Eternity Band 101, Melee Gems and - YES - Las Vegas

Recently I'd been asked by customers to offer eternity bands for some of the melee gems I've been selling on my site.  The paraibas and hauynites especially lend themselves to those, and I hope to get more of both at the JCK and AGTA show in Vegas in early June.  I'm totally psyched already, this time I want to take a little more advantage of the glitz in between gem purchases - I bought new dresses and I want to see Circe de Soleil.

Of course I'm going to look for more of the holy grail stone - Paraiba - but also sapphires from Dudley, more pretty emeralds, and whatever else you guys wish for me to find.  I definitely want to get other melee options for multi-stone layouts, halos and the new eternity styles I am going to carry.

When I was in Tucson in February, I got a lot of questions like "how many stones do I need for a half eternity band with 1mm paraibas," and I couldn't answer them quickly enough because I was so busy doing other things.  This time, I am planning ahead by summarizing eternity band 101 for you to mull over.

Let's start with some basic math.  Below is a simple table that tells you how many gems you need for a full, half, or quarter eternity band.  I just listed three ring sizes, but I think you can infer down or up what you might need. I just wanted you to have an idea of how much ring coverage you get with how many stones.  For your own band, I can do any number you like.  For fewer stones, I recommend an uneven number of gems - it just looks better.

Ring Size


Full / Half /Quarter Eternity


2mm Stone Size


Full / Half /Quarter Eternity


1.5mm Stone Size


Full / Half /Quarter Eternity


1mm Stone Size




32/ 16 /9


42/ 21/ 11


63/ 32/ 17




34/ 17/ 9


42/ 22/ 11


63/ 33/ 17




34/ 17/ 9


42/ 23/ 11


63/ 34/ 17


What else do you need to know to construct eternity bands?

1. Ring with and depth.  For millgrain pave you need .5mm of band on each side, so a 2mm stone will require a 3mm ring.  For scoopdown or fishtail pave, you need the width of the gem only.  The band thickness should be 1.5-1.8mm.  The thinner the band, the more likely it is that it bends, and then stones fall out.  Both my setters can do any of these styles, pave work is their strong suit.

If you google the different setting styles and you'll get a lot of images for each.  Here are a few for you.

Photo Credit: 90210 Jewelry
2. Sizing: ring sizing is best done before the ring is made.  Eternity bands are hard to size - full eternity bands cannot be sized at all and partial eternity bands still carry the risk of gem breakage or gem loss when the band is bent in the sizing process.
3. Pricing: For 14 kt gold figure on $120-180 for a standard eternity band.  So that's not too bad.  But since I have all my gems set locally, the real hidden cost is setting.  With pave work, millgrain, and polishing and or rhodium, setting a stone comes to about $12-15.  So a full eternity band for a ring with 1mm stones is, at minimum, $750 just for setting.  I can get it done cheaper if I buy a pre-fabricated band for just standard prong setting and use cheaper setters, but then I can't do this kind of pave work.  For all these styles, every single bead is cut and shaped by hand.  That's why it costs so much (at least here in the US).
Hope this blog entry helps you in your decision making process, whether it is for my site or any other.
You'll hear from me next from Vegas, most likely through Facebook since I don't want to overwhelm you with mail.  Stay tuned.
Ruby and White Gold Fishtail Pave Ring Set by Ethan S.