If youíre in love, but not yet ready to put your relationship on a more permanent
footing, a promise ring is a modern alternative to an engagement ring.
Promise Ring Meaning
A promise ring is a sign of commitment between two people. Often, it is the first
token of a serious relationship that is just developing, but exchanging promise
rings can equally be a symbol of a joint commitment which is not related to love.
A promise ring can mean many things:
- I promise to always love you
- Iím serious about you
- I promise to marry you one day (but not just now)
- I promise to be faithful
- I promise to give up smoking
- I promise to be your friend always
The Difference between a Promise ring and an Engagement Ring
If a promise ring is given with the understanding that it will be replaced in the
future by an engagement ring, it is usually, although not always, somewhat more
modest in design and price. Often, couples who know they will eventually marry begin
by exchanging promise rings, move on to an engagement ring and finally purchase
the wedding bands.
The center stone in a promise ring will often be smaller than that of an engagement
ring, and many promise rings have no center stone at all, being designed with a
variety of stones stylishly designed.
Which Finger? The Meaning of the Promise Ring Position
Promise rings which are intended as pre-engagement rings are traditionally worn
on the third finger of the left hand - the time-honored location for the engagement
ring. The promise ring is simply replaced by the engagement ring and then the wedding
ring at the appropriate times.
If the promise ring is not linked to a promise of marriage, it is often worn on
a finger of the right hand to prevent any confusion about the meaning of the promise
ring. Some prefer to wear a pre-engagement promise ring on the right-hand ring finger
to ensure that no-one assumes that the couple is already engaged.
The History of the Promise Ring
It is thought that the idea of a promise ring originated thousands of years ago,
perhaps as far back as biblical times. In those days, couples were betrothed rather
than engaged, and a betrothal was a legally binding ceremony which meant that the
couple were promised to each other and would eventually marry, although perhaps
not for many years.
The groom-apparent would, as part of the ceremony, give his bride-to-be a ring to
show his commitment to her and this is believed to have been the first use of a
See our collection of promise rings