The Promise as Precious as Gold: What Promise Rings Mean and Other Important Questions About This Sweet Accessory

Love works wonders, and even the die-hard realists and skeptics become tender romantics under its spell, at least for some time. Flowers, cozy evenings, tender names, secretly exchanged smiles just between the two of you - it all becomes a part of the couple’s life, and it’s beautiful. However, there is a more substantial (in all senses) expression of one’s tender feelings and commitment: tokens of love in the form of jewelry pieces or other nice trinkets. And in this article, we’ll explore the promise ring, its significance, meaning, and what fashion has to say about it right now.

From The Romans To The Millennials: What Promise Rings Symbolize Historically

As the story goes, the promise ring dates back to Roman times (yes, the Roman Empire times) and stands for the official promise to marry. The jewelry piece was called a betrothal ring and was a sign of official obligation to marry taken by spouses-to-be and their families. Marriage was a very serious affair linked to property transfer, dowry, and other money questions between two families, it took time and effort to settle everything, so this ring was a kind of a signature on a guarantee letter for a big business contract.

In the Middle Ages and later in the Renaissance times there was a fashion to give to sweethearts special rings with hidden inscriptions that secretly indicated the romantic feelings of an admirer. These rings did not mean exactly the promise to marry, but if the ring and the confession behind it were accepted, the marital vows were soon to come. In this or that interpretation, the idea of a ring as a token of love has survived that long, yet today we have our own version of this ring and its meaning.

The Thrilling Question: What Do Promise Rings Mean In A Relationship?

Today, a promise ring is a delicate and deeply personal matter shared by the couple only, so it’s up to two people to decide when to exchange these rings, in what form, and what rings to choose. The ancient Romans could exchange hefty solid metallic bracelets instead of rings, but a subtle and stylish ring is a more appropriate object for modern daily wear.

So what do promise rings mean in a relationship? The widely agreed-upon meaning of the promise ring is openly stated commitment and moving one step closer to engagement and marriage. It’s not the same as an engagement ring, because modern engagement prescribes that you set a clear timeline for marital preparations and the marriage itself. For example, in a year from the engagement date, you tie the knot, so you have only 12 months to send out invitations, book a venue, find a florist, and have all parties and mock wedding dinners before that special date.

So what does a promise ring mean from a boyfriend? Just that: a promise of marriage that does not start this thrilling countdown to the wedding day. There may well be conditions that prevent you or your loved one from setting a specific wedding date. For example, you both have to finish your studies and gain some financial stability before making a family nest. Or maybe, one of you is in the military or on a long trip abroad, and before your other half returns, there is no sense in marking any date in the calendar. Or maybe you both are underage and need to wait a year or two for the legal age to get married. All these meanings are preserved if you wonder what a promise ring means from a girlfriend, just in case. It’s a promise of the future ‘yes.’

In all cases, the need to be mutually committed, to say and hear the important words is always there, and so this promise ring allows you to exchange the preliminary vows without getting into the wedding planning mill. It’s a very important emotional and personal step to give and accept such rings, so choose them and the moment wisely.

The One Big Step In Relationships: How Does A Promise Ring Work?

This ring actually reads like this: my owner is in a long-term commitment to someone and will marry this person someday (they just have not settled on the date yet). Some may find it not as thrilling as an engagement ring, but its significance is hard to overestimate for people in love who want to be together for the rest of their lives.

For those who don’t believe in marriage, the promise ring is an equivalent of the ’Yes I do’ formula cast in gold (or silver).

It’s a clear sign of the ultimate end of the dating journey and transitioning into the commitment and exclusivity phase.

So sometimes, a promise ring is a promise to marry, and sometimes it is a similar promise of commitment made in lieu of marital vows. That’s the answer to the question: what's the reason for a promise ring? No other senses are included here. So, before you alone or together with your loved one make this purchase, sit down and have an honest conversation about how and when you will formalize your relationships.

The Item Of Immeasurable Value: How Much Do Promise Rings Cost And How Much To Pay For Them?

Promise rings may come in a variety of styles and materials, so you don’t have to spend a fortune on this ring alone. Besides, you’ll have to spend a significant sum on an engagement ring later, and then on the wedding bands. So this adds up to a good deal of expenses, which leaves us with the question, so what sum is OK to pay for the women promise rings (as well as men’s rings)?

The answer is, that you can spend as much as you want, ordering a custom ring or buying the ready model you like. It depends on your budget and taste. But the experts in wedding planning recommend that you spend on this kind of jewelry up to $2,000 maximum and that will be more than enough. A promise ring is usually a subtle understated piece, which can later be stacked with an engagement ring or a wedding ring and worn daily.

So, the elegant models that don’t hit your eye immediately with tens of carats of stones and dazzling shine can cost even less and still be refined and cool for everyday wear. Slim rings with interesting shapes and smaller stones are priced within the few hundred dollar brackets, and they convey this careless chic that elevates any style of clothing you wear. So you can spend $200, $300, or $400 and get a perfect promise ring that will be the star of your loved one’s jewelry collections.

The Strategic Placement: On What Hand To Wear the Promise Ring And Why

This ring can be worn on the hand or the finger of your choice, but to avoid confusion and embarrassing questions, it’s better not to wear it on the ring finger of the left hand. This small trick won’t let anyone think that it’s an engagement ring, and so you’ll be able to tell people about your marital plans when you’re ready.

Or to the contrary, if you want to tell the world that you’ve found your other half and are going to tie the knot with them someday, and that’s what a promise ring means to a girl, put it on the left-hand ring finger. Why not, after all?

You can wear it on the ring finger of the right hand, or on the middle fingers of either hand (middle fingers were believed to be connected to the heart, and the Romans used to wear these rings like that). Or you may change fingers depending on your mood and styling preferences. You personally know the meaning of the ring, and that’s the key.

Subtle Styling: What Do Promise Rings Look Like And What Are Current Trends?

Theoretically, these rings can be anything you want them to be, but the practical side dictates its rules.

They can be slim solid metal bands, rings with a single stone of special significance to the wearer, rings with clusters of small stones, or small solitaire rings. All these rings are easy to stack and blend with other styles, so they are perfect for everyday wear.

A separate category is rings with sculpted architectural shapes and styles, where the texture of metal underscores the interesting design. Promise rings for couples should be matching. If you give this ring to your beau as a first step, you can pick any design that might please them.

Just remember the rule: simple understated rings with relatively small stones can be worn safely by both men and women, and they are easy to style. So even if you pick the ring as a surprise, without the participation of your loved one, it will work well with most jewelry collections.

You may choose the two unisex rings, or pick the rings with matching stones but with more masculine and more feminine designs ‘for him and for her.’ One element will be matching anyway, and the other will underscore your uniqueness.

Almost A Proposal (But Not Yet): How Are Promise Rings Presented and When?

Presentation of a promise ring is an important step from two viewpoints: first, you tell your loved one that you will marry them, and second, you tell that the marriage is not specifically planned yet, and it’s not an official proposal. Like, an engagement ring will officially launch that merry fuss that precedes marriage, but this time for the engagement ring is yet to come.

Make this ring presentation sweet but casual, it should be far from grandeur and showiness of engagement (where full families may show up to see, record on videos and cry happy tears later). It’s only between the two of you, it’s not an official proposal, so don’t get on your knee. It will be totally misleading.

Now we come to the essential question of when should you get a promise ring in a relationship (or give one, for that matter). It should happen when you both have decided to commit and get married someday. Dating without obligations is over, and now it’s time to mark this moment with this ring.

So before you do this first step of committing, take time to talk to your sweetheart about your plans. If they align, and this person is ready to wait sometime before the official proposal, you can buy and give this ring (or exchange rings) to confirm to each other that this proposal will arrive sooner or later (or that you fully commit without walking down the aisle).


A Promise Ring And An Engagement Ring: Are They The Same?

No, they are not the same. An engagement ring means a proposal, specific wedding date, and launch of the preparation process, while a promise ring is a pledge to propose but later, or to commit to this person like in a marriage.

Promise Rings Vs Eternity Rings Vs Engagement Rings: What Are Their Meanings?

Promise rings stand for a promise to marry (but they do not mean a proposal), engagement rings mean proposal and the fixed date for marriage, and eternity rings stand for some particular milestone in a marriage, like the first anniversary or birth of a child. Eternity rings have such a name because these rings feature a row of small diamonds running around the whole band or encircling the front part of the band, the one visible to other people when the ring is worn.

How To Choose The Perfect Moment To Give A Promise Ring?

Any moment when you both decide to commit and stay in these long-term relationships. The promise ring marks this point for you both and opens perspectives for the next steps like engagement, etc. Just don’t make the ring-giving a pompous public show. Reserve that for the engagement ring.

Models And Styles: How To Pick The Promise Ring That Will Look Appropriate?

They can be of any style you and your loved one fancy, but it’s recommended that they are dainty and understated (no, not boring). Simple metal bands, subtle sculpted pieces, one-stone rings, and stone cluster rings are the best choice. In such a way, they won’t attract unnecessary questions but will be versatile enough to go with any kind of outfit you choose for daily wear.

What Finger And Hand Should A Promise Ring Be Worn On?

You can wear it on a ring or the middle finger of either hand. Just mind that when put on the ring finger of the left hand, the ring will cause associations with engagement.

The Right Way To Do It: How To Offer A Promise Ring To Your Loved One?

Make it a warm but casual situation, just between the two of you. And be sure to present the ring after you’ve talked about the future and you both share the same vision of it. Also mention gently that it’s not a proposal yet, but what promise rings symbolize is that the proposal will be made sometime later.

Buy Responsibly And Safely: Where To Buy A Promise Ring?

Buy a ring from a reputable jewelry shop that can confirm the origins of the stone and offer a good selection of ring styles. Or go to the dedicated sites that offer specially crafted rings for promise-making stages, engagements and weddings. There you’ll definitely find something special. An additional bonus is an in-house opportunity to reduce or increase the ring size if required.

After The Engagement Party: What To Do With The Promise Ring Now?

Since promise rings are usually small and understated, they are great for stacking with an engagement ring or a wedding ring. Or with any other kind of rings you may want them to mix with.

If A Break-Up Happens: Should You Keep The Ring Or Give It Back?

That’s a tricky question, and it depends on the decision made by two people together. You may decide to give back these rings, and it will just mean swapping them back – you get the ring you gave to your former beau and vice versa. You may decide to just keep them as is, or give back the received ring and refuse to take back the given ring (if the relationship soured that much). If you keep the ring, it loses its meaning and becomes just another accessory in your jewelry box.


Love and commitment are an essential part of our lives, and accessories and items that remind us of important moments are invaluable. So choose the best available ones for the person you love, and these rings (and other gifts) will always remind your sweetheart just how much you care. And our shop will be a trusted assistant in this vital choice of relationship promise rings.

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