The Ultimate Guide to Promise Rings

Stack of diamond and gold bands, including promise rings. 

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Love is unique, and relationships can look entirely different from one couple to the next. While engagement rings are a popular choice for many couples, other couples may not want to pursue marriage, or they may simply not be at that stage yet. This is where promise rings come in. 

Promise rings are a classic jewelry choice for signifying your commitment to your partner without starting the wedding planning process. They showcase love and fidelity between partners, often marking the point in a relationship where two people are committed to each other but not looking to get married in the immediate future. They can serve as a precursor to an engagement ring or as a standalone promise

Though not as common as engagement rings, promise rings can be a fitting and symbolic jewelry style for couples of all ages. 

If you are considering a promise ring for your special someone, there are buying tips and symbolic elements of these rings to keep in mind. Our experts are available to help you navigate our selection of promise rings to find the right fit for your partner. 

A Quick History of Promise Rings

Promise rings date back to many types of antique and vintage jewelry, with notable connection to posey rings from the 14th century. These rings were inscribed with special messages on the inside band. Historic posey rings were often exchanged between friends and most commonly romantic partners to symbolize love. This grew into the acrostic rings worn by many people during Victorian times. These rings featured special messages signaled with gemstones to subtly spell romantic words. 

Over the decades, Victorian jewelry showcasing love shifted to what we now call promise rings. While these modern promise rings are often associated with younger couples, the symbolic jewelry can be fitting for couples of all ages and life stages.  Renewed interest in this jewelry has been fueled by celebrities wearing symbolic promise rings. Today’s promise rings can vary widely in style, with plain metal, gemstone and even rings with diamonds serving as meaningful promise rings. 

When to Give a Promise Ring

Symbolizing a new level of commitment in a relationship, these rings are mainly exchanged between dating partners. Promise rings are often given as a prelude to an engagement, but they can also be given without marriage in mind. 

Promise rings are given in many different dating situations. For example, a couple that met in grad school may want to have a large wedding. They may not have graduated yet, and thus they don’t have the finances for the kind of wedding they want, and they don’t want a long engagement. In this situation, a promise ring may be the perfect fit for showing commitment without engagement just yet. 

For another couple that has met further in life, they may not want to get married at this stage. But, they are committed to each other. In this situation, a promise ring showcases their love without the need for wedding planning. 

Whether your relationship’s horizon has a traditional wedding, a commitment ceremony or a continuation of your current relationship status, a promise ring can help illustrate your continued dedication to your partner. 

Types of Promise Rings

Modern promise rings can take many different shapes and styles. These rings can be a simple band, a diamond ring or even a colorful gemstone ring. The promise you’re making to your partner is a personal one, so the exact ring you choose should be a personal choice as well. Keep your partner’s style in mind when choosing their promise ring. 

Looking for a little help choosing the right ring for your special someone? Explore some of our favorite promise rings to find your inspiration

Diamond Baguette And Dot Ring In 14k White Gold

White gold ring with diamonds

Many promise rings echo engagement rings in different styles. This baguette and accent diamond ring makes the perfect promise ring with durable 14k yellow gold. It can be worn on its own or paired with a larger engagement ring down the road. 

Heart Shaped Garnet And Diamond Halo Ring In 14k Yellow Gold

Heart-shaped garnet ring with halo diamonds in yellow gold

Nothing says “I love you” like a romantic heart-shaped garnet and diamond halo ring. With brilliant diamonds set in 14k yellow gold, this ring makes a lasting promise of love. 

Petite Sapphire Stacking Diamond Ring In 14k White Gold

Sapphire ring with small diamonds along the band in white gold

This petite sapphire and diamond ring is an excellent way to showcase your commitment to your partner. As the September birthstone, sapphire can bring added symbolism to this jewelry. In addition to representing a continuing promise to your special someone, this sapphire ring can also represent a September birthday or anniversary. 

Diamond Open Knot Ring In 14k Yellow Gold

Diamond Open Knot Ring In 14k Yellow Gold

This diamond open knot ring symbolizes an unbreakable bond, making it an excellent promise ring style.

Lab Grown Diamond Low Dome Seven Stone Ring In 14k White Gold

Lab Grown Diamond Low Dome Seven Stone Ring In 14k White Gold

For impactful sparkle with budget in mind, consider a seven stone diamond ring featuring lab made diamonds. These gems are brilliant and affordable, making this seven stone style an impressive promise ring

Morganite And Diamond Infinity Twist Ring In 14k Rose Gold

Morganite And Diamond Infinity Twist Ring In 14k Rose Gold

This romantic morganite and diamond infinity ring combines symbolic styles with enchanting gemstones. Set in 14k rose gold, it’s a promise ring that can be worn day after day. 

Openwork Alternating Infinity Twist Eternity Ring In 14k White Gold

Openwork Alternating Infinity Twist Eternity Ring In 14k White Gold

Band-only designs are also popular when it comes to promise rings. This infinity twist eternity ring shows how meaningful this style can be, with repeating twists of diamonds and gold, all symbolizing a commitment that lasts forever. 

Single Black Diamond Ring In Black Tungsten Carbide

Single Black Diamond Ring In Black Tungsten Carbide

Everyone deserves the chance to make a promise to their partner with a symbolic ring. This single black diamond tungsten band makes the perfect men’s promise ring, showcasing a dramatic focal diamond. 

Bezel-Set Pear-Shaped Emerald And Diamond Ring In 14k Yellow Gold

Bezel-Set Pear-Shaped Emerald And Diamond Ring In 14k Yellow Gold

Echo the look of a two-stone engagement ring with this emerald and diamond ring in yellow gold. The different gem shapes and colors create a unique design, representing two people joining together. 

Aquamarine And Diamond Milgrain Halo Ring In 14k White Gold

Aquamarine And Diamond Milgrain Halo Ring In 14k White Gold

Choose this aquamarine and diamond ring for a promise ring that has major presence. The ring brings romantic charm, with a delicate milgrain and diamond halo. 

Romantic Vintage Lace Diamond Ring In 14k Yellow Gold

Romantic Vintage Lace Diamond Ring In 14k Yellow Gold

This elegant vintage-inspired diamond lace ring is a standout style sure to be loved by anyone with a penchant for unique jewelry designs. With milgrain details and alternating diamond shapes, this promise ring is a stylish choice. 

Promise Ring Buying Tips

When buying a promise ring, keep these tips in mind: 

  1. Figure out your partner’s ring size, our free ring sizer can help 
  2. Look at your partner’s existing jewelry to get an idea of their style 
  3. If you are buying a diamond promise ring, learn about the 4Cs of diamonds  
  4. Set a budget that works for you 
  5. Choose a ring in durable materials like real gold or silver  
  6. When in doubt, ask a jeweler you can trust for help choosing a ring 

We make it easy to buy a promise ring without worry. We offer fast free shipping and easy returns, making it easy to choose the perfect ring for your loved one.  

Promise Rings vs Engagement Rings

In general, a promise ring represents something different than an engagement ring. A promise ring represents your commitment to your partner but not necessarily your desire to get married, especially at the present time. An engagement ring represents an intention to get married, typically in the near future. Both engagement and promise rings represent a new level of commitment between a couple, but the promise ring does not carry the symbolism of marriage on the close horizon. 

Typically, the diamonds and gemstones in promise rings will be smaller than those in an engagement ring, especially if the promise ring you’re giving is a prelude to a formal engagement. But as with all jewelry, it is up to the couple to determine which kind of promise ring is the best choice. 

Questions About Promise Rings

A promise ring symbolizes the strengthening relationship and commitment of two partners to one another. For some people, the promise ring is also a pre-engagement ring that’s exchanged some time before getting engaged. 

No, it is not traditional to kneel when giving a promise ring. Instead, many people choose to present their promise ring with a heartfelt letter, flowers or in a ring box

The promise ring is often worn on the ring finger of the right or left hand. 

There is no requirement to give your partner a promise ring. As with proposals and weddings, it’s a choice between you and your partner. Some couples prefer promise rings on their own, while others opt to exchange promise rings before getting engaged in the future. For other couples, promise rings are never exchanged. It is all about what feels best for your relationship. 

As with engagement rings, the exact promise ring budget will differ from one person to the next. Promise rings can cost anywhere from $200 and up. 

There is no exact amount of time to date before giving your partner a promise ring. These rings are typically given after couples have been dating for some time. 

There are no exact rules when it comes to promise rings. Choose the timing, ring style, budget and ring presentation method that works best for you, your partner and your relationship. 

Finding the Perfect Promise Ring

Our experts are available to help you choose the perfect promise ring. Visit our local jewelry stores or consult with a jeweler via our virtual appointments to get started. 

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