Eternity rings are some of the most extravagant pieces of everyday jewelry, and are often very misunderstood. Starting with the ‘everyday’ part. These rings are beautiful yet bulky and often quite a bit of a challenge to wear, unless you’re attending an event where all you have to do is sit around. Still there are people who manage to successfully wear them day and day out.
So let’s take a look at whether eternity rings truly are comfortable or not, and what influences that. We will also discuss what you should know before deciding to drop big money on an eternity ring.
Are eternity rings comfortable ?
Most eternity rings are not truly comfortable, because they are bulky and rub against your neighboring fingers. This is because the eternity ring is a trick or deep as the diamonds are plus their metal setting all around, and because the setting is usually a prong setting, which is not very comfortable.
All of this means you will have a thick and scratchy band in most cases, and closing your palm or doing everyday chores may become more uncomfortable. Not all eternity rings are made the same though. There are ways to make your eternity ring feel much more comfortable, and here they are.
Make your eternity ring comfy by opting for channel or bezel settings
Opting for a different setting for your eternity ring can make a world of a difference. The exposed prongs on most eternity rings is what makes them uncomfortable most of the time, and this can also happen with pave settings, and bar settings. Anything that has bits of non-smooth metal digging into the skin.
So consider the bezel setting or the channel setting, both very comfortable against the skin. The bezel setting has a band of metal all around each individual diamond, tracing the girdle and keeping the diamond in place. The channel setting is actually a groove down the middle of the ring, with the sides going onto the diamond girdle, holding it in place.
The difference between bezel and channel is that channel-set diamonds are squeezed into each other, and they rub shoulders. Meanwhile a bezel setting has the diamonds set individually. The bezel is safer both for you and the diamonds, but may appear bulkier than the channel.
Swap the eternity ring for a half-eternity ring
Another option is to simply have less diamonds in your eternity ring. This kind of defeats the point of an eternity ring – all-around diamonds – but you cannot deny the extra comfort. In this iteration of the eternity ring, the diamonds only go halfway, or sometimes just 1/3 of the way.
The 1/3 diamond eternity ring is not going to have diamonds rubbing against your other fingers, while the halfway diamonds will, though. A 5 or 7 stone ring is also a great idea in this case. In all three cases the underside of the ring, the one facing your palm, is just metal so it is thinner and much more comfortable.
Go for smaller size diamonds for a less thick eternity ring
If you’re not okay with having diamonds only on the top part, then consider getting smaller diamonds. The larger the individual diamonds, the thicker the ring will end up. After all, the ring can only be as thick or thin as the diamond is tall. So, if you decide to use half carat diamonds all around, you will have a thick eternity ring to wear.
Meanwhile getting a very dainty eternity band, using 0.1 carat diamonds or less, is going to be much easier on the skin and may not get in your way as much.
When do you get an eternity ring ?
Eternity rings are usually a gift, typically given on a significant anniversary such as the couple’s 10 year anniversary, or 15 years, or another important milestone. It’s not uncommon to see eternity rings as push presents, upgrades for a wedding band, or simply as a new jewelry item.
Can you wear an eternity ring every day ?
Yes, you can wear your eternity ring every day, as long as it does not get in the way too much. Some eternity rings are chunky and aren’t a good idea to wear constantly, while some are dainty and can even be worn to bed.
Your eternity ring should be a style that is comfortable enough to wear daily, but you may want to take it off when sleeping, showering, doing chores, etc. If you do decide to wear it every day, expect the stones to come loose sooner, so make sure you have regular checkups for any loose settings.
Can eternity rings be wedding rings ?
Yes, eternity rings can be wedding rings as long as you get a version that you are 100% sure you will be comfortable wearing every single day. If not, there are wedding rings with tiny diamonds set all around the band, such as a channel set or pave set or a flush setting, which ca give you the overall look of an eternity ring.
And there are wedding bands that are 100% metal but have a pattern on them that resembles a diamond’s sparkle, unless you’re looking very closely. Those patterns are usually called diamond pattern, diamond cut, diamond illusion cut, or a similar variation. These bands offer a balance between the allure of an eternity ring and the comfort of a thin metal band.
What to know before you buy an eternity ring
So your heart is set on an eternity ring, and you’ll make it work somehow. That’s great news, and we hope you find the ring you’ll instantly fall in love with. However there are some important things you really need to know before buying an eternity ring. After all, that ring will be priced according to its total carat weight, and even small diamonds will be expensive. So, read on and choose carefully.
Get a try-on CZ or moissanite eternity ring, wear it for a few weeks
Perhaps the best advice we can give is to get yourself a faux ring, a cubic zirconia ring that will be very close to the size, shape, and style of the eternity ring you’re looking for. Wear that CZ/moissanite ring for a few days, actually a few weeks, and see how you get accustomed to wearing it. After all, eternity rings take some getting used to, and an inexpensive CZ ring is a good way to test.
And, if you notice that after 2-3 weeks you’re still hyper-aware of the fact that you have a big ring on your finger, can’t seem to find a good way to wear it and it keeps getting in the way… well, at least you didn’t shell out some serious money for it. You can always stop wearing it and look for a different style.
You cannot resize an eternity ring, at all
You must understand that an eternity ring is not resizable. The only way to size it up or down is to take it all apart and have it put back together, with different size diamonds. So this is something you will have to discuss with your jeweler. Ask if they have a refund or replacement policy.
This also makes surprising your loved one with an eternity ring nearly impossible, unless you’re 100% sure of her ring size and how comfortable she’d feel wearing it, and that she will never go up or down in ring size (which is also impossible).
If you’re planning a surprise proposal with an eternity ring, don’t. This is not the kind of ring you should pick out by yourself, you need your partner with you because comfort and exact fit are not adjustable in this ring. It may not be as romantic, but it’s much better for you both in the long run.
When you wear an eternity ring you don’t get to see all the diamonds all the time. You always only see one side, usually the one on the back of your hand. The ones on your palm are hidden most of the time. Worse, they get hit all the time. Picking up groceries, stopping the elevator, grabbing the rail on the metro, grabbing your cup of coffee at the office, etc.
All of this means you’re essentially paying premium for something that you won’t see, except for some occasions, but you know it’s there. This is up to you and how much you want to wear an all-diamond band.
The larger the diamonds, the thicker the eternity ring
We feel this has to be said again. The larger the individual diamonds are, the thicker the ring will be. Generally eternity rings are made with fairly small diamonds, so the overall thickness is about 3-4mm but there are diamonds that are taller (table to culet) than that. And this is something you have to think about.
On one hand, the larger the diamond the sparklier it is. But several large diamonds make building a circle very difficult, which is why you won’t see large emerald cuts or baguette cuts set east-west in an eternity ring, but rather north-south because they are far easier to incorporate into an eternity ring that way.
On the other hand, smaller diamonds are much easier to work with but take more time to set and require far more attention. But they prove to be dainty bands that will still glitter in the sun.
If you love the sparkle but simply cannot have diamonds too small, consider a mixed diamond eternity ring. This way your diamonds will be spaced out and offer a bit more comfort. Those rings feature several diamond cuts, and most of them are set at an angle or in such a way as to seem like they’re floating and form a random pattern. They’re a very nice and fresh take on the usual eternity ring design.
Diamonds can and do fall out of eternity rings, have it insured
If you’re worried about diamonds falling out of your eternity ring, you have every right to be. After all, these rings feature dozes of tiny diamonds, and any of them can become dislodged. It’s usually the ones on the bottom that fall out the most, simply because they are hit more often and their setting can become a bit loose because of that.
So we recommend getting your eternity ring insured, or having some sort of deal set up with your jeweler for such unfortunate events. We are not saying that your eternity ring will 100% lose a few stones. We are saying that this has happened, and it may happen to you as well. Maybe in a year, maybe in 10, maybe after a lifetime.
To postpone this as much as possible, we recommend:
- getting a platinum or palladium setting, those are far tougher than white gold
- getting regular yearly checkups at the jeweler for any loose stones
- taking your ring off when moving large, heavy objects, sleeping, showering
If stacking, get a curved eternity ring and a half-size larger
Are you going to wear your eternity ring in a stack ? Consider the other rings it will come in contact with, for most people that is the engagement ring. And that ring usually has a diamond, one with free edges (prong-set) and it’s usually larger than the ones in the eternity ring. In some cases the diamonds in the two rings may rub off on each other and lead to scratching, chipping, or breakage.
We recommend getting a curved eternity band if your engagement ring doesn’t have a very high profile. It’s better to have the band go a bit around the ring than constantly rub onto the diamond.
We also recommend getting a ring size one or a half size larger than you initially thought. This is because as you wear the ring, it will sit on top or under other rings, and for comfort’s sake it’s best to have a ring that will not constrict your finger. Aside from this eternity bands are usually worn on the same finger/stack as the e-ring and wedding band, which leads to a lot of bulk on your finger, so it’s best to have the last ring a bit looser.
I’m the main author for jewelrymaterialguide.com. I started this site after we did tons of research before our wedding and noticed that there is information about rings, jewelry, and so on that is really hard to find on the internet.