Ah, the promise ring. A truly romantic gesture that has been in practice for hundreds of years. If you’re newly in love, you may find yourself asking; well, what is a promise ring anyway? Here, you’ll find your answer.
With this as your guide, you’ll be ready to show your partner how much you love them without all the rules that go along with an engagement ring.
What Is a Promise Ring?
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When asked something like “What is a promise ring?” we think Beyonce best sums our answer up. And that answer is: “If you liked it then you should have put a ring on it.” But what if you want to “put a ring on it” without jumping to engagement? Think of a promise ring as a “middle ground.”
A promise ring is something to show that you and your partner are exclusively dating, and you’re committed to one another. Think of it as a token or symbol of love before marriage- or engagement. Thus, a promise ring is not something that should be given lightly.
Another way to describe a promise ring is to say that it is a pre-engagement ring. However, giving someone a promise ring doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to marry your partner. It is simply a sign of devotion.
These rings originated in England in around the 16th century. Back then, people called them “posy rings”, and engraved them with messages or poems. Later on down the line, designers incorporated gems to spell out messages, using the first letter of a gemstone’s name to spell a word out.
This may ring a bell
You may be thinking, what is a promise ring, just a fancy term for an engagement ring? And the answer is no.
An engagement ring is a promise of marriage, while a promise ring is simply showing your commitment. To avoid confusion when presenting this ring to your partner, don’t get down on one knee like you would when proposing marriage.
Instead, present the box to them, and allow them to open it, making it clear that you’re presenting a promise ring. This ring could mean that you’re willing the spend your life with your partner sans marriage — and that’s perfectly alright.
Another piece of jewelry that people mix promise rings up with is a purity ring. A purity ring has nothing to do with a romantic relationship at all — they’re a sign of chastity. These rings are a more recent movement, which sparked in the 1990s.
Fathers often give them to girls as young as 12. These rings symbolize a vow that the girl will remain a virgin until marriage. And despite that these raise some pretty high-flying red flags, it’s still practiced today.
Which finger should I wear it on?
Promise rings don’t exactly come with a set of complete rules. Therefore, you can wear your promise ring on any finger you like. Men and women alike even wear theirs on a chain around their necks.
The only exception to the “any finger” rule is the ring finger on your left hand. This is traditionally where you wear engagement rings, so it may cause some confusion.
When to Buy a Promise Ring
What is a promise ring without a reason behind giving one? It’s a bit of metal, that’s what. A promise ring can be gifted in a relationship when it’s too soon for an engagement or marriage, but you still want to show your commitment.
Maybe you’re going out with someone you have come to love, but the idea of engagement seems like too far a leap for you. A promise ring might be a nice middle ground to show that you and your partner are exclusively dating without feeling trapped.
You can also give your partner a promise ring if you’re either too young or not financially ready for marriage. It can also be a promise of engagement. These terms, and what the ring means, are up to you and your partner. Communication is key.
Promise ring styles
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You may find yourself wondering, what is a promise ring supposed to look like? Truth be told, each ring is unique to your love story. But there are a few more popular ring styles that may suit both of you.
Keep in mind that you don’t even have to choose a set style. A promise ring represents a special and unique bond between you and your partner.
However, what your ring looks like can be an important factor. Some other great ideas for your ring include getting it engraved, using both yours and your partner’s birthstone, or maybe designing it based off of something your partner holds dear.
The knot ring, possibly the most romantic thing you’ve ever witnessed, is a symbol of two lives becoming one. Or rather, has the intention of becoming one. The knot ring symbolizes a knot that isn’t quite tied yet but has every intention of being tied.
Knots, or more specifically the lover’s knot, have been used in many cultures for centuries. It was common in wedding ceremonies to tie the bride and groom’s hands together, signifying the union of two lives.
People were bound with numerous materials, like rope, dyed cloth, and even the bride and groom’s garments were tied together.
This is a good promise ring to give to your significant other if this is alluding to future engagement. It’s a way of saying that someday the two of you will “tie the knot”, And that you have an unbreakable bond.
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Gemstone rings are beautiful, and a cheaper alternative to diamonds. Keep in mind that your partner will most likely want to wear the ring you choose all the time, and that some gems are softer and are more prone to scratching, and even breaking.
Gems like opal and pearl are probably not the best choice for daily usage. Some more durable options include sapphires, rubies, amethysts, or quartz.
Different gemstones can have different meanings, too. Rose quartz is supposed to symbolize love, and the sweet pink is great for sweethearts. Sapphire is sometimes known as the gem of new love, and gifted as a sign of faithfulness. Another thoughtful idea is to take either yours or your partner’s birthstone and use that.
Simple band rings
A simple band ring may be a good option if you’re not looking for something too gaudy or over the top. A simple band can serve as a tiny reminder that your partner cares for you- without having to worry about breaking a gem or simply damaging it.
Some metals are better suited for daily use than others, as some can be weak. Silver is a good example of this, as it’s a softer metal and therefore more prone to scratching and damage.
Stronger metals include titanium, palladium, and tungsten carbide. Titanium rings have been gaining in popularity due to its durability, wide range of colors, and the fact that it’s hypo-allergenic.
Palladium, a member of the platinum family, is a durable, lightweight metal that makes a nice option when it comes to durability. However, it’s slightly more expensive.
And finally, tungsten carbide. This is another heavy, durable metal that can hold up against the daily wear and tear of life. However, you cannot cut and resolder it. This means you cannot have it re-sized.
These are the best rings for engravements, so every time your partner looks at their promise ring, they’ll see a special message from you.
Hook, Line, and Ring Her
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Well, ring-a-ding-ding, now you know what a promise ring is! Hopefully, with this knowledge, you and your partner can decide whether or not to wear them together.
You might wonder how to give your partner their promise ring, but don’t worry! Something simple will do, we’re sure. A picnic in the park, a boat ride, and maybe even stargazing are some great ideas to play around with.
Remember that no matter the ring you choose, if one at all, it is a symbol of love. There is no “wrong ring.” A promise ring could be fancy, plain, or even a little plastic ring you get out of those machines you find at the mall.
No matter what, we wish you the best of luck and many happy days with the love of your life.
Which promise ring style is your favorite? What is a promise ring to you? Tell us about it in the comments below!
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