What Is A Promise Ring? Surprising Purpose & Meaning


Regarding promise rings, one of my favorite relationship experts and psychologists once said something revealing which is, if you are not dating for marriage, you are dating for a breakup.

It is an indeed profound statement that stuck with me up to now, and you may indeed truly wonder what a promise ring exactly is and where it fits within the life of a relationship.

A promise ring symbolizes mutual and ongoing commitment within an already existing romantic relationship between a couple. It is an embodiment of modern relationships without necessarily attaching further commitments like engagement or marriage, though not excluded. 

What Promise Rings Mean For Couples (Not Jewelers)

The idea of promise rings gifts is a rather modern one (thanks to social media and our desire for selfies). 

Though there are some previous similar jewelry commitments gestures like antique acrostic rings during the 18th century when engraving gemstones were trendy from Paris to London as the Jewelry Editor magazine informs us.

Unlike what some jewelers tell you, promise rings are not a must or something you have to do.

The meaning of a promise ring has evolved. In fact, even before the 18th century, people in love have been gifting each other across the world similar presents to acrostic rings. 

For example, in the Zulu culture in South Africa, men gift their loved ones beaded necklaces to symbolize their commitment to them while she’s still living in her parents’ place during the official courting phase.

However, this Zulu love letters beads tradition as they are romantically called signifies nearly all that we find and subconsciously expect in promise rings today in the US and beyond, although even this heritage is ever-evolving.

Making a relationship officially between two people as well as in the circle of their families without the legally binding character of a future engagement and marriage vows is what defines promise rings.

What Are The Rules Of A Promise Ring?

Today, a promise ring means so many things to different couples with one underlying theme: commitment without strings attached like in traditional settings for example engagement rings meaning which is a completely different level regarding social norms, expectations.

Just because a certain celebrity and their designer jewelers say you need a unique promise ring for her or him to prove your love, doesn’t mean it’s true, or you should even follow such advice.

You gift a rose gold promise ring or whatever type of jewelry you both prefer because you want. It’s not because of social pressure from people you don’t even know who probably won’t even care whatsoever about you and your relationship.

Select, wear what you as a loving couple want, no age-old French etiquette, jeweler association, or celeb can define it for you – unless you seek their approval, of course.

What Finger Does A Promise Ring Go On

The supposedly correct finger for a promise ring is the left ring finger, and according to authority publications, this is a result of an ancient false belief that there is a vein connecting the left ring finger with the heart. Truth is, couples may wear promise rings on any finger they see fit.

Moreover, some females and males alike may wear more than one promise ring, e.g., stacked rings or chain dangling rings. 

Again boyfriend, girlfriend, or partner in crime, the choice is yours.

What Types Of Promise Rings Exist?

Alright, we’ve now hopefully established what promise rings are and how they historically came about, as well as where to exactly put the ring on it. Time to explore the different types of them closer.

Promise Ring Type Guide

Promise Ring Type Meaning
Purity Ring Couples who commit to abstain until marriage
Friendship Ring Friends commitment gift and often to not cross the line into a romantic relationship too
Abstinence Ring To abstain from all “evil” 
Faith-based Ring Promise gift to not stray away from a religious group in terms of behavior

These are the popular sub jewelry meanings of a promise ring, depending on cultural, traditional, and fashion trend factors.

These dating pre-engagement rings exist in many parts of the world, be it in cultures where tradition runs deep or in modern urban areas between New York, Rio, and urban Lagos in Nigeria.

Subcultures like LGBT+ have come up with their very own promise rings since a traditional marriage has been difficult to pull off in the recent past and in many places still up to now.

What Pre-Engagement Rings Styles Are There?

A remarkable vow ring is possible, though, because such a promise piece isn’t restricted like engagement rings which more often than not have to fulfill certain expectations, including awesomeness and luxury.

However, I go with this quote and timeless fashion statement instead:

Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance”, by no other than iconic fashion legend and entrepreneur Coco Chanel.

Therefore, here are my Top 5 Promise Rings Styles:

  • 10K Customized White Gold Diamond

This is a beautiful princess promise ring that fulfills all love crying criteria in terms of appearance, romance, and affordability.

  • 10K Engraved Infinity Rose Gold with Ruby Gem

Another spectacular promise gift for her and him with a red love stone symbol attached on top of an infinity rose gold jewelry metal that symbolizes the bond of you two.

  • 925 Sterling Silver Love Knot Sapphire

A spectacular knot-shaped ring is one of the most perfect commitment gifts in stunning 925 silver with a green shining jewelry gemstone majestically atop.

  • 14K Yellow Gold Solitaire Diamond 

A mesmerizing 14-karat gold piece with a solitaire diamond setting that signifies that she or he is your one and only can shape your bright future together forever.

  • 14K White Gold Emerald Halo Gemstone 

A Breathtaking square halo stone sitting on top of a 14-karat white gold piece is one of a kind bonding gift that will make even the greatest love and promise vow skeptic believe again.

These are my five best promise ring proposals styles so to speak you can get for yourself without breaking the bank while making him, her, yourself a happy camper in investing and deepening your virgin or rock-solid relationship sincerely.

How Much Does A Promise Ring Cost?

Contrarily to certain jewelers who may have other motives, a decent promise ring should cost anywhere below or at $100.00 and up to $250 for costume jewelry and up to $1000.00 and beyond for fine jewelry. Since it’s a pre-engagement ring most pick an affordable, but qualitative precious ring.

The thing is if your budget is like that of a Hollywood star or basketball star you can go straight for a $10K without asking yourself how many karats your promise ring should have.

Unfortunately, most of us have bills and mortgages, car payments, student debt, and so on to pay.

Therefore, it is more than acceptable to go after a unique because the customized piece that you can also afford since they are more couple jewelry collections along the road still to come.

Nevertheless, putting your money where your mouth is, can make a point instead of spending your dollars on perishable goods, gadgets, and entertainment that won’t last.

Promise Ring vs Engagement Ring vs Purity Ring

The differences between a promise, engagement, and a purity ring are threefold:

  • Firstly, a promise ring is a relationship commitment symbol without a marriage vow whereas
  • Secondly, an engagement ring traditionally precedes a wedding and  sets those expectations
  • Thirdly, a purity ring is a symbol of sexual absenteeism until marriage, with some religious backstory to it.

What Is A Good Time To Get A Promise Ring?

Ideally, a good time for commitment symbolism through a promise ring is when a romance has successfully survived the stormy era typically after 6 months to a year. The next phase is establishing a solid foundation before true love happens around 2+years. Sure, you can get there earlier or later.

How To Give A Promise Ring

Unlike an engagement ring vow, a promise ring is typically an informal gift that is given either during an anniversary like a birthday, first date jubilee, or Valentine’s Day or at any moment the boyfriend or girlfriend sees fit. If a couple decides to be more ceremonial, they can be more formal, too.

Bill Dominic

Bill is an art history and business graduate. Moreover, he loves to test, compare, shop jewelry & fashion items for his 5 sisters, girlfriend, nieces when not enjoying a great novel.

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