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 A growing trend among couples involved in a serious romantic relationship is the exchange of promise rings. What exactly do promise rings stand for? When are they appropriate to give? Are they a promise to get engaged at a later date? Here are the answers to those questions and more!

What Is A Promise Ring?

Promise rings are gaining popularity among couples who are living together and have no immediate plans for marriage or do not plan to ever get married. They are worn as a physical sign to the outside world that a couple is more than just dating – they are in a committed relationship. To these couples, it is their personal commitment to the relationship that is meaningful, not the legal or religious state of being married.

A promise ring is most often exchanged between partners involved in a serious romantic relationship.  It typically symbolizes the giver’s fidelity and devotion to the relationship. The acceptance of the ring indicates that the recipient promises the same in return. Although these are the typical meanings behind a promise ring, each couple chooses what they are promising to each other and what their promise ring stands for. While promise rings can be worn as a pre-engagement rings, many couples do not see their promise rings as a step towards marriage.

What Does A Promise Ring Symbolize?

The exact meaning behind a couple’s promise ring is as unique as their relationship. Although it is usually a symbol of a couple’s commitment to a serious relationship, the exact terms of the promise represented by the ring is something that needs to discussed and agreed upon together. Whatever the specifics of the meaning, a promise ring is a beautiful, tangible symbol of love and commitment.

History of Promise Rings

The tradition of wearing a ring to demonstrate loyalty and fidelity dates back to ancient times. A version of the promise ring, known as a betrothal ring, was worm in ancient Rome by couples desiring to be married. In ancient Greece, special rings were worn as a constant reminder of one’s beloved. Ancient Egyptians exchanged rings made from woven reeds or leather to honor their beloveds.  

Dating back to the 16th century, a version of a promise ring, called a “poise” or “posy” ring, was popular in England and France. Given as lovers’ gifts, these rings were often engraved with romantic poems. During the Georgian and Victorian eras, “Acrostic” rings were popular. These rings were set with colored gemstones to spell out meaningful words. For example, the first letters of these gemstones in a ring – Jade, Amethyst, Diamond, Opal, Ruby and Emerald – spell out “J’adore,” meaning “I love you” in French.

The current popularity of promise rings as a mainstream trend was sparked by the publicity surrounding promise rings that were exchanged by celebrity couples including Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth, as well as Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra.  

What’s the Difference Between A Promise Ring and An Engagement Ring?

A promise ring is a symbol of the commitment to a serious relationship, but it is does not indicate that a proposal and acceptance of marriage has occurred.  Promise rings may have a variety of meanings, based on the individual couple’s choices. An engagement ring is symbol that a couple has agreed to marry.

Is a Promise Ring the Same as a Purity Ring?

 Purity Rings are symbols of a personal commitment to sexual abstinence until marriage. They are given by a parent to a child or purchased for oneself. Purity rings are usually made from silver and rarely have any gemstones. They are often engraved with a message about chastity.

What’s the Difference Between a Promise Ring and a Couple Ring?

Couple rings are matching rings that are worn just for fun. Although they can be either fashion or fine jewelry, couple rings tend to sport trendy designs and are often made from unusual materials. They are not given as symbols of deep commitment to a relationship. They are a more casual expression of a relationship.

Are Promise Rings Only for Women?

In the past, the custom was for a man to present a woman with a promise ring. Today, partners of any gender give and accept promise rings. There is also a trend for both partners in a relationship to wear a promise ring – sometimes matching, sometimes not.

What Do Promise Rings Look Like?

Visually, promise rings are smaller in scale than engagement rings, usually set with small diamonds or semi-precious colored gemstones. They are often designed with a cluster of gems, instead of a main featured gemstone. Promise rings are also usually made from less expensive metals such as silver and 10K gold, rather than 14K or 18K gold or platinum. If getting married is possible for the future, a promise ring’s style should not be something that will compete with an engagement ring.  

When Do You Give a Promise Ring?

Although promise rings are not the same as engagement rings, they still are still a symbol of a serious commitment to a relationship. Usually, a couple will have been exclusively involved for a lengthy period of time, often a year or more, before considering a promise ring.

A promise ring needs to be discussed before it is presented. It should never be given as a total surprise.  Promise rings require a conversation about the exact meaning behind it, and the promise that’s being made. It is an agreement. If you surprise your partner with a ring, that person might be under the impression that you are proposing!  This can lead to confusion and even bitter disappointment and hurt feelings. Such a major misunderstanding could ruin a very special moment intended to celebrate and honor a couple’s relationship. That is why it is so important to discuss beforehand what the promise ring symbolizes.   

How to Give a Promise Ring

Unlike an engagement ring, promise rings are not given with the traditional elaborate planning of a formal proposal. They can be given on birthdays, Valentine’s Day, as a holiday gift, on a couple’s anniversary date, or even over a romantic dinner. When presenting an engagement ring, the circumstances surrounding the proposal are usually planned out and well-orchestrated. Presenting a promise ring is much less formal. It is more about creating a special occasion to talk about your relationship.

On Which Finger Do You Wear a Promise Ring?

A promise ring can be worn on any finger or even suspended on a necklace.  It is usually worn, however, on the left hand. If the couple later gets engaged, the promise ring is moved to the right hand.

Can You Still Wear a Promise Ring After Getting Engaged?

 You can continue to wear your promise ring by putting it on another finger or having a new piece of jewelry designed from its components.

 How Much Does a Promise Ring Cost?

Just as with engagement and wedding rings, there are no rules about the proper amount to spend on a promise ring. The cost will depend on the style, gemstones, and metals you choose. On average, promise rings range in price from $199 to $1999.

What Happens to the Ring if You Break Up?

 As with engagement and wedding rings, promise rings are a symbol of a commitment to a long term relationship. However, life is complicated and relationships can change. When the promise pledge is rescinded, the recipient has the option of either returning or keeping the ring.

Promise rings are a symbol of a couple’s commitment to their relationship. The exact promise being expressed is highly personalized and varies from couple to couple. Whatever meaning the couple decides upon, a promise ring is a beautiful way to express mutual care and devotion. We invite you to to view our selection of beautiful Promise Rings at our fine jewelry boutique located at 11219 South Dixie Highway in Miami, Florida. We are open 10am-6pm, Monday through Saturday, and there is always plenty of free parking!