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10 Frequently Asked Questions About Promise Rings

Girl wearing diamond promise ring

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All of us have heard of wedding rings and engagement rings, but what are promise rings? What do they mean, and who wears them?

To put it simply, a promise ring is a symbol of love, fidelity and commitment, worn by one or both partners, before a formal engagement. Sometimes these rings can also be worn by a married couple, or given to a child by a parent, as a symbol of affection and loyalty.  

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The uniqueness of promise rings lies in the fact that it can mean different things to different people.  This is one of the most popular and versatile symbols of love, but there are often lots of questions and confusion surrounding promise rings.   

Let’s take a look at 10 frequently asked questions to dispel any myths about promise rings. 

What is a Promise Ring?

As the name suggests, promise rings are symbolic oaths between two people, to reiterate their love, commitment, trust and devotion for one another. The ring promises that the partners are willing to give themselves entirely to their significant other.

Promise rings can be traced back to Medieval England, when rings were gifted as a symbol of eternal love. During this period, a ring called the posy, was renowned for having words of poetry and verse engraved on it.  In the Georgian and Victorian era, posy rings were replaced by trendy acrostic rings that carried hidden words or messages.

In contemporary times, promise rings have been spotted on famed Hollywood celebrities, and this has increased their popularity. More people have begun to acknowledge the significance of these rings, and their meaning has expanded to include various forms of love.

Are Promise Rings a symbol of marriage?

Promise rings are gifted or exchanged before a relationship is formally established. Couples who are not ready to officiate their relationship, or are obliged to be apart from each other, use the promise ring as a temporary marker of their relationship.

Although these rings represent serious commitment, they only signal the initial stages of a relationship. A couple have to go through several other processes, before they enter marital life.

Can Promise Rings be worn by men and women?

Until the 20th century, promise rings were predominantly worn by women, as a symbol of dedication and loyalty. But this trend has changed, and nowadays, promise rings for couples have become popular.  In contemporary times, it is common to see both the partners wearing promise rings.

But the difference between the two lies in the fact that men’s rings are simpler, plainer, and embedded with fewer gems. There are exceptions to this, as some couples opt to wear rings made of the same material.  Promise rings that have the same design, setting and embellishments are known as promise ring pairs or couple rings.

Which finger should a Promise Ring be worn on?

There are no rules that state which finger a promise ring must be worn on, but most people prefer to avoid the ring finger, as it can be confused for a wedding or engagement ring.  

Yet there are some couples who like to wear the promise ring on their ring finger, to emphasize the seriousness of their relationship. This gesture can hint at an impending engagement or marriage.  

What are some popular designs for a men’s Promise Ring?

Despite the fact that men’s promise rings are usually simpler, there are still several designs to choose from. Some of the popular styles will be listed below.

  • Flat Band: A promise ring with a flat band, like this stylish copper ring, is the best choice for a man who desires a simple yet durable ring. The uniform edge of this ring provides it with greater strength and girth. The flat band is ideal for men who want to wear their promise ring on a regular basis.
  • Classic Low Dome Band: The classical low dome band, like this ring, is a light-weight ring that looks subtle and elegant. Some men customize it by adding their partner’s name or initial.
  • Concave Band: Concave wedding bands, like this one offers a unique look, opposite to what men’s wedding bands commonly look like. Choose from a range of finishes, like satin, hammered or polished for added texture.  
  • Diamond Studded Band: A diamond studded band, like this ring, is an excellent choice for men who want a slightly more expensive and fancier ring. This ring is a good choice for couples who want a pair of diamond studded promise rings.  

What are some popular designs for a woman’s Promise Ring?

Promise rings for women are versatile and come in a range of styles. Let’s look at some of the most fashionable designs for women.

  • Classical Bands: If you want to keep things simple, consider a comfort fit band like this. It’s the perfect promise ring for women who want a simple and sophisticated design. The plain band can be engraved with names, initials, or special words and works with both casual and formal outfits.
  • Diamond Rings: While diamonds are most popular with engagement ring designs, a subtle design works beautifully as a promise ring. Consider a solitaire diamond of about .50 carats or less. Some beautiful designs include side stone rings, like this one, halo and bezel set diamonds.
  • Rings with Knots: Knots signify commitment, pledges, and relationships. This is why promise rings featuring knots hold deep symbolism. Consider a simple lover’s knot ring, like this one, or something more elaborate like this stunning vintage ring featuring a complex design.

What are some popular gemstones for Promise Rings?

Much like engagement or wedding rings, people desire their promise rings to be embedded with diamonds. But compared with other rings, promise rings are set with smaller clusters of stones, and are considerably less expensive.

This is because promise rings are considered to be a temporary marker by some and will be either be customized or replaced during an engagement. In recent times, however, semi-precious gemstones have become a popular alternative to expensive diamond rings.

When choosing a gemstone, you could opt for birthstones to add more meaning to the ring, like this gorgeous dual gemstone promise ring.

What is the difference between a Promise Ring and an Engagement Ring?

Promise Rings signify a strong emotional bond that has not yet been ordained by a formal institution. Engagement rings on the other hand, reflect the acceptance of the relationship by law or religion. While both are symbols of love and affection, the former is highly personal, without the involvement of family, society or institutions.

In terms of appearance, engagement rings are often flashy, with a large solitaire diamond. Promise rings are made with simple bands of silver or gold, smaller diamonds, or other gemstones. In terms of style, promise rings are similar to wedding bands that feature smaller stones, set within the groove of the band.

Engagement rings are worn on the ring finger, but a promise ring can be worn on any finger, depending on the couple’s taste and preference.

What is the difference between a Promise and a Purity ring?

Promise and purity rings are often used interchangeably, but there are certain differences between the two. 

Purity rings are a symbol of virginity, chastity and sexual abstinence and are a type of promise rings. However, the meaning of a promise ring depends on what the couple decides it should mean.

Purity rings are mostly designed with plain, precious metal bands, and are usually engraved with a word or message. Promise rings on the other hand, typically feature diamonds or other valuable gemstones embedded into the band of the ring.

What are the symbolic meanings of Promise Rings?

Promise rings are worn for their symbolic meaning and significance. Let’s take a brief look at some of the things that promise rings represent.

  • Love:  A promise ring is given, received, and worn out of love. Couples who wear the ring, hope that their love and affection will last until the very end.
  • Commitment: A promise ring reminds the wearer that he/she is in a serious and committed relationship. It also reflects the prioritization of the partner by their significant other.
  • Friendship: Promise rings are gifted as a symbol of friendship, empathy and trust. All strong and sincere relationships are built on the basis of friendship, and this is what makes a relationship endure.  
  • Fidelity: The main idea behind the promise ring is that two people remain loyal to each other. This is especially true in monogamous relationships that are based on mutual trust and honestly.  

Wrapping Up

Hopefully, the above 10 FAQs about promise rings have answered all your questions. If you still have unanswered questions about promise rings, write in and let us know. We’ll do our best to answer them. You can also check out our in-depth guide to promise rings in this detailed article.