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BLOG > ARTICLE > EMERALD ETERNITY RINGS: A GUIDE TO RING STYLES, QUALITY AND COSTS

If you are thinking of giving an eternity ring? Follow this guide to the history and meaning of eternity rings to help you make the right decision. Lot of our customers want to invest in a beautiful diamond eternity ring. They have been browsing at pictures online or in store and were confused about the large difference in pricing for what looked to be the same ring. They have a certain budget in mind, they knew what style they liked best for her eternity band, and they generally like the full circle diamond look compared to half eternity ring. But usually weren't sure about the rest of the ring details. 

Many women want to own a diamond eternity band at some point, whether for their anniversary gift to be worn above an engagement ring and wedding ring or as a right hand piece. With the variety of choices out there in the market, it can be extremely difficult. Many are left putting off their decision, or they have no choice but to go to a luxury jewelry store and pay 3-10x mark-up to get the advice and the ring they need.

The goal of this article is to shift the market to empower customers to shop for fine luxury jewelry online or in store with comfort, knowledge and clarity. 

Form and Function

Throughout the history, people have used eternity ring for a number of different reasons:

as a symbol of power or marital status, such as a wedding ring or wedding band

to provide talismanic protection (in the case of amulets)

as a decorative item on their ring finger

to represent personal meaning � such as love, mourning, a major milestone

In many cultures at some point have had a practice of storing large amounts of wealth in the form of jewelry. These rings originated as purely functional rings but evolved into decorative rings as their functional usage decreased.

Eternity rings can symbolize love or marital status (as in the case of Western culture of married people wearing wedding rings).

Materials and Methods

In most cultures, diamonds weren't commonly used but other materials such as gemstones, metals, woods, shells, bones etc were frequently used. Nowadays, eternity rings are typically encircled with diamonds, but other gemstones such as rubies, emeralds and sapphires can also be used.

Methods that were commonly used to make eternity rings were casting, soldering or welding, cutting, carving and paste gems. Prong, channel and bezel settings are popular today, which usually feature a full or half circle of diamonds or other gemstones set on its metal band.

Impact on Society

In most cultures, Eternity rings was frequently used a symbol of power or personal status in the society. In ancient Rome, only certain people were permitted to wear rings; local laws ensured who could wear what type of jewelry and when.

The jewelry industry in the early 20th century launched a marketing campaign to popularize engagement and wedding rings for men and women, going so far as to create a false history and proclaim that the practice of wearing such rings had ancient Egyptian or medieval roots. 

History and Meaning

Eternity rings have a long and interesting history that goes back thousands of years, with many different material and function among different cultures throughout the history of mankind. It provides various insights into how ancient cultures used eternity rings.

The idea of the eternity ring dates back almost 5,000 years to Ancient Egypt. While the Egyptians didn't use diamonds, but wore them usually as wedding rings or wedding bands made of other materials. The ring was usually worn on left hand's ring finger due to the belief that a vein of love ... The diamond eternity ring is a relative newcomer. It was the British Diamond Company De Beers which created the concept of diamond eternity ring to use small Russian stockpiled diamonds.

Modern Usage

Most modern jewelry continues traditional materials, methods, forms and styles, but designers have changed the designs to fit modern women budget and style. The use new materials, such as diamonds or other gemstones, has led to a wide variety in new styles, shapes and functions. 

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT AN ETERNITY RING

Once you pick the ring style you like best and the budget you have in mind, there are important things to consider before investing in an emerald eternity ring.  

The design and setting you choose is mostly based on personal preference - budget and style. Likely, if you are getting an eternity ring custom made by a small, jeweler at the jewelry district , you are getting the cheaper stone setters working on your piece. In order to compete, they must offer you the lowest pricing they can. It may appear the band looks just as good for a lower price when you first buy it. But over time, it will most probably not hold up as the stones will fall out, prongs will become loose, etc.

Eternity bands (also known as eternity rings or infinity rings) are symbol of everlasting love and make meaningful gifts for anniversaries, birthdays and other special occasions.

WHAT REALLY IS AN ETERNITY RING?

The idea of the eternity dates back 5,000 years to Ancient Egypt. While the Egyptians didn't give eternity diamond rings as wedding bands or wedding rings, but at that time a circle of precious metal or other gemstones symbolized never ending love. Sometimes eternity rings were used as a symbol of power or status.

Nowadays, eternity rings are typically encircled with diamonds, but other gemstones can also be used. Because the diamonds or other precious gemstones of an eternity ring circle the entire band, this type of ring setting offers an extra sparkle on your ring finger. Also known as full-eternity ring. Alternative styles of diamond eternity rings contain diamonds set only on half the circle of its band and are sometimes referred to as half-eternity rings.

Eternity rings are traditionally given as anniversary gifts. They're also given as gifts to celebrate major milestones such as the birth of a child or just as a romantic gift or some women even prefer as a right hand ring. The continuous circle of diamonds on an eternity band represents eternal love, giving eternity bands has a special meaning that's commonly associated with love and long lasting relationships.

Regardless of full or half style you choose, this ring is usually worn on the left hand's ring finger. If the ring is given to you as an anniversary gift, you can wear it above or in between your wedding ring and engagement ring. There are no hard and fast rules, you can wear in any arrangement that looks attractive and feels comfortable to you.

ETERNITY RINGS vs INIFINITY RINGS: WHAT's THE DIFFERENCE?

Are diamond eternity rings or infinity rings more expensive? The price of a ring depends on the style of the ring (full or half eternity) and total weight of diamonds set within it (or CTTW).

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FULL AND HALF ETERNITY RINGS?

Eternity rings are the most popular ring style of wedding bands and are highly sought after. They comprise of a precious metal band that is encircled by diamonds or other gemstones.  These rings are known by the way diamonds are placed on them. As the name suggests, a full eternity ring is one in which have diamonds encircling the entire band, of the ring. While, a half eternity ring, rather than a full circle, have diamonds or gemstones set just only on the top part of the ring.

Both these eternity ring styles have their own advantages and disadvantages. Let's take a quick look at them.

Full vs. Half Eternity Ring - Cost

A full eternity ring tends to cost more than a half eternity ring. A full eternity ring due to the additional diamonds needs more work and is therefore considerably more labor intensive than a half eternity ring. In addition, because a full circle of diamonds is difficult to resize, many jewelers often make it to order.

Half eternity rings, on the other hand, give the illusion of being fully encircled by diamonds or other gemstones without that extra cost.

Can Eternity Ring Be Resized?

Ring resizing depends upon the style of the ring - half eternity rings due to stones only on half the circle are usually easy to resize, while full-eternity rings feature stones all the way around its bands and are usually difficult to resize. Choosing the correct eternity band ring size is especially important to avoid surprises and extra cost.

What is Total Carat Weight?

Total carat weight (t.c.w.) is a term used to describe the total weight of diamonds or other gemstone in an eternity ring, when more than one gemstone is used. Diamond eternity rings, for example, are usually quoted in t.c.w., indicating the mass of the diamonds and not each individual diamond.

Is an Eternity Ring Worn on Right Hand or Left Hand Ring Finger?

This ring is usually worn on left hand's ring finger, but sometimes some women prefer to wear on right hand. In ancient cultures, the eternity ring was worn on the fourth finger of your left hand. People used to believe that a vein from this finger ran directly to the heart. Nowadays, it is a personal choice depending on lifestyle.

HOW DO YOU KNOW THE QUALITY OF AN ETERNITY RING?

There are many important factors to consider when it comes to evaluating the quality and beauty of an eternity ring. The first is the diamonds or other precious gemstones used in the ring. The second is the style of the setting, third is jeweler's craftsmanship while the fourth is the type of precious metal jewelers used to make the band.

Learn Everything About Emerald Gemstones

Known for itsenchanting deep green color, usually referred to as 'emerald green,' the emerald is a variety of the mineral beryl. The green color is caused by traces of chromium or sometimes vanadium that is present in the stone. Emeralds usually contain many surface reaching inclusions and are therefore it is important to read this article. The large number of inclusions also means that emeralds are not graded based on magnification, but rather, on what the eye can see. In fact, as long as there aren�t any visible flaws, the stone is considered flawless.

DO EMERALDS HAVE INCLUSIONS?

When determining the clarity of an emerald it is important to note that almost all emeralds have inclusions. GIA categorizes three clarity types for colored gems:

Type 1 gems that are often virtually free of inclusions

Type 2 gems that usually have inclusions and

Type 3 gems that are almost always have inclusions such as emeralds.

As Type 3 gems, emeralds are expected to have inclusions visible to the naked eye.  Therefore, if a relative lower priced Emerald looks inclusion free and eye clean it is more likely a synthetic emerald.

Did You Know: They are actually no less durable than diamonds.

ARE EMERALDS PRONE TO SCRATCHES?

Emeralds are actually quite resistant to scratching and abrasion, are rated a 7.5-8 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. This means they are durable enough for everyday wear! It is important to know about Emeralds is that many have inclusions. Jewelers call these special emerald inclusions as 'jardin'. Emerald jardin is very common, as Emeralds are considered a Type III stone (inclusions are usually expected on the market). However, some of these inclusions can reach the surface. And, surface-reaching inclusions can make a stone prone to chipping. Stones that don't have surface reaching inclusions are extremely rare and therefore almost all emeralds are treated with oil to enhance the clarity. So, by choosing a stone without (or with less) surface-reaching inclusions, your Emerald is durable enough to be set in an engagement ring!

CAN EMERALDS CRYSTAL SURFACE CRACK DUE TO EVERYDAY WEAR?

Yes. Like all other stones (even diamonds!) Emeralds can crack or chip if struck hard on a surface. Because many Emeralds have surface-reaching inclusions, cracks can occur more frequently and easily than diamonds. Inclusions can have different shapes and sizes. A particular type of thin fissure following the cleavage plan of the crystal is called cleavage. Longer fractures going through large parts of a gems table can be a problem for stone's integrity. In surface reaching fractures, part of the gem can be lost, giving place to an indentation (known as nick). So, when choosing an emerald, it is important to look for a stone with no (or only minor) surface-reaching inclusions. If the stone you are interested in buying has surface-reaching inclusions, make sure that jeweler sets it in a protective and safe setting, such as a bezel, channel or halo!

Did You Know: Emeralds can be eye-clean like diamonds

ARE NATURAL EMERALDS LOWER IN CLARITY?

Many are, but not all! Unlike diamonds, where the loupe standard, i.e. 10 x magnification, is used to grade clarity, emeralds are graded by eye. Because Emeralds are a Type III stone, jewelers in the trade expect them to have some inclusions, and often so many that the gem is somewhat low in clarity (also known as cloudy). Inclusions are unique for each emerald and can be used to identify a particular stone.  However, very high-quality real Emeralds can be eye-clean! An affordable way of choosing an eye-clean Emerald is to choose a Synthetic Emerald. Lab-Created Emeralds have similar mineral makeup as a natural Emerald but will not have a jardin (and are therefore usually more durable and lower in cost)

DO EMERALDS HAVE SPARKLE LIKE DIAMONDS?

Eye clean Emeralds will offer flashes of green light but will not have diamond-like sparkle and brilliance. This is due to Emeralds refractive index, which is 1.5-1.60, whereas diamond is 2.4. That means that the light that enters an Emerald, will not reflect it as much as a diamond. Instead, light can make an eye-clean Emerald brighter and almost shine.

Did You Know: High-quality Emeralds are more valuable than Diamonds?

High-quality eye clean natural Emeralds are rarer than diamonds! It takes moving around 3x more rock to locate a high-quality Emerald than it does a Diamond. So, you can be rest assured that choosing an Emerald engagement ring is the ultimate symbol of your love.

Did You Know: Natural stones are treated by oil for beauty

The usage of fracture filling this gemstone has been documented in scrolls and other ancient texts dating back as far as Ancient Egypt. Most emeralds are oiled as part of the post-cutting process, in order to fill in jardins so that clarity and stability are improved. To make an Emerald jardin less noticeable, and its color more green, natural Emeralds are oiled after they are faceted. 

Cedar oil, with a similar refractive index, is widely often used to fill in fractures. These treatments are typically applied in a vacuum chamber under mild heat, to open the pores of the stone and allow the fracture-filling agent to be absorbed more effectively. The FTC requires the disclosure of this treatment when an oil treated emerald is sold to the public. This is a standard treatment and all natural Emeralds are expected in the industry to be oiled (just like Rubies and Sapphires are expected to be heated.)

EMERALD OILING AND ITS AFFECT ON PRICING 

Cedar oil is 100% natural that is why it is the most traditional form of treating an emerald. Because this oil has the unique property of being able to penetrate even the smallest cracks and inclusions and make them less visible (because of its almost similar refractive index). The degree of treatment will affect the price of an emerald.

The stones in the lower enhancement category often require a small amount of oil to make them reach their full potential - one or two surface reaching fissures have been filled. The medium degree of treatment includes stones with multiple surface reaching fissures, one or more of which will be seen across the table of the emerald. And the high category consists of stones that have many oil-filled inclusions, many of which are surface reaching.

Here we are using a 3-carat emerald stone of good color and clarity as an example, with all other factors except level of treatment being equal, we can see the effect this has on an emeralds value. If a stone is graded as low clarity enhancement, prices may range from $10,000 to $15,000 per carat. If it is in the medium category, the price will range from $7500 to $11,500 per carat. Finally, an emerald in high category of inclusions treatment will range from nothing to $3500 to $5500 per carat.

HOW CAN I CARE FOR MY EMERALD ENGAGEMENT RING?

Natural emeralds usually have internal fractures and are oiled, so should be cleaned with warm or room temperature soapy water with a soft toothbrush, and not with an ultrasonic or steam cleaner (which may remove the oil). If you by accident remove the oil from your natural Emerald, not to worry! An expert jeweler can have your Emerald re-oiled.

ARE EMERALD ENGAGEMENT RINGS OK TO WEAR EVERYDAY?

Sure. Because Emeralds are a 7.5-8 on the hardness scale, they are durable enough for everyday wear. Like all fine jewelry (even diamonds), you should remove your rings before doing anything outdoor activities. So, before you work out, biking, garden, do household chores, etc., it is advisable take off your emerald ring! This will help protect it from unrequired bumps.

Did You Know: Lab Created Emeralds are significantly affordable

DO EMERALDS COST LESS THAN DIAMONDS?

Genuine top quality Emeralds will be more expensive than diamonds. This is because they are rarer in nature and much more expensive to find! However, if you like the look of an Emerald with more jardin (and there are some cool looking jardins out there), you can definitely find a natural Emerald that is less expensive than diamond. Also, Lab-Created Emeralds are also affordable!

WHAT IS THE AVERAGE PRICE OF A 1-CARAT EMERALD?

A natural high quality 1 carat Emerald can cost above $4,500 per carat, while, a Synthetic 1 carat Emerald is only $900! 

HOW MUCH IS AN EMERALD ENGAGEMENT RING?

The price of your Emerald Engagement ring is usually the cost of your chosen Emerald center stone and your ring setting we have Emerald engagement rings starting at $1000! Couples can choose from large Emerald center stones, beautiful Emerald solitaire, three-stone or halo diamond engagement rings!

Did You Know: Emeralds make unique engagement rings

IS EMERALD OK FOR AN ENGAGEMENT RING?

Emeralds make great engagement rings: they are beautiful, rare, and durable! Our customers love Emerald engagement rings because they are unique and though to bring good luck in your marriage, too.

ARE EMERALD ENGAGEMENT RINGS LESS POPULAR THAN DIAMOND?

Although not as popular as Sapphire engagement rings, Emerald engagement rings are popular with those who love green and women with confidence. They enjoy a celebrity following, too! Halle Berrys engagement ring flaunts a gorgeous Emerald cut Emerald, as did Jacqueline Kennedys! Princess Grace was also given a beautiful Cartier 10 carat Emerald cut engagement ring.

WHO SHOULD NOT CONSIDER BUYING AN EMERALD?

People who do not want to have to remove their jewelry before being active should consider other stones. Those who want an ultra-durable green gem should consider green diamond (we can source natural, color enhanced natural, or lab green diamonds!) or green sapphire or tourmaline.

WHO IS AN EMERALD ENGAGEMENT RING RIGHT FOR?

Those who love a natural green look and who will treat their Emerald gently with care! Emeralds are a lovely engagement ring choice for lovers of green and gardening. They are best for people who don�t mind removing their jewelry when being active.

How to Pick the Best Emerald Engagement Ring

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NATURAL AND SYNTHETIC EMERALDS

Emerald has a characteristic deep green color because of the presence of iron and chromium. The precious gemstones are regarded as a type III gem owing to the presence of surface reaching inclusions. Due to these surface inclusions, emeralds that are available on the market are oil treated with cedar oil which possesses a similar refractive index. Inclusions are unique for each emerald and can be used to identify it from a lab-created stone.

SHOULD I PICK A NATURAL OR LAB EMERALD?

It depends on why you want an Emerald!  Couples choose Natural Emeralds for their rarity, status, and natural beauty. Couples choose Lab-Created Emeralds for their price, their high clarity, durability ease of maintenance and lower costs. Both are beautiful, durable, and make good engagement rings!

WHAT COLOR EMERALD IS BEST?

The best color for an Emerald is very slightly blueish Green. The slight blue tint gives your Emerald a royal look! That said, color is personal preference. Some people love a dark Emerald, some like Emeralds with a more yellowish tone! As the most important factor when choosing a colored stone is color, so dont let anyone tell you to like something you dont!

WHAT IF MY EMERALD HAVE INCLUSIONS?

Most Emeralds on the market are not eye-clean. Think of your Emeralds jardin as its unique identification number and there is not another one out there like it! Moreover, many people love Emeralds for their natural mossy, lush look. That includes its beautiful garden-like inclusions!

WHAT CUT IS BEST FOR MY EMERALD?

As you would expect, Emerald cut is the traditional shape for Emeralds, tracing back to 16th century! Also known as step cut, it was originally created for emerald gemstone. However, Emeralds are beautiful in all shapes. Square, Oval, Baguette and Pear are also popular shapes. Bride and groom choosing a natural Emerald should know that because of their rarity, natural Emeralds may have some cutting and symmetry problems. Cutting inconsistencies occur because gem cutters don't want to lose much weight out of the small amount of Emerald material mined! It is extremely important to have a gem with the proper proportion and symmetry.  This will help dictate the beauty and brilliance of the stone.

WHICH METAL WILL ENHANCE EMERALD'S BEAUTY?

Most people the look of an Emerald set in a yellow gold prong with a white band, but it looks great in all metals! Yellow gold will bring out the color of an Emerald, while white metals such as white gold or platinum will give it a softer tone.

LEGENDS AND LORE

Emerald is the traditional birthstone for those born in May as well as the traditional gemstone for 35th wedding anniversary. 

How can I Order a Unique Emerald Engagement Ring?

Email us at information@sndgems.com or visit our store! Let us know about the type of Emerald you want, and we will happily provide you a price quote. Dont know where to start, or what you can afford? Let us know your budget and style, and we have many options for you. Feel free to ask for Victor, the gemologist. We love helping our clients find the perfect gemstone engagement rings of their dreams. To view our beautiful selection of emerald engagement rings click here.

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