Okay, so you might be asking ‘’What is an eternity ring?”.
Well, normally it is a ring with diamonds or gemstones all around the band, or partially set half or three-quarters around the ring. The circle symbolises eternity, and the stones represent love. Therefore, the meaning of an eternity ring is “Everlasting love.” Eternity rings date back nearly 4,000 years to the ancient Egyptians when they were given by husband and wife simply as a token of love. These earliest examples of eternity rings were often just simple bands of metal set with a stone. Other popular designs at the time portrayed a snake swallowing its own tail, which around that time was a common symbol used to represent eternity.
Eternity rings no longer feature snakes swallowing their own tail; however, the symbolism of a never-ending circle very much remains. There are now many styles of eternity rings with different settings you can use when designing an eternity ring, and I am here to give you some examples and their pros and cons.
With this setting, the stones are channel set with two vertical bars on either side that are perpendicular to the band of the ring. Unlike normal channel settings, the vertical bars leave space on either side of the stones for light to pass through them. The main disadvantage of this setting is that because the stones are unprotected by metal on the sides, it can lead to the stones being more vulnerable to chipping. They are also slightly less secure than a prong setting. Another disadvantage is that it can become dirty easily and take longer to clean due to all the spaces in between the stones.
Prong set eternity rings are one of the most popular styles, and there are a few different variations of these, such as…
This style setting earned its name from the fact that, from the side, it looks like the battlements on top of a castle wall. The setting features prongs that hold each stone carefully in place, and when you look from the side, you will see a half-circle shape cut out. These settings are designed to maximise the exposure of the gemstone whilst also keeping it secure and safe. In some cases, the low scalloped edge of the castle setting can also create an optical illusion as it allows the sides of the stones to be easily seen and creates the impression that the stones are being held in an invisible setting.
Shared Claw Setting
The prong setting features four prongs that hold each stone in place carefully. Looking down at the ring, you will only see minimal metal, as only the prong tips will be visible. However, there is more metal helping to hold the stone in place. Prong-set eternity bands are designed to maximise the exposure of the diamond whilst also keeping it secure and safe.
Split Claw Setting
This style setting is very similar to a shared-prong setting. However, the prongs are split into two parts, with each side holding a single gemstone. The split claw provides multiple points of contact with the stone and is often used to give intricate details to a design. However, splitting the claw reduces the overall strength of the claw itself.
The main disadvantage of these styles of settings is that if the ring suffers an impact or is knocked against something, the stones can become loose or dislodged. Therefore, it is important to ensure the ring is checked over every so often by a jeweller to check the strength of the claws. Another disadvantage is that it can become dirty easily and take longer to clean due to all the grooves and spaces in between the rings.
Pronounced “pa-vay,” pavé originates from the French word “to pave”—in this case, as in paved with stones. Small, barely visible metal claws or prongs will hold the stone in place. It creates a timeless and elegant piece that doesn’t detract too much from the engagement ring it would normally be paired with. Resizing a pavé set ring can be challenging. However, the extra elegance that it brings outweighs this fact.
A flush setting, or “Gyspy” setting, is also known as a setting in which the stone is set flush with the metal of the ring. The pros of this kind of setting are that the stones are very secure, and also, due to the flush nature of the setting, they are very easy to clean. However, one of the major cons is that there is reduced light refraction from these settings, resulting in less sparkle from the stone.
Beaded Bright Setting
This setting is characterised by tiny ‘’beads’’ that hold the stones in place. The setting is a narrow channel in the shank ring, and then two tiny prongs topped with a bead of precious metal are used to secure the stones in place. One of the major cons of this style is that it does reduce the gemstone’s sparkle and brilliance as you only get light coming from the top of the stone. However, it is an incredibly decorative and eye-catching style. The edging of this style of setting does provide protection for the tiny, intricate claws.
As the name implies, this style of ring has stones set within a channel in the band. Stones will be carefully set side by side and are held in place by the walls of the channel; there are little lips/groves that are cut into the channel that hold the girdles of the stones in place and protect them from falling out. The channel setting is one of the safer settings as it protects the stones from exposure, as even if you knock your ring, the metal should be hit first, not the stone. They also don’t snag on things, as there are no claws to get caught in. However, because the gemstones are covered by more metal than in a prong-style setting, not as much light refracts from them. So, the focus is on both metal and stone. They are also hard to clean if dirt gets lodged under the gemstone and beneath the grooves.
Bezel settings are when the diamonds are individually placed in a metal setting that surrounds the outside of the stone. This kind of setting will offer the most protection to the stone as the edges are fully covered by metal. The major disadvantage to this is that it does reduce the sparkle and brilliance of the stone, as you only get light coming from the top of the stone. It does, however, make cleaning the ring easier as there aren’t any hidden cavities. Also, there are no claws, so the ring will not snag on things.
There are more different styles of eternity rings available than the ones in this blog, but these are the ones we would class as the main settings. It is important to note, as stated at the start of this post, that there are three main styles of eternity rings: full eternity rings, half-eternity rings, and three-quarter eternity rings. All the settings mentioned above can be used for either style.
Full eternity rings are set with stones around the band. As the stones sit all around, the eternity ring makes it a very elegant choice as it glistens from every angle. It is important to know and warn customers that full eternity rings are hard to re-size and that the stones on the inside of the band are more likely to get knocked by day-to-day use.
A half eternity ring is set with stones halfway around the band, and a three-quarters ring is set with stones three-quarters of the way around. These rings are normally less expensive than full eternity rings, but it is ultimately down to the stone’s quality and carat weight. With these rings, there is less damage to the stones, as they sit on the inside of the hand. Finally, a half-eternity and three-quarter ring are a lot easier to resize.
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