting you choose is mostly based on personal preference, with options ranging from platinum pavé settings like this one to white gold rings like this eternity band. If the eternity ring will be worn next to an engagement or wedding ring, you’ll want to match the style and metal as closely as possible.

We highly recommend purchasing your eternity ring from a reputable vendor like James Allen or Blue Nile to ensure both the diamonds and jewelry are of high quality.

What is an Eternity Ring?

An eternity band, also called an eternity ring or infinity ring, is made of precious metal set with a complete loop of diamonds. With its endless circle of diamonds, an eternity band symbolizes never-ending love.

Because the diamonds of an eternity ring circle the entire finger, this type of ring offers an extra sparkle. Alternative styles of diamond eternity rings contain diamonds set across the face of the ring only and are known as half-eternity rings.

Floating Diamond Eternity from Blue Nile
Floating Diamond Eternity from Blue Nile

Eternity rings are often given as anniversary gifts. They’re also given as gifts to celebrate major achievements, milestones such as a major promotion or retirement, the birth of a child or just as a romantic, special gift.

The continuous circle of diamonds on an eternity band symbolizes eternal love, giving eternity bands has a meaning that’s commonly associated with love and relationships.

Regardless of which style you choose, it’s customary to wear an eternity ring on the left hand ring finger. If the ring is given to you as a milestone anniversary gift, you can wear it between your wedding ring and engagement ring, or in any arrangement that looks attractive to you.

Where to Buy a Diamond Eternity Ring

Just like when you’re shopping for an engagement ring, you’ll want to buy an eternity ring from a reliable, reputable jewelry vendor. Based on our extensive experience, we recommend the three following vendors for eternity rings, engagement rings and other fine jewelry:

Blue Nile

Blue Nile is one of the world’s largest online diamond retailers, with an unmatched selection of diamond jewelry and loose diamonds alike. Because of Blue Nile’s huge inventory, it’s easy to find an eternity ring or other diamond jewelry that suits your tastes and budget.

In addition to engagement and eternity rings, Blue Nile also offer earrings, wedding rings and other high quality jewelry. Their diamond jewelry is available in a range of metals, from white gold to sterling silver, platinum and others.

In operation for over 17 years, Blue Nile has a strong reputation for high quality diamond and other gemstone jewelry and reliable customer service. Their jewelry craftsmanship is excellent and their prices very competitive, making them a good option for any jewelry purchase. Read our review of Blue Nile to learn more.

Eternity Rings From Blue Nile:

James Allen

James Allen is another leading online jewelry vendor. Like Blue Nile, they’ve been in business for more than 18 years and have a wealth of experience selling loose diamonds, engagement rings, wedding rings and other fine jewelry.

Advantages of James Allen include the company’s large selection, competitive pricing and use of high resolution online photos and video. This makes it easier to compare items in detail and let you shop with total confidence.

All in all, James Allen is one of the best choices available if you’re searching for a high quality diamond eternity ring at a competitive price. Read our review of James Allen to learn more.

Eternity Rings From James Allen:

Brian Gavin Diamonds

Brian Gavin is widely known for offering the best-cut diamonds in the business, meaning their diamonds offer unparalleled brilliance. Their collection is extensive and the quality of many of their pieces is very high, making them a good option if you’re looking for a high-quality ring.

Like Blue Nile and James Allen, Brian Gavin has been in business for decades, with a great reputation for offering high-quality diamond jewelry and excellent value for money. Read our review of Brian Gavin to learn more.

Eternity Rings From Brian Gavin:

Boutique Options

A variety of boutique jewelry brands also offer diamond eternity rings, often with extremely high-quality diamonds or other unique features. If you’re searching for something unique and willing to pay extra, please contact us.

Determining the Quality of an Eternity Ring

There are three important aspects to consider when you’re evaluating the quality and beauty of an eternity ring. The first is the diamonds used in the ring. The second is the setting, while the third is the type of precious metal used to make the band.

Eternity Ring Diamonds

The gemstones used in a diamond eternity ring are significantly smaller than the center stone used in an engagement ring. In fact, they’re so much smaller than it’s generally not economical for them to be graded and certified like an engagement ring diamond.

Double Novela Platinum Eternity Ring from Brian Gavin
Double Eternity Ring from Brian Gavin

For example, the cost of grading and certifying the 14 diamonds used in a typical eternity ring would be about one thousand dollars. This would greatly increase the cost of the ring and make it far less affordable for customers.

Because of this, you won’t get certifications for diamond eternity rings. This makes it important to buy an eternity ring from a reputable vendor like James Allen or Blue Nile, ensuring you get diamonds that are of a high standard.

Much of what you’re paying for in an eternity ring is the jewelry’s craftsmanship and style. The way the jewelry is formed and the way the stones are set makes a tremendous difference in the beauty and quality of the ring.

For example, the level of the jeweler’s expertise and the amount of time and care invested in an eternity ring will be much higher with a vendor like James Allen or Blue Nile than a less reliable, less well-known vendor.

When reviewing diamonds yourself, watch for the level of brilliance (the amount the diamonds sparkle and reflect white light). You’ll also want to check that the diamonds are eye clean (this means they don’t have any glaring, visible blemishes).

To evaluate color, check that the diamonds appear white in relation to the setting. For example, these F to G colored diamonds appear white in their 14K white gold setting. With a yellow gold setting, the diamonds can be less white than what’s necessary with a white gold setting.

Eternity rings come in various total carat weights (in the industry, this is shortened to CTW) for every taste and budget.

If you’re not sure where to start or would like assistance in reviewing and comparing diamonds, feel free to contact our experts.

Eternity Ring Settings

There are four diamond eternity ring styles: prong, channel, bezel and flush. If you want to pair the band with an existing engagement ring or wedding band, try to match the style and metal as closely as you can to your existing rings.

Petite Twist Diamond Eternity Ring from Blue Nile
Petite Twist Diamond Eternity Ring from Blue Nile

Many diamond eternity rings use prongs for their settings. A prong setting allows more light to reach each diamond. It also increases the number of angles from which light can reach each stone, resulting in greater brilliance.

This 14K white gold eternity ring is an example of a prong style setting, while this ring uses a pavé setting. The most popular diamond shape for eternity rings is the round diamond, though unique styles are available, such as this Asscher cut eternity ring.

Eternity Ring Metals

Like other jewelry, there’s no “best” metal for a diamond eternity ring. Instead, the type and color of metal you choose — typically platinum, white gold, rose gold or yellow gold — is usually based on your personal tastes and preferences.

Eternity rings are designed for everyday wear, meaning the materials used to create them tend to be durable. Both 18K and 14K gold in all colors, as well as platinum, are more than durable enough to be used for an everyday wear eternity band.

Our guide to gold and platinum goes into more detail on the key differences between these two popular metals. You can also learn more about 14K gold here.

When Do You Traditionally Give an Eternity Ring?

Eternity rings are traditionally given as gifts, often to celebrate a major milestone in a marriage or other romantic relationship. For example, it’s become something of a modern tradition to gift an eternity ring on major anniversaries and other significant occasions.

Commonly given for milestone wedding anniversaries (i.e. 5th, 10th, 20th, 25th), eternity bands can also be a gift for:

  • Special birthdays
  • The birth of a child
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Celebrations of an exciting milestone
  • Retirements
  • Christmas, Hanukkah and other holidays

Which Finger Should You Wear an Eternity Ring On?

An eternity ring is traditionally worn on the ring finger of the left hand — the same finger that’s used for an engagement ring and wedding band. With this said, there’s no “right” finger for an eternity ring, meaning you can wear your ring on any finger you like. 

By choosing a precious metal that complements the engagement and wedding ring, a diamond eternity ring can add an extra special look to you or your partner’s ring finger.

If you have a large engagement ring and don’t want your eternity ring to clash with it, it’s okay to wear the eternity ring on the middle or ring finger of your right hand.

Which order should you wear your wedding, engagement and eternity rings in?

It’s traditional to wear your wedding ring first on your ring finger, placing it closest to your hand and thus closest to your heart. Then, your engagement ring is worn outside the wedding band, with your eternity ring outside your engagement ring. 

This traditional order “frames” or “locks in” the engagement ring on the ring finger of your left hand. 

Despite being the traditional order for wedding, engagement and eternity rings, there’s no real rule saying you need to wear your rings this way. It’s also common and totally fine to wear the eternity ring on the ring finger of your right hand. 

As we mentioned above, this is a good option if you have a large engagement ring and don’t want three rings weighing down your finger. It’s also a good choice if your engagement ring’s center stone makes it hard to wear the engagement and eternity rings close together.  

If you’re not worried about tradition, it’s perfectly fine to wear your wedding band, engagement ring and eternity ring in any order that feels comfortable to you.

How to Determine Sizing for an Eternity Band

Since eternity rings go on the left ring finger, it’s easy to determining the right size by using the person’s existing wedding ring or engagement ring.

To find the size of an existing wedding or engagement ring, measure the inner diameter of the ring, then compare it to a ring sizing chart. You can also wrap a thin piece of paper around the person’s finger, then mark the spot where the paper overlaps with a pen or pencil.

Yellow Gold Eternity Ring from James Allen
18K Yellow Gold Eternity Ring from James Allen

It’s also possible to measure someone’s ring size using a printable ring sizer. Finally, if you’re not confident measuring someone’s ring size on your own, you can go to a jewelry store for a professional measurement.

If you’re unable to obtain the size and want the ring to be a surprise, consider having a close friend or family member of the person you’re buying the ring for sneak the information.

Eternity Rings as Engagement Rings

Although it’s not traditional, some people choose to give an eternity ring as an engagement ring in place of a conventional diamond ring. It’s also becoming increasingly common to present an eternity ring during the proposal, then choose a traditional engagement ring together. 

There are no absolute “rules” of giving an engagement ring, meaning you can give any ring you and your partner will feel comfortable with. If you think your partner would prefer an eternity ring to a conventional engagement ring, don’t let tradition stop you from doing what you want. 

Despite their similar design, eternity rings come in a range of different styles and diamond carat weights, including many rings suitable for use as engagement rings. These include:

Unlike most engagement rings, infinity rings are quite complicated to resize. Because of this, it’s vital that you know your partner’s ring size before you propose using an infinity ring. Use the tips above or in our ring sizing guide to make sure you buy a ring that’s a comfortable fit.

Famous Eternity Bands

Dating back to ancient Egypt, eternity rings — although not always in the diamond and precious metal form we’re familiar with today — have likely been worn for almost 4,000 years.

Notable eternity rings have popped up countless times throughout history and have been worn by many celebrities and royalty:

  • Joe DiMaggio gave Marilyn Monroe a platinum eternity band with 35 Baguette diamonds for her wedding ring in 1954.
  • Elizabeth Taylor received two Emerald Cut eternity rings from Richard Burton: one for their first marriage in 1964 and one for their second marriage in 1975.
  • Princess Letizia of Asturias received a white gold eternity band with 16 diamonds from Prince Felipe of Spain in 2004.
  • Other celebrities known to wear eternity bands: Jennifer Garner, Blake Lively, Jessica Biel and Mariah Carey.

Finding an Eternity Ring

To purchase a beautiful diamond eternity ring that will match the style and personality of your someone special, look for one from a reputable vendor like James Allen or Blue Nile.

Can’t decide on the right eternity ring? Need help identifying a ring that uses high-quality metal, diamonds or other gemstones? Contact our experts at any time for assistance in reviewing and assessing eternity rings and other high-quality diamond jewelry.

Frequently Asked Questions About Eternity Rings

What Does an Eternity Ring Symbolize?

Eternity rings are designed to symbolize love and commitment, with the continuous circle of diamonds symbolizing continuous, eternal love. This originated in Ancient Egypt, with simple carved rings showing up in Old Egyptian hieroglyphics and archaeological sites.

Can You Wear an Eternity Ring as a Wedding Ring?

This is another modern custom that’s become particularly common in the last decade. Just like giving an eternity ring as an engagement ring (which is one of the alternatives to the traditional diamond engagement ring that some people prefer), it’s totally okay to wear an eternity ring instead of a traditional wedding ring. In fact, many people enjoy the extra sparkle an eternity ring offers.

Can an Eternity Ring be Resized?

Eternity rings can usually be resized. However, the process is more complicated than it is for a typical diamond engagement ring and often requires quite a large change to the way the ring looks, meaning it’s best to avoid having to resize an eternity ring if possible.

As eternity rings contain a continuous circle of diamonds, resizing a ring often requires removing one or several of the diamonds. To do this, a jeweler might need to replace the removed section of the ring with a blank, unadorned piece of metal that doesn’t feature any diamonds. 

Sizing an eternity ring down is usually a simpler process. To do this, the jeweler will remove one or several of the diamonds from the ring, then take out any excess metal and join the two ends of the ring together again. 

Because resizing an eternity ring is quite a complicated process, many jewelers will recommend alternatives, such as adding sizing beads to the inside of the ring. This can often make a slightly loose ring more comfortable and prevent it from sliding around on the finger.

About the author
Mike learned the diamond business from the ground-up at Leo Schachter Diamonds - one of the world's top diamond manufacturers. He has been recognized as a diamond industry expert by Time, PeopleMoney, The Daily Mirror, NerdWallet, The Times Herald, Yahoo Finance Australia, The Art of Charm, The Washington Diplomat, The Next Web, and more. See more
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