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Promise Rings - What Are They & What Is Their History?

Promise Rings - What Are They & What Is Their History?

Irina Collier Irina Collier
6 minute read

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Audio is generated by DropInBlog's AI and may have slight pronunciation nuances. Learn more

What Is A Promise Ring?

This is a simple question with several answers. Some people think that a promise ring is a kind of pre-engagement ring, others hold that a promise ring is a signal that a person is in a committed relationship with no further intent than that. Other people say that a promise ring can be a sign of a commitment between two friends – a promise that they will always be ready to help and support the other person. In all these cases these rings represent some sort of commitment between two people.

A Brief History Of Promise Rings

The idea of giving a ring to demonstrate a commitment between a man and a woman goes back into history. In the second century, the Romans had a custom of men giving a ring as a promise of marriage. Under Roman law, couples could not marry immediately after they announced their intention to do so. The husband to be would often give the woman a ring as a promise of marriage until the wedding ceremony took place.

From the 15th to 17th century, in England, posy rings were given as a symbol of devotion and romantic attachment. Later, in Victorian times, rings carrying a romantic word, spelt out in gems, were given as a romantic symbol. These rings were called acrostic rings due to the acrostic word puzzles. For example, a ring might have a series of stones such as diamond, emerald, amethyst, ruby, spelling out 'DEAR'.

More recently, the ring giving tradition moved to the United States with high schoolers giving their girlfriends their pin or class ring to show that they were 'going steady’. More recently, promise rings have been worn by some men and women as a symbol of a commitment to chastity.

What Does A Modern Promise Ring Look Like?

Of course, any ring can be a promise ring, but there are some general trends in modern promise rings. A promise ring is generally less showy than an engagement ring and made with smaller, less costly stones.

Promise Rings What Are They What Is Their History

Some people choose a straightforward design with no gems, a ring that can look very much like a conventional wedding ring. Remember, a promise ring is all about your style, or when buying such a ring as a gift for someone else, his, or her, style. One sweet thought: consider engraving a personal message on the inner surface, a reminder of the promise that you both share.

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Traditionally, promise rings were worn by women as a sign that they were committed in a relationship with a man, but nowadays, more men are wearing them. Not many men will wear a ring set with gemstones, but more simple bands are something that many will happily wear as a sign of their removal from the dating pool. Consider a dark metal ring such as tungsten with a rose gold edge, such a style can look very elegant while retaining a masculine feel to it.

How Should You Wear A Promise Ring?

There are three standard options for wearing a promise ring:

  •       On the left ring finger, the same as an engagement ring.
  •          On the right ring finger; this has the benefit of not leading to confusion with an engagement ring.
  •         On any finger on any hand. Wearing your promise ring in this way makes the piece more of an everyday item of jewellery. You will know why you are wearing it and its personal meaning to you, but others will not.

The choice of which finger carries your promise ring is a personal choice but, as you can imagine, your choice can send out signals to those who notice how you are wearing it.

When you are given an engagement ring, you will probably choose to replace the promise ring with the engagement ring. If you like wearing the promise ring, then just move it to another finger, or even wear it as a necklace.

How Much Should A Promise Ring Cost?

This is a common question, guys who buy a promise ring do not want to be thought of as being too cheap. At the same time, spending too much might have an impact on the money available to buy a lovely diamond engagement ring in the near future. As a rule of thumb, don’t spend more than you can comfortably afford. The receiver of the gift will surely be happy with the gesture and meaning of the ring more than the amount that it cost to buy.

Promise Rings What Are They & What Is Their History

It is possible to buy a beautiful promise ring for as little as £100, and while the sky is the limit, depending upon how wealthy you are, there's probably no reason for most men to pay more than £2,500 for a lovely smaller diamond ring. A practical guideline that many jewellers will suggest is to pay up to about 25% of the planned cost of the engagement ring. This guideline will enable you to buy a ring that will not look out of place next to the engagement ring, but that can set it off and enhance its appearance.

Does A Promise Ring Matter These Days?

In discussing what a promise ring is, we should remember why a promise ring matters. The importance of a promise ring is inherent in what a promise ring actually is. Some people will say that a promise ring is not relevant these days, that’s fine – for them. But a promise ring is, for some people, a 'lite' engagement ring, a promise but with less of a commitment. For many couples giving a promise ring is a stage in the relationship. It signals when given to a woman, that the man thinks she is 'the one'. This signal gives many women the confidence to become more deeply committed to her man and starts a new phase in the bonding of the couple.

The chances are, that if you have read this far, whether man or woman, that you think that a promise ring is an integral part of a growing and deepening relationship. In this case, the promise ring is significant to the couple.

How To Choose Your Perfect Promise Ring?

Because the options available to you when choosing a promise ring are so huge, it can seem like an impossible task to narrow down all the options to the final, best, choice. All Diamond carries a vast range of high-quality rings that make perfect promise rings. Rather than spending hours walking around high street jewellers take a relaxed look at the All Diamond range of promise rings in their online store. You will be able to find exactly what you need and at just the right budget. You can even use the All Diamond online ring designer to create a one of a kind ring for your darling that reflects precisely what she means to you, and your life together.

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