Jewelry is a highly sentimental purchase and one which is often cherished for a lifetime before being handed down to loved ones. Whether it’s a particularly unique design, an engraved and personal message, or simply the memories attached to the jewelry itself, these extra-special accessories become a part of your story and are the perfect reminder of pivotal moments in your life.
A promise ring is a great example of how a piece of jewelry can mark a significant moment. There are no ‘rules’ when it comes to promise rings (or any other jewelry for that matter); instead, this guide will explain the given sentiments of promise rings and inspire your search for a ring that’s right for your relationship.
A promise ring is given to symbolism a commitment between two people. Unlike an engagement ring which is the commitment to marriage (a legally binding commitment), a promise ring simply represents a love between two people and a pledge to their future together.
Tradition sees an engagement ring given by a man to a woman to ask for her hand in marriage. While this tradition has faded over the years, the beautiful benefit of a promise ring is that there are no typical conventions for the giving or receiving of one. Sometimes it may be given to one person as a gift, other times a couple may choose rings for one another or for themselves…it is whatever is going to be most meaningful to your relationship.
This ring is generally defined by a devotion to one another that breaks away from the classic conventions of marriage and engagement. Although for many a promise ring is a pre-cursor to an engagement ring, it doesn’t have to be.
A promise ring can be worn by either one or both people in the relationship and can be worn on any hand and any finger. A lot of people wear it on their ring finger on their right hand to differentiate it from an engagement ring, but just as many people choose to wear it on their left in place of (or in anticipation of) an engagement ring. How you choose to wear your ring will be based on style and personal sentiment.
There are a few different reasons why a couple may opt for promise rings:
If they are choosing to forgo a traditional marriage. Some people may choose an alternative form of ceremony to mark their commitment to each other. Civil partnerships, spiritual ceremonies, handfasting ceremonies…there are lots of alternatives to a traditional marriage. As promise rings do not carry the same conventions, they are an excellent choice for those who are doing things differently.
If they aren’t ready. Sometimes you meet someone and you just know. However, if it is the early days of the relationship (or the couple themselves are young), a promise ring is the perfect way to bridge the gap between the honeymoon period and a proposal.
Financial reasons. We will look closer at the style of promise rings a little later, but they tend to be less expensive than a traditional engagement ring. If a couple aren’t ready for the costs of engagement rings, wedding bands and, of course, the wedding day, a promise ring is might literally be the promise of a wedding one day but without the pressure of setting a date.
The arrival of a child. The traditional wedding stack is; engagement ring, wedding band and then an eternity band upon the birth of a first child. However, if the couple are skipping the wedding part altogether, a promise ring may be given to mark the arrival of their first child together.
More jewelry. A promise ring is a jewelry lovers dream, allowing them an extra ring while they wait for the engagement ring!
These are just a few of the more common reasons why you may choose a promise ring; in truth, the reasons are usually personal and completely unique to the couple and that is what makes them so special. They can be given at any point during a relationship and at any occasion.
By now you’ve probably guessed that the sentiments and options surrounding a promise ring are very flexible. Generally speaking, they are made from a precious metal and may contain diamonds or other precious and semi-precious gemstones.
A simple, gold band like this European comfort fit ring by Benchmark is listed as a wedding ring but would also make a great promise ring. It is a classic and timeless style that suits a man or a woman and is available in a variety of precious metals.
Morganite is a pretty, blush colored gemstone which looks beautiful set in rose gold. This golden blossoms ring by James Allen is distinct, romantic and would make a great promise ring.
While we are on the subject of gemstones, choosing the right one is all part of expressing the personality of the wearer. Whether you go for a birthstone, a favourite color or a re-imagining of a family heirloom, colored gemstones are full of life and individuality. This stunning, vivid green emerald ring by Leibish is striking and unusual but full of the class and sophistication of a diamond ring.
Symbols are also a popular choice in promise rings. This rose gold pave love heart ring by James Allen is a bursting with meaning, while this Coeur de Clara Ashley ring by Whiteflash incorporates the heart symbolism in the subtle details. Similarly, this diamond twist ring by Blue Nile incorporates the infinity symbol- a powerful message to the one you love.
You can choose matching rings, rings that compliment one another…or two rings that are entirely different. Find something that is significant and meaningful to yourself and your partner.
No. A purity ring is worn to show a promise of abstinence before marriage (usually for religious reasons). They tend to be made of sterling silver. A promise ring is not related to abstinence or any religious beliefs.
So, I said there are no rules when it comes to promise rings, although my advice would be this; a promise ring doesn’t have to be a big, expensive gesture, however if you want it to be worn every day and to stand the test of time, you must buy from a reputable jeweler and opt for precious metals.
I recommend Whiteflash for their diverse portfolio of designers, plus their in-house A CUT ABOVE® diamonds. Along with this, their bands are expertly made from the best metals and their detailing is precise and well executed.
If you are looking for a stunning colored gemstone, Leibish are the leaders in gemstone jewelry. They have a beautiful collection of unique colors and cuts, set in striking settings.
For those working to a modest budget, try Blue Nile. They have a huge catalog of beautifully made rings at various price points