What Is A Promise Ring?
The answer to what is a promise ring? depends on the wearer. However, at its core, it always symbolizes the giver's devotion to the relationship. Accepting the promise ring symbolizes that the recipient is also devoted to the relationship.
So, exactly what is a promise ring? To some, it is a sign of commitment and fidelity in a romantic relationship. For others, it precedes an engagement ring. One of the primary reasons that a promise ring is so popular is that it can mean any number of things. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and each romantic relationship is unique.
What Is A Promise Ring's Meaning?
For women and men alike, a promise ring is meant to show the outside world that you are promising yourself to your partner. That's right. From the Jonas brothers and Liam Hemsworth to the boy next door, guys wear promise rings. Remember when your boyfriend gave you his letterman, and you gave him your hair tie to wear around his wrist?
A promise ring is like a young adult version of this. You may not be financially stable enough to get married yet, but you have been together for over a year and are ready to let the world know that you are taken.
Isn't A Promise Ring A Purity Ring?
In 2008, Joe Jonas claimed that he and his brothers' rings symbolized a promise to God and themselves that they would remain pure until marriage. Since then, a promise ring has been synonymous with purity rings. However, purity rings are given to a child by a parent, or by oneself, as a symbol of the promise of abstinence. On the other hand, a promise ring is given from one romantic partner to the other.
Timing And Etiquette
Promise rings are most often given once a couple has been dating for a significant amount of time. Typically, this is at least a year. In recent years, promise rings have been between cohabiting couples to show the world that they are more than just casually dating and living together. There is no hard and fast rule saying that you must want to marry your partner one day.
As for questions regarding the etiquette of a promise ring, there is no etiquette. Traditionally, they are worn on the left ring finger if the recipient is not married, and on the right ring finger if the recipient is married. They are typically worn on the left ring finger because of the anatomically incorrect ancient superstition that the vein in that finger runs directly to the heart.
If a woman's promise ring does not symbolize the promise of a future engagement or marriage, she may choose to wear the ring on her right ring finger so nobody mistakes it for an engagement ring. Who wants to have the conversation that you are not engaged, rather, your father gave you a promise ring to symbolize the eternal bond between father and daughter?
What Should A Promise Ring Look Like?
There is no set rule dictating the style of a promise ring. Intertwined designs and hearts are very common styles and themes that represent a couple's union. They may look like eternity rings and Claddagh rings or bands with a composite or mosaic of stones. If there are diamonds incorporated into the promise ring, it is usually either a small diamond or cluster of small diamonds with gemstones incorporated. The focus is usually on the overall design of the ring rather than the diamond if there is one.
If you plan to get engaged one day, you should probably not pick a style that will compete visually with an engagement ring. For example, do not get a princess cut diamond promise ring. People won't be able to tell the difference between it and your engagement ring when you finally get engaged.
The setting of the promise ring is often different from the traditional setting that you would find with an engagement ring. For example, engagement rings and wedding bands are usually set in 14K or 18K gold or platinum; promise rings are most often set in sterling silver or 10K gold. These options are simpler and often much more affordable than their extravagant counterparts.
Non-Traditional Promise Ring Meanings
Promise rings are characteristic of a romantic bond. However, they can also be given to a child, by a parent, to symbolize the strength of their bond. Lifelong friends may give each other "promise rings" to celebrate their friendship. Similar to a purity ring, sometimes people buy themselves a promise ring to promise to remain faithful to God or promise to not relapse into addictive behaviors again. Perhaps the answer to what is a promise ring is "a ring symbolizing a promise."
How To Give A Promise Ring
We all know how an engagement ring is presented. The man gets down on his left knee and asks the significant other to marry him. This is usually an elaborate, well-planned affair with both sides of the family present. However, promise rings are most commonly given as a birthday gift, or holiday gift, such as Hanukkah, Christmas, or Valentine's Day. This may be in an intimate setting, such as a private, romantic dinner for two. While the focus of a proposal for engagement is all about the moment, the focus of a promise ring is about the conversation regarding what the promise ring means.
What Happens If You Break Up?
Remember, a promise ring is not a pre-engagement ring. Nor is it a wedding ring or the symbol of being with your partner for life. What happens to your promise ring or rings if you break up depends on the nature of your breakup. If you and your romantic partner decide to remain best friends for life, you may choose to keep the promise ring, maybe wearing it on a different finger with less historical significance.
If the breakup was particularly nasty, you may choose to give it back to your former partner, pawn it, or give it away. As with everything else related to a promise ring, this is up to you and what feels right in your heart.
Promise Rings: A History
Brooke Brinkman, VP of marketing and communications for Simon G. Jewelry, explains that humans have been giving rings as a promise of affection and love for centuries. In fact, there is evidence that this has been going on for several millennia - as far back as 2,200 years ago.
In Biblical times, couples were betrothed rather than engaged. This was a legally binding ceremony that indicated the couple promised to marry each other at some point, even if this would not happen for several years. Part of this ceremony involved the groom-to-be presenting his future bride with a ring to symbolize the promise of future marriage. This may be the oldest written record of promise rings.
In England, in the 16th century, posy rings were traditionally given to romantic partners. These were rings engraved with romantic poems. Popular in the Victorian and Georgian eras, Acrostic rings were rings which spelled out a word using gemstones. For example, the word "regard" would be spelled out with a ruby, emerald, garnet, amethyst, ruby, and diamond.
How Much Does A Promise Ring Cost?
A promise ring is often given as a pre-engagement ring when a couple is not financially stable enough for marriage. Besides this, the promise ring should not overshadow a future engagement ring. Thus, promise rings usually cost a lot less than an engagement ring. This is particularly true if you buy the promise ring for yourself as a symbol to not drink.
You can purchase a $28 promise ring from Walmart, or you can go to a local jeweler and pay closer to $2,500. If you really know your romantic partner's taste in jewelry, you can custom make your own promise ring for your partner. This may be the most emotionally significant gesture.
Simply put, the answer to what is a promise ring? is the physical representation of a promise. It is different than a purity ring in that a purity ring is a symbol of abstinence until marriage. Often there are religious connotations that go along with this. A great example is the Jonas Brothers, whose purity rings symbolized their commitment to God along with their commitment to abstinence before marriage.
Typically, a promise ring is given between couples who have been in a serious relationship for at least a year. It is not necessarily a promise to be engaged in the future. It is generally worn on the left ring finger if the recipient is not married and on the right ring finger if he or she is married. While there is no hard and fast rule as to what a promise ring should look like, it should not overshadow your engagement ring if you get engaged in the future. If you are buying a promise ring for someone else, do not feel pressured to spend a lot of money on it. It does not matter if the ring comes from Jared or a Ring Pop. What matters is whatever you are promising.