When shopping for an eternity band, many people wonder if they should buy a 1/2, 3/4, or full eternity band.
While each style has their own advantages, this post will talk about the pros and cons of each eternity band style.
Which Eternity Band Style is Best for Ring Sizing?
WINNER: 1/2 Eternity Band
1/2 eternity bands are the clear winner here.
With stones only going half way down the sides, there is plenty of room for sizing and alteration of the ring.
RUNNER UP: 3/4 Eternity Band
3/4 eternity bands are also a good choice if you want to leave the possibility of ring sizing open in the future.
Oftentimes referred to as a “sizing bar”, 3/4 eternity bands leave just enough space to account for sizing it larger or smaller in the future.
LAST PLACE: Full Eternity Band
The “Achilles heel” of full eternity rings is that they cannot be sized—at least, not easily. The stars pretty much have to align for a successful sizing.
The in-depth explanation:
While it’s not technically impossible to size an eternity ring, there are so many factors that make the task quite difficult.
For example, let’s say the ring is too tight and you want to increase the ring size by a half size larger. Making the eternity ring larger would mean adding an extra stone. The problem with this solution is that adding an extra stone will most likely make the ring larger than the half size you wanted. Now that’s a problem!
To make it work, you might need to add an even smaller stone—a solution which won’t look good at all. You don’t want the new stone to mismatch the original stones.
There is a chance that the extra stone will be the exact addition you need to make the ring fit, however that is pretty unlikely. Even the slightest variations in ring circumference can change the fit dramatically.
Another solution to sizing a full eternity ring larger would be to cut the ring open and add metal. This could work, but it certainly breaks the seamless “full eternity” look of the original design.
The unfortunate conclusion is that if you ever want to get your full eternity band sized up or down, the ring will most likely need to be remade completely.
When In Doubt, Ask A Goldsmith
Question: “I have an eternity band that does not fit anymore. Can it be sized?”
Answer: No, but it is possible to use your existing metal and stones toward a NEW eternity ring! Contact us for a free quote.
The “Pros and Cons” of 1/2 Eternity Bands
PROS (1/2 Eternity)
- Can be easily sized and adjusted.
- 1/2 eternity bands are less expensive than 3/4 and full eternity bands due to there being less stones.
- This style requires the least amount of maintenance of the three options.
CONS (1/2 Eternity)
- 1/2 eternity bands are pretty far removed from the “eternity ring” symbolism. They are mostly referred to as “wedding” or “anniversary bands”.
- If the ring spins (or tilts even slightly) when being worn, the metal part of the ring will be visible.
Are 3/4 Eternity Bands the Best Compromise?
PROS (3/4 Eternity)
- 3/4 eternity bands leave room for sizing. This small space is known as a sizing bar.
- A 3/4 eternity band will have the same appearance as a full eternity ring when looking down at the ring. Even if you spread your fingers, or the ring spins slightly, you will still see stones.
- Less overall maintenance. The bottom of the ring is a place that generally receives a lot wear and tear. The solid metal portion at the ring can absorb a lot of that force.
CONS (3/4 Eternity)
- Nearly as expensive as a full eternity ring. Generally 25% less stones than a full eternity ring does not equate to 25% less expensive.
- If the ring spins far enough, the metal sizing bar will be visible.
- A proper ring fitting can combat spinning issues, but it does not guarantee that the ring will not spin. Sometimes getting a ring over a larger knuckle results in a ring that will always spin. This will vary from person to person. (us humans are unique!). We will cover this topic later in this post.
The “Pros and Cons” of Full Eternity Bands
PROS (Full Eternity)
- Seamless design. There is no beginning or end—a true eternity ring.
- This style has the most brilliance of any of three options.
- Full eternity bands are by far the best option if you are worried about the ring spinning on your finger.
- Aesthetically pleasing.
CONS (Full Eternity)
- Cannot be sized.
- Greater chance of needing maintenance. Whichever stones are at the “bottom” of the ring when it’s being worn will be subjected to a lot more wear and tear. This increases the chances of the stones chipping or coming loose. To combat this, having the ring periodically inspected can go a long way in increasing the longevity of the ring.
- The most expensive of the three options.
The Concern Over Ring Spinning
When searching the market for an eternity band, this is one of the questions I see many people agonize over.
This is completely understandable. A ring buyer wants to make sure they make the right choice. They don’t want to invest their money in a certain eternity band style only to regret their choice later down the road.
I’ve created a simple guide to help people decide.
STEP #1: Look at the poll shown above. Now think about which category YOU would fall under.
- If the spinning will be annoying or drive you crazy—choose full eternity.
- If the ability to size the ring in the future is your greatest concern—choose 1/2 or 3/4.
- A spinning ring will not bother you at all—choose any of them.
Step #2: Know Your Finger (and knuckle!)
- To minimize spinning in a ring, an exact finger size is needed to ensure a proper fit.
- Sometimes our knuckles are above average in size, thus skewing what the proper ring size should be.
- If there is more than a half size discrepancy between your knuckle and your finger, the ring WILL spin. If this concerns you, choose a full eternity ring.
- Should you suspect you fall into the category of having a larger knuckle, a specialized finger sizer must be used to determine your knuckle size vs your finger size.
Note: Many jewelry stores will only carry the traditional finger sizing gauges, which are just solid metal rings that don’t open and close. The problem with this method is that the metal ring can feel tight going over the knuckle, but then loose once it passes the knuckle! They aren’t reading your actual finger size, rather your knuckle.
How To Measure Your Finger and Knuckle Correctly
I use ring size gauges that both open and close. This means I can measure the exact size a knuckle and the exact size of the finger itself.
For a DIY option, a plastic ring sizing gauge which tightens like a belt can also be used. Find one here on Amazon.
First tighten it around your finger. Then expand it if necessary and tighten it around the knuckle. Note the size difference, if any.
Once you know the difference between your finger and your knuckle, you can have a pretty good idea of what to expect.
THE FINAL VERDICT
This result is purely subjective. At the end of the day, each eternity ring style can be the right choice for someone.
From the perspective of a goldsmith, the full eternity band takes home the prize.
The very definition of an eternity band is a ring that has continuous stones all the way around, so how could it not win?
That being said, the 3/4 eternity band is the best of both worlds when it comes to aesthetics and sizing flexibility.
Want to work together to create an eternity ring? We would love to hear from you. Fill out our customization form to explore further.
So which style is your favorite? Let us know down in the comments below.