A promise ring is often given as a first symbol of commitment between two people in a romantic relationship. When you give someone a promise ring, it means that you promise to love that person always. However, giving someone a promise ring does not signify a marriage proposal. In fact, a promise ring is usually given when, for whatever reason, it’s too soon for the couple to get married.
When to give a promise ring
These are the most common reasons why people give someone a promise ring:
1. The relationship is new, and you or your family may consider it too soon to get engaged, but you already know that you want to commit to your partner in a serious way.
2. Both of you are too young or not financially ready for a marriage, but you know that you’ll always want to be together.
4. You might have to spend time living apart in different cities or countries, for example because of work or studies. In this case, a promise ring symbolises the strength of your long-distance commitment.
3. You cannot afford an expensive engagement ring right now, but someday you will. A promise ring is a way to express serious commitment in the meantime.
Promise ring etiquette
There are a few important rules you should follow when giving a promise ring:
1. Be sure that you’re serious about your promise of lifelong commitment. A promise ring should not be given lightly.
2. Before you present the ring, explain clearly that it is a promise ring and not an engagement ring. Otherwise your partner is likely to think you’re proposing marriage.
3. For the same reason as explained in point 2 above, don’t get down on one knee when you present the ring. Instead, simply present the ring box to them, and let them open it.
Should a promise ring be worn all the time?
Most people like to wear a promise ring all the time and not take it off. Some people prefer to wear it occasionally. As a couple, you can decide that together.
What finger should a promise ring be worn on?
A promise ring can be worn on any finger. However, it’s usually not worn on the traditional ring finger, so that it’s not confused for an engagement ring.
However, if you have bought the promise ring for a proposal, in lieu of a proper engagement ring (and you’re planning to upgrade to a more expensive ring in the future) then wearing the promise ring on your ring finger makes perfect sense.
Some people may also choose to wear their promise ring on a chain around their neck.
Can a man wear a promise ring?
Yes, both men and women can wear promise rings.
How much should a promise ring cost?
A promise ring can be cheaper than an engagement ring, but as your partner will probably wear it all the time, it should be good enough quality to withstand daily use. The thicker the precious metal band, and the harder the gemstone, the better. As with any important gift, do buy the best quality that you can afford. (Read more about precious metal and gem quality below.)
What styles do promise rings come in?
A promise ring should have a touch of personal style, yet not be so ornate or fashionable that your partner will get tired of wearing it, or they cannot combine it with outfits.
Here are some styles that are well suited to promise rings:
A single diamond ring, called a solitaire ring, is the most popular style for engagement rings and is also often seen as the best design for promise rings.
If a solitaire diamond is too much for your budget, consider a diamond cluster ring made of smaller stones. Several small diamonds set together are more affordable than a solitaire.
Gemstones make beautiful alternatives to diamonds and can be more affordable. However, be wary of ‘soft’ gemstones, such as opal, which are easily scratched or broken, or gems that are easily damaged by water, such as pearls – they are not suitable for constant daily use. Instead choose a hardy gem ring, such as a blue sapphire rings, pink sapphire rings, ruby, amethyst or blue topaz. Emerald, aquamarine and quartz rings feature gems with medium-hard toughness. They’re still very durable but require slightly more careful wear.
Three-stone rings, called trilogy rings, symbolise the past, the present and the future of a couple’s relationship. The concept is based on the traditional Irish trinity knot ring. This romantic significance makes 3-stone rings ideal as promise rings.
Choosing the precious metal
Depending on how often your significant other will wear their promise ring, choose the precious metal carefully. For daily wear, jewellers recommend platinum as it’s the toughest and the best – but it’s also the most expensive.
Gold is a great option because it’s beautiful and lasting and comes in 9K or 18K choices, as well as in white gold, yellow gold and rose gold colours. 9K gold is more affordable than 18K gold.
Silver if the most affordable, but also the softest of all precious metals. It’s a great option, however, if you’re on a very tight budget and your sweetheart will not wear the ring daily.*
*For daily wear, rings made of silver, or very thin gold ring bands, are not ideal. They are usually meant for occasional use and not crafted to withstand constant wear and tear.
Measuring ring size
Measuring ring size is easy if you order a free ring size tool or visit a jewellers. But if you want to surprise your loved one, then finding out the ring size can be a little trickier.
The easiest way to find out a promise ring size in secret is with a ring sizer app for your iPhone or Android smartphone. Simply find an existing ring that your partner already owns, download the app, then place the ring on your phone screen to find out the size.
Ring size is very important. If the ring doesn’t fit, your gift recipient will be very disappointed as they won’t be able to wear the ring straightaway, and it can really spoil the moment.
Giving someone a promise ring is a big deal and it should not done lightly. Though not a proposal of marriage, it’s a heartfelt and serious symbol of lasting love and deep commitment. Therefore, choosing a promise ring should be done with lots of love and care, to ensure your loved one can wear and cherish it for a long time.
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