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Eternity bands are a meaningful, symbolic and beautiful type of ring design. They’re a favorite among brides as wedding rings and are also chosen to commemorate wedding anniversaries and other special days. Eternity bands typically contain a metal ring encircled by gemstones, commonly diamonds.
When choosing an eternity band, it’s important to consider the type of setting used to hold the stones in place as this affects the overall aesthetics of the ring.
There are four main types of eternity band settings. These can be set to completely surround the band or to only surround half of the band, known as half and full eternity rings.
In this article, we’ll examine each of these four and briefly outline their pros and cons.
Eternity Band Prong Settings
The prong setting is the most common type of eternity ring setting. It’s a classic choice and comes in a few different variations.
The prong setting features prongs that hold the diamonds or gemstones securely in place. Usually, there are four prongs, into which the diamond is carefully set. The prongs claw onto the diamonds, keeping them in their position.
From the top view, you would only see minimum metal, with the tips of the prongs being visible. Prong settings also allow the sides of the diamond to be viewed, although there is more metal obstructing the diamond on the sides.
Prong settings are designed to maximize the diamond’s exposure, while keeping it safe. This allows excellent light performance, making the eternity band sparkle.
One main disadvantage of prong settings is that if the ring suffers impact or is knocked against something, there is the likelihood that the stones can become loose or even dislodged. Over time, the prongs can lose their integrity and become weakened, increasing the possibility of a diamond falling out. It’s important to take your ring periodically to a professional jeweler who’ll check the strength of the ring’s prongs and fix any issues for you.
Another disadvantage is that the ring can take longer to clean due to the many grooves and spaces in the setting. There are also hard to reach areas, like the underside of the diamond, where dirt can build up.
Channel Set Eternity Band
As the name implies, a channel set eternity ring features stones set within a channel in the metal band. Here the diamonds are carefully set side by side and are held in place by the walls of the channel. The lips of the channel hold onto the diamonds’ girdles and protect them from falling out.
The channel setting is very safe as it protects the diamond from exposure. Even if you hit the eternity ring against something, the metal gets knocked rather than the diamonds. Another main benefit of channel set eternity rings is that they don’t tend to snag on things, making them easier and more comfortable to wear for most people.
On the flip side, channel settings are not as brilliant as prong settings, because more of the diamond is hidden within the metal. There is equal focus on both the metal and the diamonds.
They can also be a nightmare to clean if dirt gets lodged under the diamonds and beneath the grooves. Getting to those parts of the ring can prove difficult.
Bezel Set Eternity Rings
Bezel set eternity rings are rarer to find but they make for very beautiful ring designs. This is where the diamonds are individually placed in a metal setting that completely surrounds the stone. Each metal surrounded stone is then carefully soldered together to create the ring.
Bezel eternity bands are very safe and offers the best protection for the diamonds. However, they also reduced the diamond’s sparkle and brilliance, as you only get a top view of the stone. The sides are completely metal only.
Cleaning a bezel eternity ring is easy as there aren’t many hidden cavities. Like channel set eternity bands, these bands too don’t snag on objects. If you’re looking for safety and easy maintenance, then the bezel is the way to go.
Bar Set Eternity Bands
In a bar set eternity band, the diamonds are held in place by bar dividers. As the image above shows, the diamonds are each separated from the next by a metal bar. This breaks up the smooth, continuous appearance of diamonds sitting side by side, but it offers an interesting design in its own way. Bar set eternity rings alternative between metal and diamonds, focusing equally on each.
Bar settings for eternity bands is a beautiful and unique option. Of course, unlike prong set eternity rings, here the sparkle and brilliance is reduced due to the lower number of diamonds and the increase of visible metal.
Bar eternity ring setting are easy to maintain and are quite safe as the metal provides a buffer against impact for the diamonds.
Pave Set Eternity Bands
Pave set eternity bands are similar to prong settings, with the main difference being that here the diamonds are held in place by tiny metal beads. The diamonds or gemstones used for pave eternity rings are also much smaller than those used in prong eternity bands. When set in this way, the diamonds create a paved appearance. The focus is on the sparkle and brilliance of the diamond, with the metal designed to be as minimized as possible.
Needless to say, pave eternity bands are highly brilliant and visually stunning. Many people choose them simply for this feature.
However, on the downside, this type of setting can result in the small diamonds falling out over time and needing to be replaced. Pave set eternity bands can be difficult to clean and maintain, due to the increased number of smaller diamonds, and the integrity of the setting needs to be checked periodically.
Flush Set Eternity Band
Flush set eternity rings are rare and quite a unique choice. They’re ideal if you want something that is modern and different while still having ties to the traditional. Technically, this is a diamond eternity ring as it contains diamonds going all around the band. But in every other way, it’s different.
With the flush set, the diamonds are set flush against the metal, embedded in such a way that only the top view of the stone is visible. This is a great unisex style and while it highlights the metal more than the diamonds, you could call this a less is more style, because although there are fewer diamonds, they still catch our eye and impress.
While flush set eternity bands aren’t very brilliant, they are easy to clean and maintain. They don’t snag on objects and are comfortable to wear.
Cut Down Eternity Band Setting
The cut down setting keeps the diamonds in place using a few well-placed prongs. It is a variation of the prong setting with the difference being that the focus is on the diamond from all angles.
The cut down eternity setting is a stunning and beautiful style that allows the diamond to sparkle with minimal hindrance from the metal. Here, the diamonds are set into the band, with no edges to hold onto the stone. What this does is to make the stone visible from the sides and the top, maximising the appearance of the diamond which leads to increased light performance.
Where to Buy Eternity Bands
If you’re searching for your eternity ring online, there are quite a few great options to choose from. By taking your search online, you’ll be able to access competitive prices and have a wide range of options to source from.
However, it is imperative to choose a trustworthy and reliable vendor, known for the quality of their products and services. We recommend the following retailers when it comes to shopping for diamond eternity rings online:
James Allen has an impressive collection of high-quality eternity bands on offer. Their site allows you to view each ring carefully from all angles using their ground-breaking Diamond Display Technology. They also have Diamond Experts on hand to help you through the process.
Blue Nile has an impressive range of eternity bands, which include designer rings and gemstones, at competitive prices. They have some unique styles on offer so definitely check them out.
Brian Gavin’s diamonds are famous for their cut quality and for their continuous innovation in perfecting their cut quality. Their range of eternity bands are stylish and expertly crafted.
Etsy is the place to go for unique, handmade and very cute eternity band designs and if this is what you’re looking for, definitely start your search here. Etsy’s eternity ring collection features a rings in a variety of settings, styles and prices.