Diamond Jewelry Essentials: Eternity Bands
The style is often worn as a wedding band or an alternative engagement ring.By Marion Fasel |
As a symbol of commitment, the concept of eternity bands is quite practical. Featuring a full circle of precious stones, the diamond bands are brilliant symbols of everlasting love.
Turns out that the style has also been around for, well, an eternity. First appearing thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt and Greece, the rings originally featured a motif known as the Ouroboros, a snake wrapping around the ring and biting its own tail. Though it might sound sinister, this was in fact a representation of undying adoration.
Eventually during the Art Deco era in the 1920s,the snake motif was replaced with the full circle of precious stones that identifies the style to this day. Art deco diamond engagement rings are also increasing in popularity with many brides, reviving a jewelry style that was ahead of its time.
Sleek and easy to wear, this eternity band evolution earned instant popularity amongst brides. One of the first high-profile women to sport a diamond eternity band as a wedding band was Marina, Duchess of Kent, who married Prince George at Westminster Abbey in 1935.
More recently the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, has enhanced her engagement ring and wedding band stack with a Lorraine Schwartz micro pavé diamond eternity band given to her by Prince Harry when their son Archie was born.
Hailey Bieber’s wedding band is a Soleste eternity band by Tiffany; a scroll through her Instagram reveals how she often wears it alongside a mini-wardrobe of other glamorous eternity bands on her right hand. No stranger to being a popular celebrity jewelry icon, Hailey’s diamond engagement ring almost broke the internet back in 2018.
Many famous brides have also chosen to wear eternity bands as a minimalist alternative to traditional solitaire engagement rings, using eternity bands as an engagement rings and wedding rings rolled into one.
In 1954 Audrey Hepburn received a delicate diamond eternity band engagement ring with horizontally set baguette diamonds made by Gübelin of Zurich from actor Mel Ferrer.
Around the same time, Marilyn Monroe was given an eternity band from her husband, baseball legend Joe DiMaggio. The jewel, which she too wore as her engagement ring, was a statement piece with 36 vertically set baguette-cut diamonds.
Fashion designer Calvin Klein bought a historic eternity band for his wife Kelly in 1987 at the Sotheby’s estate sale of The Jewels of the Duchess of Windsor. Composed of a row of vertically set emerald-cut diamonds sandwiched between two bulbous bands of gold, the chunky diamond eternity band that Mrs. Klein wore as her engagement ring during the course of the couple’s 20 year marriage, was made around 1962 by the Parisian jeweler Darde & Fils.
Calvin Klein was so enchanted by the romantic history of eternity rings that he named a fragrance launched in 1988, Eternity by Calvin Klein.
In 1995 John Kennedy, Jr. proposed to Carolyn Bessette with a sapphire and diamond eternity band. The jewel was reportedly made by Jackie Kennedy’s longtime love, the gem dealer and diamond jeweler Maurice Tempelsman.
Around 2011, director Sofia Coppola received, as an engagement ring from musician Thomas Mars, a diamond eternity band believed to be from French jeweler Cartier’s Maillon Panthère collection.
Today lots of designer eternity rings are infused with elegant, interesting and playful details that keep the style as coveted as ever.
Jessica McCormack makes an eye-catching eternity band set with 12 half moon shaped diamonds set in blackened white gold.
Anita Ko adds movement to her eternity band with two rows of baguette cut diamonds set at an angle to look like a zipper.
Single Stone in California has a vast array of eternity bands including a vintage eternity band design named Gabby set with rose-cut diamonds.
Harwell Godfrey makes a sculptural eternity band, named Rosa, that is lit up with pavé-set diamonds.
Kat Kim plays with open spaces in her double row diamond eternity band.
Spinelli Kilcollin adds extra bands to their eternity band of horizontally set baguettes giving the piece added movement.
Foundrae makes slender baguette diamond eternity bands that can be worn alone or stacked with other rings, like the firm’s signature champlevé enamel designs.