Promise Rings – A Look To The Future

There seems to be a lot of confusion about promise rings. A promise ring can be many things to different people – a commitment ring, a pre-engagement ring - even a purity ring! This article will help clear up any misconceptions and answer your questions about promise rings, including: What does a promise ring mean? What finger you wear a promise ring on? How much should you spend a promise ring? How do you present or give a promise ring? Read on for our take on everything promise rings!

What Is A Promise Ring?

There are significant differences between an engagement ring and a promise ring. Most often this is the size of the diamond or gemstone and the expense. The reason for giving a promise ring can vary and sometimes only the wearer and giver of the promise ring will actually know the meaning.

What a promise ring means can be different for different people. For many, the promise ring is a symbol of commitment without marriage. For others, it’s a pre-engagement ring. And finally, for some, it’s an outward sign of a promise made to oneself – like a purity ring or a pledge ring.

Commitment Symbol: Many couples today have no intention of getting married, but they still want their partner to know they are loved. They may use a promise ring to express their devotion and commitment to each other.

Pre-Engagement: Some couples know they will get married, but it’s not going to happen right now. A promise ring is an engaged-to-be-engaged ring for these couples. It’s a promise that an engagement is coming sometime in the future.

Friend-to-Friend: Promise rings can be exchanged by friends pledging to be “best friends” forever. A promise ring can be given to a child from a parent as a way of saying “I’ll love you forever.”

Personal Pledge: Some individuals wear a promise ring as an outward symbol of an inward pledge. For instance, a promise ring may be a symbol of a pledge of purity until marriage. For others, a promise ring may be a sign that they have overcome a problem or addiction, and it’s a symbol that they will never return to the issue they had before.

The History Of The Promise Ring

Giving a ring as a promise of love or potential marriage dates back hundreds of years.

In 16th-century England, suitors would give the ones they loved “posy” rings, which were rings engraved with romantic poems, as a token of their affection. During the Georgian era and carrying on well into the Victorian era, Acrostic rings were all the rage. These rings featured gemstones that spelled out a secret message. For instance, a ruby, emerald, garnet, amethyst, ruby and diamond arranged in that order would spell “regard.” Your grandmother or great grandmother may have one of these rings in her jewellery box, as they were usually passed down generationally.

Promise rings are back in fashion again and are being used in both traditional and non-traditional ways. You may have seen certain celebrities wear a promise ring as a pledge to remain pure until marriage. Many churches or organizations hold purity balls, where fathers present promise rings to their daughters with the same message. When a ring is worn or given in this way, it is called a purity ring.

However, when the ring is given from one person to another with the express intent of conveying love, then the ring is considered a promise ring. It signifies a commitment within the confines of a romantic relationship, potentially leading to marriage.

Types And Styles Of Promise Rings

When it comes to styles and types of promise rings, there are no hard and fast rules. A promise ring can be any type or style as long as it has meaning to the both of you. However, to help you plan and decide on a promise ring, here are a few more common choices:

Claddagh Promise Rings: A gift from the Irish, the Claddagh ring holds a threefold promise. This unique design features two hands representing friendship, a heart symbolizing love, and a crown that represents loyalty. Oftentimes Claddagh rings are adorned with diamonds or gemstones, making them even more special. You can find a good selection of Claddagh rings, at Peoples Jewellers, with styles starting at under $130.

Couple's Promise Rings: A couple’s ring is designed to be all about the two of you. Typically, these styles feature an intertwining or side-by-side design, representing your love, and are set with diamonds or you and your partner’s birthstones. They may also be engraved with your names, a significant date or a message of love. You can find a stunning array of customizable Couple’s Rings online at or you can order one at your local Peoples Jewellers retail store. Our collection of couple’s rings start at under $150, so these designs are a great way to get a lot of style for your money

Gemstone Promise Rings: Giving a gemstone promise ring dates back many years – see History above. Often, a gemstone promise ring includes the receiver’s birthstone or favorite gemstone. Modern gemstones, like morganite and tanzanite, are growing in popularity. Gemstone promise rings may be accented with diamonds or white sapphires. A gemstone promise ring may also be less expensive than a diamond promise ring. Also, after engagement, she may be able to wear the promise ring as a fashion ring as she sees fit.

Diamond Promise Rings: Giving a diamond promise ring is a significant step. A diamond is a symbol of lasting, enduring love – probably because it’s the hardest gemstone on earth. In a promise ring, the diamonds are smaller, grouped in clusters or composites or set alongside colourful gemstones. You can even find diamond promise rings that are finished with a tiny gemstone hidden inside the ring’s shank, like the styles in our exclusive Cherished Promise Collection. Generally, the total carat weight of all diamonds in a promise ring is under a quarter (0.25) carat, but like engagement rings, this is all up to the giver.

How Much Should I Spend On A Promise Ring?

When it comes to purchasing a promise ring, what you budget to spend will probably depend on the nature of your relationship and how you see it developing in the future.

Promise rings vary greatly in price, due to materials, types of stones used and the intricacy of the design. You can find lovely promise rings under $100 that perfectly convey your feelings. These styles may be created in sterling silver, and finished with diamond accents or small gemstones.

You can also find a fabulous selection of promise rings that are well over $500 – and some people spend upwards of $1000! That’s almost as much as a small engagement ring, and many couples have found that a promise ring works perfectly fine as their engagement ring.

However, research has shown that promise rings in the $150 - $499 range are the true sweet spot. More styles are purchased in this price range than any other – which is why there is a greater selection of these styles in stores and online. At this price range, you can find exceptional promise ring styles set with diamonds or gemstones, and they are typically designed in white, rose or yellow gold.

Giving The Promise Ring

Giving a promise ring should not be taken lightly. A promise ring is a gift that is given usually after a couple has been dating a while – maybe a year or more – to show how serious the relationship is getting.

While there’s no right or wrong way to give a promise ring, you will still want to make it special. A big spectacle isn’t necessary – just think of the places and things the one you love enjoys doing. Perhaps you present the promise ring during a hike in the woods or a walk on the beach. You might offer the ring after a nice home-cooked meal or a special evening out. You may even want to give the promise ring around the holidays, with the help and blessing of her family.

How you give the promise ring is up to you; just remember that a promise ring is not an engagement ring and doesn’t require a big gesture (unless you want it too!). The promise ring is more about the promise than the spectacle. The spectacle can come later.

How To Wear Your Promise Ring

If the promise ring is given or worn as a purity ring, it can be worn on either hand. The promise ring can also be worn on a chain around the neck if preferred. This doesn’t necessarily mean the promise ring isn’t appreciated; the receiver may not be ready for a commitment or the ring may simply be too big or too small.

From The Promise To The Vow

Whatever the reason you give a promise ring, it’s a beautiful and tangible symbol of your love and commitment. For many couples, a promise ring will lead to an engagement.

And when you are ready to move forward with your relationship, Peoples Jewellers will help you transition into an engagement ring. You can find a great selection of swoon-worthy diamond and gemstone engagement rings at Peoples Jewellers online and in stores.

From the first blush of brand new love, to your engagement and wedding jewellery needs and beyond, you can count on Peoples Jewellers to be with you every step of the way.