What is an eternity ring? Meghan Markle appears to be wearing one

On Saturday, June 8, Meghan Markle made her first public appearance since giving birth to son Archie Harrison at the queen's Trooping the Colour. Royal fans were quick to notice that her sister-in-law Kate Middleton, who sat across from her in the procession, gave the Duchess of Sussex a subtle nod with her floral fascinator. They also noticed that Meghan was wearing a new ring. Many speculated that, since it was paired with her engagement ring and wedding ring, it was an eternity ring given to her by Prince Harry. 

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Meghan Markle at Trooping the Colour
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Meghan Markle at Trooping the Colour
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex make their way along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, in London, ahead of the Trooping the Colour ceremony, as Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her official birthday. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex ride by carriage down the Mall during Trooping The Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, on June 08, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex make their way along The Mall to Buckingham Palace, in London, after the Trooping the Colour ceremony, as Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her official birthday. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Cornwall make their way along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, in London, ahead of the Trooping the Colour ceremony, as The Queen celebrates her official birthday. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex make their way along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, in London, ahead of the Trooping the Colour ceremony, as The Queen celebrates her official birthday. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex rides by carriage down the Mall during Trooping The Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, on June 08, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (L) and Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (R) make their way in a horse drawn carriage to Horseguards parade ahead of the Queen's Birthday Parade, 'Trooping the Colour', in London on June 8, 2019. - The ceremony of Trooping the Colour is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. Since 1748, the Trooping of the Colour has marked the official birthday of the British Sovereign. Over 1400 parading soldiers, almost 300 horses and 400 musicians take part in the event. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex make their way along The Mall to Buckingham Palace, in London, after the Trooping the Colour ceremony, as Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her official birthday. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (L) and Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (R) return to Buckingham Palace after the Queen's Birthday Parade, 'Trooping the Colour', in London on June 8, 2019. - The ceremony of Trooping the Colour is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. Since 1748, the Trooping of the Colour has marked the official birthday of the British Sovereign. Over 1400 parading soldiers, almost 300 horses and 400 musicians take part in the event. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex returns to Buckingham Palace after the Queen's Birthday Parade, 'Trooping the Colour', in London on June 8, 2019. - The ceremony of Trooping the Colour is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. Since 1748, the Trooping of the Colour has marked the official birthday of the British Sovereign. Over 1400 parading soldiers, almost 300 horses and 400 musicians take part in the event. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex arrive at Trooping The Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, on June 08, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex make their way along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, in London, ahead of the Trooping the Colour ceremony, as The Queen celebrates her official birthday. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex smiles as she and Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (not pictured) make their way in a horse drawn carriage to Horseguards parade ahead of the Queen's Birthday Parade, 'Trooping the Colour', in London on June 8, 2019. - The ceremony of Trooping the Colour is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. Since 1748, the Trooping of the Colour has marked the official birthday of the British Sovereign. Over 1400 parading soldiers, almost 300 horses and 400 musicians take part in the event. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Cornwall make their way along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, in London, ahead of the Trooping the Colour ceremony, as The Queen celebrates her official birthday. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)
Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex smiles as she and Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (not pictured) make their way in a horse drawn carriage to Horseguards parade ahead of the Queen's Birthday Parade, 'Trooping the Colour', in London on June 8, 2019. - The ceremony of Trooping the Colour is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. Since 1748, the Trooping of the Colour has marked the official birthday of the British Sovereign. Over 1400 parading soldiers, almost 300 horses and 400 musicians take part in the event. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex make their way along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, in London, ahead of the Trooping the Colour ceremony, as The Queen celebrates her official birthday. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attends Trooping The Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, on June 08, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex make their way along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, in London, ahead of the Trooping the Colour ceremony, as The Queen celebrates her official birthday. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex. Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge ride by carriage down the Mall during Trooping The Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, on June 08, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge ride by carriage down the Mall during Trooping The Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, on June 08, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex. Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge ride by carriage down the Mall during Trooping The Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, on June 08, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex make their way along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, in London, ahead of the Trooping the Colour ceremony, as The Queen celebrates her official birthday. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex make their way along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, in London, ahead of the Trooping the Colour ceremony, as The Queen celebrates her official birthday. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex make their way along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, in London, ahead of the Trooping the Colour ceremony, as The Queen celebrates her official birthday. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)
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While the royals have not confirmed whether or not the new bling is indeed an eternity ring, it wouldn't be surprising as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex recently celebrated the birth of their son and their first wedding anniversary in May. So, exactly what is an eternity ring?

An eternity ring is the ultimate romantic gesture

An eternity ring is usually worn by women (but sometimes men) and signifies a couple's ongoing love and commitment. Traditionally, they're simple circular bands that are adorned with diamonds or gems all the way around in a continuous line, signifying never-ending love.

According to The Diamond Store magazine, "They’re usually bought to commemorate an important occasion in a couple’s relationship, such as a big wedding anniversary or the birth of a baby."

Where the tradition comes from

Eternity rings are not a new fad. In fact, their history first dates back to ancient Egyptian times, around 2000-1800 BC. Back then, circles symbolized eternity and the ring was used to demonstrate love, much like a wedding ring today. Early examples found in Egyptian tombstones were made from a range of materials including metal set with stones, or even carved bone. 

Then in the 1960s, luxury diamond seller De Beers launched the actual concept of the eternity ring. For a 1982 investigative piece for The Atlantic, journalist Edward Jay Epstein found that the retailer had a secret agreement with the Soviet Union to sell their diamonds, which were generally very small. The trend in diamonds, of course, was the bigger the better, especially in engagement rings. So De Beers, with the help of a good advertising team, created the eternity ring and voiced that small diamonds had "the same emotional importance as larger stones" and stressed the importance of clarity and perfection in a diamond over size.

Still, as young men wanted bigger diamonds to propose with, they decided to market the smaller diamonds to more experienced couples. "DeBeers devised the 'eternity ring,' made up of as many as twenty-five tiny Soviet diamonds, which could be sold to an entirely new market of older married women. The advertising campaign was based on the theme of recaptured love," Epstein wrote.

When to give an eternity ring

At their start, eternity rings were given as anniversary presents. For those sticking with traditional gifts, diamonds are to be given on the 60th wedding anniversary. But as we know, diamonds are always an appropriate gift! 

However, couples have now started sharing eternity rings after the birth of their first baby. According to Purely Diamonds, a jeweler in the UK, "Only in recent years did the original symbolism of the eternity ring as a representation of the circle of life resurface, which is when the welcoming of a couple’s first child into the world, by birth or adoption, became another tradition in which the gift of an eternity ring was deemed appropriate."

You can spot Meghan Markle's new ring, eternity or otherwise, in the gallery at the top. 

Check out Kate Middleton's look at the 2019 Trooping the Colour in the slideshow below:

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Kate Middleton at Trooping the Colour 2019
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Kate Middleton at Trooping the Colour 2019
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge smiles as she returns to Buckingham Palace after the Queen's Birthday Parade, 'Trooping the Colour', in London on June 8, 2019. - The ceremony of Trooping the Colour is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. Since 1748, the Trooping of the Colour has marked the official birthday of the British Sovereign. Over 1400 parading soldiers, almost 300 horses and 400 musicians take part in the event. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (R) smiles as she chats to Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex as they return to Buckingham Palace after the Queen's Birthday Parade, 'Trooping the Colour', in London on June 8, 2019. - The ceremony of Trooping the Colour is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. Since 1748, the Trooping of the Colour has marked the official birthday of the British Sovereign. Over 1400 parading soldiers, almost 300 horses and 400 musicians take part in the event. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge during Trooping The Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, on June 08, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge during Trooping The Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, on June 08, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend Trooping The Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, on June 08, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends Trooping The Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, on June 08, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends Trooping The Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, on June 08, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge ride by carriage down the Mall during Trooping The Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, on June 08, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge rides by carriage down the Mall during Trooping The Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, on June 08, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge rides by carriage down the Mall during Trooping The Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, on June 08, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall during Trooping The Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, on June 8, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge during Trooping The Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, on June 8, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive in a horse drawn carriage in Horseguards Parade for Trooping the Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, on June 08, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Pete Summers/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge during Trooping The Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, on June 8, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
(L-R) Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge holding Prince Louis stand with other members of the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch a fly-past of aircraft by the Royal Air Force, in London on June 8, 2019. - The ceremony of Trooping the Colour is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. Since 1748, the Trooping of the Colour has marked the official birthday of the British Sovereign. Over 1400 parading soldiers, almost 300 horses and 400 musicians take part in the event. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge with Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, Prince George of Cambridge and Prince Louis of Cambridge during Trooping The Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, on June 8, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
(L-R) Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge holding Prince Louis, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge stand with other members of the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch a fly-past of aircraft by the Royal Air Force, in London on June 8, 2019. - The ceremony of Trooping the Colour is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. Since 1748, the Trooping of the Colour has marked the official birthday of the British Sovereign. Over 1400 parading soldiers, almost 300 horses and 400 musicians take part in the event. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
(L-R) Albert Windsor, Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge holding Prince Louis, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge stand with other members of the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch a fly-past of aircraft by the Royal Air Force, in London on June 8, 2019. - The ceremony of Trooping the Colour is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. Since 1748, the Trooping of the Colour has marked the official birthday of the British Sovereign. Over 1400 parading soldiers, almost 300 horses and 400 musicians take part in the event. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, (L) and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (R) are driven to Buckingham Palace ahead of the Queen's Birthday Parade, 'Trooping the Colour', in London on June 8, 2019. - The ceremony of Trooping the Colour is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. Since 1748, the Trooping of the Colour has marked the official birthday of the British Sovereign. Over 1400 parading soldiers, almost 300 horses and 400 musicians take part in the event. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, (L) and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (R) are driven to Buckingham Palace ahead of the Queen's Birthday Parade, 'Trooping the Colour', in London on June 8, 2019. - The ceremony of Trooping the Colour is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. Since 1748, the Trooping of the Colour has marked the official birthday of the British Sovereign. Over 1400 parading soldiers, almost 300 horses and 400 musicians take part in the event. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
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