Even as ostentatious displays of wealth in the form of stones almost merit their own pin code these days, there has been a steady trickle of understated rings that buck the norm. The most popular of these is the eternity band—essentially a Western concept, meant for engagement rings and wedding bands.

“The eternity ring is a simple band set with a continuous row of diamonds. The popularity of these rings has been steadily increasing over the years," says Mumbai-based Binita Cooper, managing director of Forevermark India, the De Beers brand. Eternity rings are popular with young professional women looking to make their first affordable jewellery purchase.

Mumbai-based jeweller Poonam Soni says the design of a conventional eternity ring is such that there is no defined end. “It denotes never-ending love and an everlasting relationship," says Soni.

Adds Ravi Soni, store manager, Gehna Jewellers, Mumbai: “We sell twice as many solitaire rings so they may never entirely be replaced as engagement rings, but eternity bands are certainly very popular. A lot of couples choose eternity rings to commemorate anniversaries. These rings are also popular choices for wedding bands as the concept of wedding rings has caught on with younger customers."

1. Anmol Jewellers: White gold ring with princesscut diamonds, at Turner Road, Mumbai; and Gold Souk mall, Sushant Lok, Gurgaon, 99,000; 2. Forevermark: Encordia eternity ring in white gold with diamonds, at fine jewellers countrywide, 1.25 lakh; 3. Cartier: Trigold Trinity ring with white diamonds, at the Cartier boutique, DLF Emporio mall, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi, 13.5 lakh onwards; 4. Poonam Soni: Set of rhodiumplated yellow gold band with baguettecut diamonds, and yellow gold band with princesscut rubies, at Poonam Soni boutiques on Altamount Road and Linking Road, Mumbai, approx. 3 lakh; 5: Baguetteand brilliantcut diamonds in white gold, at Turner Road, Mumbai, 1.6 lakh; 6: Platinum Guild: Textured platinum love bands, at fine jewellers countrywide, 30,000-60,000; 7: Asmi: Eternal Bliss, diamonds set in 18carat yellow gold, at Asmi counters countrywide, 24,000 onwards; 8: Piaget: Limelight platinum wedding band, set with brilliantcut diamonds, at the boutiques in DLF Emporio mall, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi; and The Oberoi, Nariman Point, Mumbai, approx. 1.52 lakh; 9: Caratlane.com: Diamonds and rubies channel set in 18carat yellow gold, available online, approx. 17,000.

The image that springs to mind at the mention of an eternity ring is of the iconic Cartier Trinity ring. First designed by Louis Cartier in 1924, the rolling bands signified the bonds of love, loyalty and friendship between the designer and the poet Jean Cocteau. The simplest version is the original—linked bands of yellow, white and rose gold—and the most expensive is the three-coloured gold rings encrusted with yellow, colourless and pink diamonds. Over the years, there have been more contemporary versions of the Trinity—the Trinity Sauvage features a panther-like pattern on the yellow gold band. The Trinity concept has also been carried over to rolling bangles and necklaces with tri-gold chains.

“Eternity bands have universal appeal and are a favourite with everyone, from the fabulously wealthy to the middle classes. They are greatly appreciated by people who have an eye for classic design," says Koshy Cherian, area business manager for Tanishq, Mumbai. “People who look at eternity rings usually have a clear idea of what they want before they come in. I’d say 95% of people who come in know to ask for eternity rings by name, while the remaining 5% have seen it either in a magazine or on a friend," he adds.

Delhi-based fashion designer Christine Aranha, who retails out of Aza and Ogaan in Mumbai and Delhi, likes the eternity band because it goes with everything. “It just never looks out of place and is the least controversial accessory. It’s also great for stacking with other rings for a more complex look," she says.

Mass-market brands are a great resource for young women as they have more affordable ranges, according to salespersons and showroom managers. “Half eternity rings are a way to cut costs when you don’t want to compromise on the visual appeal of the eternity concept," says Madhavi Sahu, a designer at Tanishq Design Studio, Bangalore.

Of course when price is no object, the sky is the limit. The Platinum Guild of India, the body responsible for promoting platinum in India, promotes the use of platinum in eternity rings as the most enduring expression of love because of its impenetrable quality. “Platinum is a popular metal to use these days because it doesn’t get damaged easily and introduces another dimension to the message of enduring love behind eternity rings," says Poonam.

She adds that a lot of clients choose to go for an elaborate cocktail ring as an engagement ring and add an eternity ring as a wedding band. “It’s just the done thing now," she says.


An eternity ring is generally a band encrusted with diamonds

• A half eternity ring is studded with precious stones across only one half of its length

• Eternity bands now have innumerable variations in settings and colours due to the range of stones and metals used

• Cartier’s Trinity ring is the definitive eternity ring. Cartier’s Moon and Platinum Trinity ring is a new take on the classic with bands of white gold, diamonds, platinum and black ceramic

• Online diamond retailers such as Caratlane.com and Forzieri.com are good for innovative takes on the eternity ring.