What's A Promise Ring — And Should You Wear One?

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What's A Promise Ring — And Should You Wear One?
Love

What is a promise ring? A promise ring is a symbol of commitment to one another and your relationship.

Says Kathryn Money, vice president of strategy and merchandising at Brilliant Earth, “For some, this may symbolize a future engagement, while others wear the ring simply to signify devotion to each other.” In her role at Brilliant Earth, Money works very closely with designers and staff gemologists, and is very knowledgeable of the jewelry space. 

The idea of giving a ring as a promise of commitment, loyalty and love dates back several hundred years. According to Money, “Various forms of promise rings have been popular over the centuries, particularly in the Georgian and Victorian eras, but dating back as far as Roman times.”

However, there are few rules or traditions surrounding promise rings, and there is a lot of flexibility and variation in how couples approach ring style, how the ring is given, or how to wear the ring. 

There is no set style for a promise ring, although themes that speak to loyalty and love are popular. “These include intertwining vines, love knots, traditional Celtic Claddagh rings, or gemstones with special meaning to the individual or couple,” Money says.

RELATED: 50 Stunning Promise Ring Ideas For When You're Ready To Take The Next Step

But is a promise ring something everyone is considering? Not at all. In fact, there are many people who aren't quite fans of the whole concept. 

"I've never quite understood the point of the promise ring," says Danielle Rothweiler of Rothweiler Event Design. "While I understand the idea is a promise of a future engagement, I feel like it takes away from the actual engagement ring. Are you still going to wear your promise ring after you get engaged? Probably not.

To me, a promise ring always seemed like a gift that someone was pressured into giving their other half. The symbolism behind it is 'Yes, I am one day, eventually (even though it may not seem like it), going to propose to you.' A promise ring is a way for a woman to show everyone that her relationship really is that serious or will be... someday."

Promise rings are often worn on the ring finger of the left hand, where an engagement and wedding ring would traditionally be worn. But not always, because, according to Money, “Some people opt to wear the promise ring on the right hand to avoid any confusion with an engagement ring. However, they can be worn on any finger and even sometimes on a chain around one’s neck, which keeps the promise close to your heart.”

Looking for options for an promise ring with your partner? Here are a few choices to choose from.

1. Birthstone Love Knot Ring from Jewlr 

This ring is known as a "lovers knot" ring, and at the center of this beautiful infinity knot is a beautiful gemstone. This custom ring will be made to order with your message engraved. Select the gemstone of your choice to be set in the center and comes in silver or gold.

(Jewlr, $89)

2. 14K Gold Diamond Thin Promise Ring from Eve's Addiction

This solid 14K gold thin promise ring is made up of tiny stackable rings with round-shape diamond stones in a beautiful prong setting. These dainty bands can be worn alone or later paired with an engagement piece.

(Eve's Addiction, $280)

3. Brilliant Earth 14K Rose Gold Lucy Diamond Ring

Sparkling diamonds adorn this sleek chevron-shaped ring, which is perfectly styled to complement an engagement ring, stack with other rings, or wear by itself.

(Brilliant Earth, $750)

RELATED: 50 Romantic Love Quotes To Use In Your Proposal Speech & Wedding Vows

4. Pandora Luminous Ice Ring in Pandora Rose with Clear CZ

This classic ring in blush-pink is detailed with a baguette-cut center stone surrounded by a halo of smaller stones. It's an absolutely gorgeous way to prove your love and commitment.

(Pandora, $100)

5. Zales 1/5 CT. T.W. Diamond Cushion Frame Promise Ring in 10K Rose Gold

This shimmering diamond promise ring is crafted in 10K rose gold and features a 1/20 ct. diamond wrapped in a cushion-shaped frame of diamonds. Along the shank, diamonds are in graduated sizes, making a beautiful presentation.

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(Zales, $280)

6. Heart Promise Ring 1/6 CT. T.W. Diamonds 10K Yellow Gold

This romantic promise ring is made up of a trio of round diamonds inside a heart-shaped frame of round diamonds, creating layers of brilliant shine.

(Kay, $280)

7. Halo Vintage Style Promise Ring

This ring is modern yet romantic, a beautiful vintage inspired halo ring. Because love is timeless, just as this design is.

(Etsy, $76+)

8. Intertwined Hearts Diamond Promise Ring in Sterling Silver 

This promise ring is the perfect sign of commitment, as the two hearts intertwine around a single diamond. It's made in sterling silver and meant for everyday use with its understated design.

(Super Jeweler, $149.99)

RELATED: 10 Small (But Sweet) Ways To Show Love — Unconditionally!

Aly Walansky is a NY-based lifestyles writer who focuses on health, wellness, and relationships. Her work appears in dozens of digital and print publications regularly. Visit her on Twitter or email her at alywalansky@gmail.com.

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