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The eternity ring: An emblem of unending devotion

Symbolising everlasting love and commitment, eternity rings are a wonderful choice to commemorate any milestone in life. With the festive season upon us, eternity rings truly are a timeless, versatile and sentimental gift.  

The concept of the eternity ring has been around as early as Ancient times! The precursor to the eternity ring as we know it today, was referred to as a ‘keeper’ ring, and was either a single band, or a pair of matching rings worn on either side of the wedding ring to protect it from damage or loss. Most often keeper rings were plain bands, however around the middle of the 18th century they began to appear set with a single row of matching gemstones.

It was from the early 20th century that the popularity of these fabulous versatile bands really took off. These eternity rings were characterised by hand-faceted old cut diamonds set in platinum, often featuring millegrain settings and engraved detail. As we moved into the mid-century, eternity rings became ever more versatile and popular, partly due to Marilyn Monroe receiving a baguette cut diamond eternity band as a combination engagement and wedding ring from Joe DiMaggio, throwing open the functionality of such rings. 

Motifs of circles and rings have long existed in history and mythology to represent eternal love and life, and presenting your loved one with a ring to honour this has become common practice over the centuries.

Today eternity rings are more desired than ever, being worn as wedding rings with that added bit of sparkle, to commemorate anniversaries, to celebrate the birth of a baby, as well as to mark any number of life’s other monumental occasions. Worn singly or stacked on the finger with existing jewellery, you can decide according to your style. As was perhaps best stated in a 1938 issue of Vogue, “What better emblem of unending devotion than eternity rings?”.

If you wish to express your endless love to someone this Christmas, browse our wonderful collection of antique and vintage eternity rings online, or at our Hatton Garden showroom. We are delighted to offer complimentary gift wrapping and international shipping!

Sapphire and diamond eternity ring berganza hatton garden
Sapphire and diamond eternity ring, circa 1950.
Ref: 26756
Vintage ruby full eternity ring hatton garden
Ruby full eternity ring, circa 1960.
Ref: 26823
Diamond full eternity ring, circa 1970 hatton garden
Diamond full eternity ring, circa 1970.
Ref: 27753
Vintage sapphire half eternity band berganza hatton garden
Vintage sapphire half eternity band, circa 1950.
Ref: 26711
Ruby full eternity ring by Hemmerle hatton garden
Ruby full eternity ring by Hemmerle, German, circa 1980.
Ref: 26845
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Updated 30/05/2024 at 2:02PM

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