Is there a step between dating and being officially engaged? Yes, it is called the promise ring. It’s not quite as official as an engagement ring and most definitely not as binding as a wedding ring. Promise rings are gaining popularity among couples and young teenagers.
Over the years, promise rings have taken on many forms. Some people consider it as a ring to pledge your love, where others consider it as a form of pre-engagement. We believe promise rings can mean a promise between two people about anything you give meaning to. Find more information in this post about the meaning, different designs, how to wear it and beautiful promise ring inspiration.
Unique Promise Rings for Couples
What is a Promise Ring?
A promise ring is a modern addition to jewelry that can symbolize a commitment and love between two people. It has various meanings to many people such as:
- It signifies a pre-engagement ring until old enough to be engaged or until an engagement ring is affordable. The promise ring is often purchased as a stand-in ring that enables a couple to take their relationship one stage further before purchasing an expensive engagement ring
- It symbolizes the exclusivity of dating between partners, the love, and commitment within a monogamous relationship.
- It is worn as a purity ring to pledge sexual abstinence prior to marriage. Purity rings have a strong connection with religion. Such promise rings are often plain gold bands, more in line with spiritual purity and a simple life.
- As a sealing promise or sign of a loving relationship between friends, partners or family, it could basically serve as any symbol for a meaning of your choice. In platonic relationships, a promise ring also often indicates loyalty and trust between family or friends.
- As individual dedication or a promise to yourself, a promise ring should not only be categorized as a ring for couples. A promise ring can be significant to each person but, usually, symbolize personal achievement, a daily reminder of a goal or in memory of something or someone.
The important thing to remember is for the person presenting the ring to convey the meaning at the same time, to avoid any misunderstanding as to the true reason it has been given. Because promise rings can have different meanings, it’s best to state your intentions and clarify precisely what you are promising when you give this ring to your significant other. The key word here is “promise.” Rather than just giving someone a materialistic item, you’re adding significance to your gift by providing a totem to symbolize your commitment.
Designs and Styles of Promise Rings
Promise Ring Materials
Promise rings are more often created of less expensive materials than engagement- or wedding rings. Mostly materials like sterling silver, palladium, gold are used, and sometimes people choose for a smaller diamond to keep the costs down.
Promise Ring Designs
Traditionally, promise rings contained the heart symbol. Nowadays the rings come in any design that suits the person or the occasion and type of commitment the ring is giving for. As it is the symbolism that makes a ring a promise ring there is no set design for them. When a man receives one it will often look like a wedding band. Then when couples do get married they add more detail, a stone of choice or the ring is replaced by a wedding ring.
Personalization of Promise Rings
The promise ring has a different meaning to it varying from couple to couple and personalization of the ring adds a personal touch or true meaning to it. A couple of popular engraving ideas for promise rings in this decade are:
- The names of one another
- The fingerprint of your loved one
- An important date like a birthday or first date
- A phrase that has meaning to a couple like a quote, poem or song lyric
- Nicknames between couples
- A religious symbol, saying or verse of the bible
- A promise is written out to remind the wearer of their promise or goal
- A personal important number, like age or a lucky number
What makes a promise ring different is the variety of meanings it can hold. The meaning of the promise itself can affect its design and one promise ring can look completely different from another as you can see in these 50 carefully selected unique promise rings. Which promise ring is your ring to perfection?
A promise ring is often considered to be a modern addition to ring giving and expressing our commitment when interestingly it is actually an ancient tradition going back as early as the year 1567. It was originally a serious legal symbol to sworn one to marriage; which then bounded the two by law. Even before that, variations of these rings were known in Ancient Rome as betrothal rings, composed of two rings having oval plates with the engraved with the names of their partner before they were married. These rings were originally made out of inexpensive iron, but eventually, it became legal for all Roman citizens to wear gold rings.
In the 15th Century what was known as a poise ring gained popularity in parts of Europe. It was given as a token of friendship, love or to indicate the possibility of marriage. These rings are known for the charming short love quotes that were usually inscribed on the outside or on the inside. Another variation of promise rings that were once popular were memorial rings. These were worn by friends and relatives to remember a lost member after death. Shakespeare, for example, was someone who gave rings to a number of his friends when he passes away. The real use of the term promise ring seems to be a modern creation and therefore, it is likely the idea that stands on its own just like its younger variations.Promise Ring Etiquette and Manners
Like a wedding band, a promise ring can be worn at all times and can only mean that you are taken. Some couples use their promise ring as their wedding ring right after marriage so it’s best to take care of it carefully. The proper etiquette is for the men to offer rings to the ladies and not the other way round.
The best way to wear this is to place it on the middle finger on the left hand or the ring finger on the right hand so as to avoid confusion with an actual engagement ring or wedding band. When a promise ring is used as a pre-engagement ring, it is sometimes worn the left ring finger. Unless there are no romantic intentions, friendship-style promise rings should avoid ring fingers and can be worn on any finger of either hand.
The general rule is the closer to marriage, the more it should be worn on the ring finger, especially on the left hand. The significance of the ring finger, largely by tradition, is that the vessel in the ring finger was thought to flow directly to the heart. The promise ring can then be replaced with the actual engagement- or wedding ring when that beautiful moment arises.
Promise Rings in the world of celebrities
There was a huge hype a couple of years ago about celebrities wearing purity rings and talking about staying a virgin until marriage. Do they still exist in the world of the rich and famous? It seems that there are celebrity couples who once strongly believed in wearing a purity ring.
Believe it or not, thing Miley Cyrus once wear a promise ring too, as she stated: “I like to think of myself as the girl that no one can get, that no one can keep in their hand.” Miley Cyrus got her promise ring since she was 12. It was given to her by her mom and she has not taken it off since then.
Actress Emma Roberts and ‘American Horror Story’ colleague actor Evan Peters are among the younger actors that used to wear a promise ring for couples. (Fun fact: ironically enough, Emma was arrested on charges of domestic violence against Evan) 6 months later they got married at the age of 26 (Peters) and 22 (Roberts).
The Jonas Brothers proved that promise rings for men are also acceptable. For years the Jonas brothers were all about the promise rings: “It is a promise to ourselves and to God that we’ll stay pure till marriage.” The oldest Jonas Brother, Kevin Jonas, disposed of his infamous purity ring to propose and marry former hairstylist Danielle Deleasa back in 2009.
In the past decade, plenty teen stars have stated their pledge to abstinence by wearing a promise ring on their finger, from Jessica Simpson to Selena Gomez. Whether they genuinely are promise rings or not is yet another story.
Promise Rings Frequently Asked Questions
A promise ring represents a big step in your relationship, so you want to make sure you are informed throughout the buying process. Here are some of our readers most frequently asked promise rings questions to help you along the way:
What does a promise ring stand for?
When should I consider getting a promise ring?
How do I choose a promise ring?
Should I get down on one knee to present my partner with a promise ring?
Which finger should you wear a promise ring on?
Buying a Promise Ring for Him and Her
Much like eternity rings, promise rings capture hearts with beautiful elegance and sophistication in their designs. Since many couples that get promise rings as a couple are young, we recommend not to go crazy with your budget and make it special by personalizing it by engraving the promise ring.
A simple band in gold or sterling silver can already be a sign of your promise to your special someone. We also believe that in a real romantic relationship, it is more important to honor the promise to your partner than the materialistic part of the promised commitment. Additionally, for most cases, a promise ring is often the first step in moving towards engagement – or wedding ring or for men a wedding band, so there is more to come and save for!
Hey Fashion Enthusiasts! My wife Chantal and I, have been so fortunate to be able to share our latest inspiration and trends in the jewelry and accessory industry, and more so, to get this amazing feedback from our ever growing community. Where my wife focusses more on all things rings, weddings and female jewelry, I love to scoop out the newest accessories for men. I roam around the world to find the latest watches, bags, sunglasses, scarfs, wallets, you name it and I’ll deliver! I always commit to doing a lot of research to share my reviews and personalized advice on this blog or on our store. If you do not know what to wear, send me an email and I will help you out!