promise ring

The Ultimate Guide to Promise Rings: Meaning, Styles, and More

Often symbolizing the step between dating and officially being engaged, promise rings have been popular in certain cultures for centuries. More recently, however, this type of ring will be gifted to celebrate any type of relationship. A physical token, so to speak, that solidifies a promise about anything which holds meaning between two or more people.

If you like the idea of that as much as we do, keep reading for everything you need to know about these intriguing rings.

What are Promise Rings?

Traditionally speaking, it was always considered a ‘pre-engagement’ ring, a symbol, if you will, of one person’s commitment and fidelity to another. Mainly perhaps because the couple were too young, or too broke to consider marriage at the time, but wanted to show their devotion to one another nonetheless.

Even though they are not engagement rings or wedding rings, the pact they symbolize should not be taken lightly. More than just words, they are a physical reminder of someone’s promise and commitment. Not only a way of making a promise more binding but also a way for the promise to be recognized and celebrated by others.

These days, rings are exchanged between lovers, friends, and family to express love and loyalty in all types of situations.

This heart-shaped Ring from Aurate would make a perfect promise ring. It is available in Vermeil and 14k gold in both Rose and White colors.

heart-shaped promise ring

On what Occasions do you gift such a ‘pledge’ Ring?

As well as continuing to serve as a symbol of commitment in romantic relationships, promise rings are gifted for many other reasons too.

Newlywed parents in a blended family, for example, sometimes present them to their step-children. It’s a way to express their dedication to love them just as much as their biological children. And close friends can gift these rings as a symbol of eternal friendship and support.

Married couples also gift one another with promise rings. They are bought as anniversary gifts or as a way of renewing their love and commitment to the future. Parents going through a divorce sometimes present promise rings to their kids as a physical reminder that no matter what happens, they will always be loved.

This silver weave ring is a perfect example of a promise ring that could be gifted to friends or family members.

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Friendship Rings

They are sometimes called friendship rings. Close friends can gift these rings as a symbol of eternal friendship and support.

This Crossover Ring could certainly be a good choice.

crossover ring

What Does a Commitment Ring Typically Look Like?

The lovely truth is, there are no rules or guidelines when it comes to what a promise ring should look like, so anything goes. If it is to symbolize commitment in a romantic relationship, it is probably better to ensure that it doesn’t look like an engagement ring. Promise rings and engagement rings serve different purposes, so you don’t want them to look similar.

Poesy Rings

Poesy rings, which feature an engraving of love on the inside of the ring, are popular promise rings. Some say that when the words of love from poesy rings come in contact with the skin, they ignite a certain power to sustain the promise.

Irish Claddagh Rings

Irish Claddagh rings, which have symbolized love, loyalty, and friendship for over 300 years are also popular promise rings as are any silver or gold rings that look nothing like engagement or wedding rings.

Check out this moissanite Claddagh ring in 14k rose gold

Claddagh ring

Gemstone Rings

Gemstone rings are popular as promise rings too, as well as rings with intersecting hearts, or any type of design that is symbolic to the parties involved.

Above all else, when choosing a promise ring, go with your own flow and allow your personal style to influence your choice. Let the ring represent your story, but at the same time, choose a ring that you know the receiver will love and wear with pride.

Plain Rings

Proving that there are no rules to what a promise ring looks like, this ring with a twist from Sif Jakobs is a perfect example.

Cetara Pianura Ring

Gold Promise Ring

The choice of a gold ring is often linked to its proverbial durability and timelessness. Gold is a precious metal that holds considerable value too and is often associated with lasting relationships.

Check out this cute Brooklyn Bridge Ring in 14k and 18k yellow, white, or rose gold from Aurate New York.

Rose Gold Promise Ring

There is no reason why your Promise Ring can’t be rose gold too!

Check out this vermeil mini quilted rose gold ring from Aurate New York.

vermeil rose gold

Not to Be Confused With a Purity Ring

Remember the Jonas brothers back in 2008, when they said during an interview that their rings symbolized a promise to God that they would stay pure until marriage? Well, that’s a purity ring, not to be confused with a promise ring.

A purity ring, usually worn by Christians, signifies a promise to God to remain pure and abstain from sex until they are married. A promise ring, on the other hand, is to signify a promise between two or more people. The meaning behind it depends on whether the ring is exchanged between friends, families, or sweethearts.

Another difference between the two is that purity rings are usually very simple in design. They typically take the form of a plain silver or gold band signifying the wearer’s simple promise to God. Whereas there are no rules with promise rings. They can look like whatever feels appropriate for the situation and the people involved.

The Difference between Promise Rings and Engagement Rings

The main differences between a promise ring and an engagement ring are the meaning and what happens afterward. An engagement ring is given when a proposal of marriage is accepted, whereupon the couple will begin planning their upcoming wedding.

A promise ring, in comparison, is more symbolic of what the future holds. There is no proposal with a promise ring, no wedding date is set, and there is no one meaning to the ring. Instead, it is gifted and received with an understanding that a promise has been made. Whether between sweethearts, family members, same-sex couples, or friends, the promise can be absolutely anything.

To look at, promise rings are also different from engagement rings. Jewelers recommend avoiding solitaire diamond rings or elaborate gemstones for couples’ promise rings, for example, as they might lead to confusion. More often than not, promise rings are uncomplicated and more reasonably priced than engagement rings.

This sterling silver ring, for example, set with 13 brilliant-cut diamonds and overlapping bands is the perfect price range and design for a promise ring that won’t break the bank and still allows for the engagement ring to deliver the real bling.

promise ring silver Helzberg

If your promise has turned into an engagement you might want to read:

Men’s Engagement Ring Trends: Breaking Traditions and Redefining Commitment

Promise Rings for Men

It’s usually the guys giving rings to the girls in our world, so you might be inclined to believe that is the case with promise rings too. But it’s not. Remember Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth? They both wore promise rings in the prelude to their ultimately fizzled-out relationship. (But better to find that stuff out with a promise ring than an engagement ring, right!)

The point is that there are no rules here. Both sweethearts in a relationship could buy promise rings together as a sign of their loving commitment to one another. Alternatively, the man can gift one to his sweetheart as a symbol of his undying love and vice versa.

Even grandfathers are known to gift these jewels to their grandchildren as a sign of their everlasting bond. The options are endless, in that, anyone can wear one and anyone can gift one. That’s probably why we love them so much.

Check out this heart-shaped ruby and diamond promise ring from Ruby & Oscar in 9k white gold. If you order with our code JEWEL221 you will get an extra discount.

heart- shaped promise ring

Promise Rings for Women

When choosing a Promise Ring for a woman, consider her personal style and preferences. Here are a few tips:

Consider factors like

  • Type of Metal
  • Gemstones, if any but avoid solitaires.
  • Engraving a message. A personalized message will make the ring even more special.

For something completely different consider rhodium-plated pearl center flower ring:

flower ring

His N Hers Ring Sets

Rather than conforming to the idea of a set plan, some couples prefer to buck tradition and live by their own rules. His n Hers  Ring Sets are the perfect solution for those who feel no pressure or need to get married.

Symbolizing a lifelong commitment to one another with an exchange of rings along with handwritten vows is all you need to bond your love.

For couples who like to go the full Monty, however, His n Hers  Ring Sets are the perfect prelude to the romance of a proposal, the bling of an engagement ring, and the excitement of wedding plans.

Whether you choose to symbolize your lifelong commitment with promise rings or wear them as a prelude to an engagement, these Never Apart Heart Design rings in titanium steel from Italo Jewelry are a perfect His N Hers set and well priced too. Buy with a special $10 discount and free shipping.

promise ring in Titanium by Italo

On Which Finger Do You Wear A Promise Ring?

Once again, there is no one set rule. Some couples like to place them on the fourth finger of the left hand and replace them later with an engagement ring. Other couples prefer to wear it on the fourth finger of the right hand. To avoid any confusion about it being an engagement ring.

People who receive a promise ring from a friend or family member seem to wear the ring on any finger that takes their fancy. The index finger is popular, as are the pinkie, middle finger, and thumb.

In the case that the ring doesn’t fit, because it was gifted in childhood perhaps and has become too small, it can be worn around a chain as a necklace.

Pinky Promise Ring

As mentioned above there is no reason not to wear a pinky promise ring on your little finger. A discreet band on your pinky can be a reminder of a promise to a friend, a lover, or even to yourself.

Check out this classic oval 18k white gold signet ring from Brilliant Earth

signet ring

For more information about Pinky Rings see my post:

What Does A Pinky Ring Mean?

What’s The Price Range for these Rings?

As with any gift, the price is irrelevant. It’s the thought that counts. Promise rings can range in price from fifty dollars for a sterling silver ring to thousands of dollars for a uniquely designed ring featuring sapphires.

The amount you spend depends on you, your lifestyle, and what will convey your genuine promise in a wholehearted way to the person receiving it.

Bottom line, when it comes to a promise ring, it doesn’t matter what type of ring it is, how much it cost, or where you buy it. What’s important is that the ring is given with sincerity and a full commitment to ensuring the promise is fulfilled.

This Amythest Cupola Promise ring from Ruby & Oscar made with an oval amethyst stone and a braided 9ct rose gold band is an example of a more pricey promise ring than others mentioned above. If you order with our code JEWEL221 you will get an extra discount.

cupola promise ring by Ruby & Oscar

How to Give Someone a Promise Ring

Although giving a promise ring to the love of your life doesn’t come with the same spine-tingling excitement as an engagement, the way it is presented should be meaningful and heartfelt.

An engagement might center on the ring, the bling, and the beautiful moment you’ll both remember forever. Whereas a promise ring is more about a sincere conversation and a meaningful pledge for the future.

For an important Promise check out this colorful ring from Yvonne Leon with yellow, orange, and grey diamonds. Yvonne is a famous Parisian Jeweler and makes wonderful iconic signet rings. Can you keep a promise with a signet ring? Why not!

promise ring

In that vein, gifting a ring, whether it is for your child, parent, partner, or friend, would ideally involve some sort of special occasion. It could be a birthday, a holiday, a special dinner, or during a romantic picnic. Whatever feels right for you will feel right at the moment too.

In Conclusion

The gift of a promise ring can secure the essence of any type of relationship. These meaningful rings can represent a commitment to love, a lifelong friendship, a future proposal, a family bond, or simply a promise to be fulfilled. Most importantly, a promise ring should signify your unique promise and the nature of your relationship.

If your promise ring happens to be a prelude to a proposal, check out my recommendations for Engagement Ring Trends for 2023 here.

And lastly, take a look at this mini-infinity style ring from Aurate New York.  It makes a perfect promise ring and is available in 3 qualities. The starting price for the vermeil version is well under $100.

There are also  14k and 18k versions.

It is available in yellow, white, and rose.

promise mini infinity ring

About Stuart Goldsmith

Born in London ,living in Florence (Italy) where i opened a Buying Office sourcing fashion products for international brands visting hundreds of artisans and factories. I now work with accessories including Jewelry which gives me the most satisfaction. The Jewelry creators have a fascinating past,present and future!

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