by Suzanne Sachs • 5 min read
THE BASICS --
A promise ring can be a lovely gesture to someone you care deeply about and what to share a commitment with, but what is a promise ring, really? What does it mean, what type of ring best represents a promise, and how should such a ring be given? Understanding everything you need to know about promise rings can help you choose the perfect ring to seal any promise.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW--
In this guide, we will explain the following:
- What is a promise ring?
- Promise ring meaning
- What should a promise ring look like?
- Gemstone rings
- Figural rings
- Stacking rings
- Cluster rings
- Twined rings
- Engraved rings
- Finding a promise ring for her
- Promise ring etiquette
- How should you wear a promise ring
- Choosing a promise ring
What Is a Promise Ring?
When a ring is given to symbolize a promise, it becomes a promise ring. The ring may be exchanged between the individual making the promise and the person they are promising to, or may be given in representation of a more general promise to oneself, to a group, or to a community.
Promise Ring Meaning
The classic promise ring is a “pre-engagement” ring exchanged in an exclusive romantic relationship, but before a couple is ready or able to begin planning a wedding. There are many other potential promises that can be represented by a symbolic ring, however, such as…
- A parent’s promises to a child, especially during a divorce or new marriage
- A new spouse’s promises to children in a newly blended family
- An individual making promises to themselves for personal growth or change
- Friends sharing promises to always support one another
- A child making a promise to a church or other group, such as for celibacy before marriage
No matter what the type of promise, who makes it, or to whom it is made, these promises – and the rings that represent them – are not to be taken lightly and are strong commitments. Promise rings are the physical reminders and celebrations of these promises, showing the devotion of that commitment in a way that can be easily seen and shown to others. For many people, this can make a promise more real and binding, rather than just words that may be too easily overlooked or forgotten.
What Should a Promise Ring Look Like?
Promise rings can be many different designs. In general, a promise ring is simpler and less expensive than an engagement or wedding ring, so as not to be confused with those very traditional and familiar pieces of jewelry. Because of that, classic diamond solitaires and wedding bands are not usually suitablenas promise rings. Otherwise, nearly any ring design can be used as a promise ring, depending on the symbolism it is meant to represent, the preferences of the person to wear the ring, and the budget for purchasing the ring.
Popular promise ring designs include…
• Gemstone Rings
A colorful gemstone ring is ideal for a promise ring, and can add layers of meaning with the spiritual and symbolic connections to the gem type or color. Multiple gemstones may even be used to represent the different people involved in the promise.
• Figural Rings
A ring with a structured design can be a very visual representation of a promise, such as a claddagh ring for friendship, or a cross ring for a religious promise or commitment. Intertwined hearts are a popular choice for a romantic promise or pre-engagement ring.
• Stacking Rings
Stacking rings, thinner styles designed to have multiple rings worn on the same finger, are trendy options for promise rings. While one ring can represent the initial promise, additional rings can be added for even more meaning and style over time.
• Cluster Rings
Rings that cluster several diamonds or other stones together to present the appearance of a larger stone are popular for promise rings. These styles are less expensive than single large stones, and have great flexibility for design options and fashionable themes.
• Twined Rings
Simple rings with split bands twined around one another are a great design to represent different promises. The different parts of the band can represent each person involved in the promise and how their commitment brings them together.
• Engraved Rings
Engraving a promise ring adds an extra dimension of intimacy to the design and can be another reminder of the promise. A short phrase, date, iconographic symbols, or abbreviations can all be used to engrave a ring with the promise it represents.
Ultimately, any type of ring can become a promise ring, as the meaning behind the ring is more critical than the overall style. So long as the people involved in the promise understand the symbolism of the ring and what it represents, it can be a perfect promise ring.
Finding a Promise Ring For Her
Promise rings can be found from all major jewelry retailers, with different options to suit any type of promise, fashion preference, or budget. For more unique promise rings, however, many couples or individuals making promises turn to other types of retailers who offer more unusual and distinctive rings.
Antique and vintage jewelry stores, for example, have many outstanding options for promise rings that have distinctive character and timeless fashionable flair. Just like modern retailers, rings are available in a wide variety of designs, styles, and price ranges.
Other options for finding a promise ring include visiting estate sales, auctions, pawn shops, or consignment dealers. Great care should be taken to ensure a ring is authentic, however, and that the proper paperwork is available to guarantee the ring’s quality.
Another option for unique promise rings is to consider artisan rings from independent crafters, who may be able to make one-of-a-kind pieces that incorporate great symbolism and meaning for a cherished promise.
Promise Ring Etiquette
No matter what style of promise ring you choose or where you find it, the ring must be given carefully and with great thought. It is important for the person making the promise to be fully committed to the vow they make, and to discuss the promise and what it means with their partner, parent, church leader, or anyone else who can help them be sure of their commitment. Both parties should understand what the promise means and how to help it be fulfilled.
While a promise ring is not usually given in as elaborate of a manner as an engagement ring, it should still be presented at a memorable moment that respects the sanctity of the promise. Giving a promise ring on a holiday or special occasion is popular, or at a ceremony that represents the promise. For a religious promise, for example, a group church ceremony may be suitable if many people are making similar vows, while a parent giving a promise ring to a child when a new family blends may be done as part of the wedding ceremony.
How Should You Wear a Promise Ring?
A promise ring may be worn on any finger, though traditionally most promise rings are worn on the fourth (ring) finger of the right hand, so as to be sure there is no confusion with an engagement or wedding ring. The exception is for romantic promise or pre-engagement rings, which would instead be worn on the left hand, and replaced with the “official” engagement ring when the time is right.
Promise rings might also be worn on the second (index) finger or the pinkie if preferred, and some people even choose not to wear promise rings on the hand at all, but instead wear the rings on a cord or chain as pendants. This is particularly popular if the ring is an heirloom piece that may not fit, or if the promise is made in youth and is eventually outgrown, though the promise is still upheld.
The key to wearing a promise ring is that it should not be worn casually or only on certain occasions, but ideally should be worn all the time to show that the promise remains intact. Just like any fine jewelry, however, it is important to remove a promise ring whenever it is necessary to protect it, such as while participating in sports, using harsh chemicals, or doing any activity that might damage the ring.
Choosing a Promise Ring
Ultimately, a promise ring symbolizes a wonderful commitment, and choosing a ring that showcases that promise is a great way to reinforce the vow. With different designs available and many ways present and wear such a ring, the promise is easy to personalize and make even more meaningful for everyone involved in the commitment.
Antique Engagement Rings For Everyone:
No matter which era is your favorite, these time-honored rings have a rich history and individualized character and will continue to have a timeless beauty and elegant appeal that is part of a legacy to pass on to future generations.
Find The Perfect Engagement Ring:
Antique diamond cuts are prized not only for their beauty but also for their exquisite attention to detailing and faceting. If you’re looking for a ring with a sense of glamour, sophistication and vintage charm, explore our collection of promise rings today!