What Does an Eternity Ring Symbolise?

We’ve all heard of engagement and wedding rings, but what about eternity? As the name suggests they’ve been around for a while, and you may be surprised to learn the story of how they came to be. Eternity rings have a special place in people’s hearts, and you’ll able to spot them in jewellery shops around the world. Couples continue to buy them for a number of heart-warming reasons. They are beautiful pieces of jewellery, and could be a gorgeous addition to add to your own love story. So where did it all begin? 

Origin Story 
Cast your mind back four thousand years ago to ancient Egypt - this is where the story starts. Ancient Egyptians used an eternity ring to symbolise love and eternal life. They did not give them to mark occasions. You can see how F.Hinds designs have been inspired by them. The Egyptians often used the image of a snake eating its own tail to represent eternity, and this was often referred to as the ‘ouroboros.’ The circle is one of the most powerful symbols of forever, and even thousands of years later we still find this to be true. It’s why we keep using rings to give our loved ones. 

Through the Ages 
Moving forward through the centuries, we can see the style and the meaning of the eternity ring evolve. One of it’s earlier forms was the keeper ring. Most keeper rings were plain bands worn on either side of a wedding ring to protect it from damage. It wasn’t until the 18th century that people began to associate these rings with marriage. The wealthier members of society wanted to have gems on their bands, and this began ring style which has a continuous set of gemstones - this is what we’re used to seeing in stores today. 

Modern Interpretations 
Eternity rings have been used at romantic moments in many love stories. Unlike the Ancient Egyptians, they now tend to be given during significant times during a relationship, particularly anniversaries. Most partners choose to give an eternity ring for a milestone anniversary, such as a decade. While others simply can’t wait and choose an earlier one to present this special band. Each couple is unique, as is the story behind their eternity ring. The ring could also be passed down through a family, making it even more special. 

Gemstone Choices 
You’ll often find eternity rings with diamonds as this valuable, and rare, gemstone represents things lasting forever. Though some couples opt for less traditional gems, this can be for a number of reasons. They might fancy adding colour to their jewellery, have a sentimental connection to another stone or maybe they just don’t think diamonds represent their style. Whatever gemstone shines in their eternity band, the sentiment remains the same: the couple will always love each other. No wonder it’s considered one of the most romantic rings you can own. 

First Child 
The eternity ring is not only to mark romantic love, but also can be given when a woman gives birth to her first child. It makes sense as, once again, we are exploring the theme of forever. In this case the ring’s circle not only represents an everlasting love, but also the circle of life. If you’re a royal family fan, you may have noticed that the former Prince Harry gave Meghan Markle an eternity ring to celebrate the birth of their first son, Archie. The ring had each family member’s birthstone in, and we could see this trend repeated in eternity rings over the next few years. 

Famous Brides 
Megan Markle is not the only famous face who has been spotted wearing an eternity ring. Women celebrities throughout history have worn eternity rings to show their relationship to the world, each band as beautiful and special as the lady wearing it. In 1934 Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark married Prince George. She had three eternity rings, each one different had coloured gemstones to represent the Union Jack: ruby, diamond and sapphire. Marilyn Monroe wore a platinum eternity band instead of an engagement ring. It had 36 diamonds - would she have had it any other way? Audrey Hepburn wore an eternity ring, though she never stacked them with her other wedding rings. 

Half and Full 
Eternity rings fall into two categories: half and full. Both are beautiful, and come with their own distinct styles. A full band is set with stones for its entire length, which looks incredibly glamorous. This is the more luxurious option of the two and will be more expensive. It should also be noted that it cannot be adjusted once you buy it, but rest assured most stores are happy to exchange if you need a different size. A half band has fewer stones, which could offer more room for creative design. It is usually cheaper, but this depends on the materials used to make it. It is ultimately down to the individual couple to pick which option is right for them. 

How to Wear it 
If you get an eternity ring, you might worry about which finger you should place it on. It is acceptable to place it wherever you like - after all, it’s your hand and it’s symbolising your relationship. However, if you want to follow the traditional route you should place the ring on your fourth finger on your left hand. This is because it has the vena amoris - the vein of love - which connects directly to your heart. If you already have an engagement ring, it would go above it. Some women like to wear their eternity ring separately from their other bands. They wear it on the fourth finger on their right hand. 

An eternity ring is a beautiful symbol of everlasting love. Whether you choose to have one as a stand-alone piece or to accompany a wedding ring - it shows the world you’re in a loving relationship. Eternity rings have truly stood the test of time, and it’s exciting to think about what styles we’ll see as time goes on. When do you think it’s the right time in a relationship to get one?

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