The origin of Eternity Rings
Eternity rings. Have you heard a lot about these famous rings? You probably know of them or even have some in your jewellery collections. Just in case! Today, I would like to tell you a little about the history of this jewel.
In the 17th century Baroque Italy, some rings were first seen which we can today identify as “eternity”, a precious metal band in which gems are set around the entire ring. They are usually small stones because if they were larger, could be rather uncomfortable to the neighbouring fingers. However, the first rings of this type had wide, solid bands and the stones were quite large being mounted with space between them. At that time these rings were intended for powerful men, as in Royal and Papal.
During the French Rococo of the 18th century, the rings were stylized quite a bit. The metal bands became more delicate and the gems smaller. At the height of the Enlightenment the ladies decided that they too could have access to this type of accessory – we are talking about ladies of the nobility. The characteristic was that the gems were of various colours and not always the same size, which sometimes made it difficult to wear them.
Political Intrigue and the Eternity Ring
This model then disappeared from jewellery collections and it was not until the 1960s that the diamond tycoon De Beers christened the classic “Eternity” as we know it today. The American journalist Edward Jay Epstein states that at the time the company had a secret agreement with the USSR which, in exchange for the creation of a single channel controlling the world supply of diamonds, required the purchase of 90% of the diamonds as a gem produced by Russia. The fashion at the time, particularly for engagement rings, was for a single large diamond. The Soviet gems, however, were small. To avoid storage, De Beers embarked on a promotional campaign for jewellery containing a number of small diamonds that culminated in the “Eternity” ring, which was aimed at married women and older women. A campaign slogan, addressed to the spouses, was “She married you in wealth and poverty. Let her know how it goes.”
Today, Eternity rings are not only made of diamonds, they are not only made of gold but are also offered in silver at very advantageous prices, with a great variety of precious stones. They are also available in various coloured stones. The main feature is that the entire circumference repeats the design exactly. If it is a row of gems, they will have exactly the same dimension. If there are several gems of different dimensions creating a design, this will be repeated along the band in a detailed manner. The “Eternity” is just that: a ring with no beginning and no end!
A renewed promise of love and fidelity.
The story of George Britton Megan, a Texan who gave his wife Mildred an Eternity ring for the 25th anniversary of his marriage, is very beautiful. The ring had 25 Diamonds and was accompanied by a poem mentioning the 25 most important events of their life together: the first time they met, the first kiss, the marriage, the first home, the birth of the children, etc. It caused such a sensation that Life magazine dedicated an article to it.