While promise rings are often associated with puppy love and are considered “pre-engagement” rings, there is actually a much deeper meaning behind this age-old concept and it is an appropriate offering at any stage of a couples relationship. If you have the wherewithal, giving your loved one a promise ring (aka commitment ring) is one of the most wonderful gestures you can do and it will create a memory that lasts a lifetime.
We promise, she will absolute love it!
The History of Promise Rings
The concept of the promise ring goes as far back as the Roman era. Romans had to wait a certain amount of time before they were able to get married, and so, they would give a ring as a gesture of commitment.
In the 14th century, promise rings were an expression of romance and affection between serious lovers. They would feature bands with engravings of poetic phrases.
Wealthy people of the 19th century were also known for giving promise rings to their loved ones. These rings were often colorful acrostics, using gemstones to spell out words like “dearest” or “regard”(i.e. ruby, emerald, garnet, amethyst, ruby, and diamond).
What all of these eras had in common was men would showcase their affection for a woman in the form of ring. It did not necessarily mean they were to be married. A man could give a similar ring to his mistress.
It wasn’t until the 20th century, when engagement rings become ubiquitous, that the promise ring official became a “pre-engagement” ring. It essentially became a statement of “we will get married someday, but we are not quite ready yet”.
In recent years, the idea of a “promise” ring has regained some of its original meaning from all those centuries ago. It is not a promise of a marriage in all cases now, it can simply represent commitment in all of its essence. Not just a commitment that the man will ask the woman to marry her someday.
What is the meaning of promise ring?
In the simplest sense, a promise ring represents a pledge of love and commitment. It is a promise to stay devoted, faithful, and exclusive. Moreover, it is a beautiful gift of jewelry that any woman would love. If you spend money on jewelry like a diamond ring, it is the ultimate material expression that you want to be in a serious relationship with that person. With that, by giving a diamond ring to your loved one, you don’t necessarily have to say anything about promising to marry them.
Old 20th century traditions suggest that a promise “pre-engagement” ring is given by a man to his girlfriend when he wants to signify that he will eventually ask him to marry her. However, with the resurgence in popularity of promise rings over the last few years, we see couples using it as a slightly different gesture. It has become more of a symbol of unification, and not necessarily a marker of pre-engagement status. Modern thinking is, it is a gift to let your significant other know they are exactly that, significant.
Furthermore, the type of rings given as promise rings are changing and becoming more diverse…
What kind of rings are promise rings?
Past generations of Americans saw the promise ring strictly as a pre-engagement ring, and thus, the style of the ring given was very similar. Albeit, often less impressive. Think of simple, delicate bands with very small diamonds.
While this kind of ring can still be given as a promise ring, new generations are expanding the scope of what a promise ring can be.
Giving a promise ring is a very personal experience, and as such, it should be unique to the person. With this contemporary mindset, we are seeing couples give all different kinds of diamonds and gemstone rings as promise rings.
- Eternity rings
- Half eternity rings
- Engagement-style Rings
- Diamond rings with unique motifs
- Bypass diamond rings
- Rings with a precious gemstone like sapphire, emerald or ruby at the center
It really just comes down to what the couple can afford and the style of the woman who will be wearing the promise ring. There are no rules for what a promise ring can be, but we do recommend you get a ring that doesn’t break your bank and that can be worn every day.
Promise or not, a diamond ring is one of the most wonderful gifts you can give a woman. Every woman is different, and so every commitment ring can be too.
When to buy a diamond promise ring?
Although traditions suggest a promise ring can be given after 6 months of being in a relationship, there really are no rules. Moreover, even married couples can give promise rings.
Some of the times when it makes sense to get a promise ring are as follows:
- Your relationship is developing and you want to express how important you are to each other.
- You’re separated by distance yet you want to show you will remain fully exclusive and committed to each other.
- You have reached a significant milestone in your relationship, such as one year together, and you want to express your love.
- You have been going through some hard times in your marriage or your relationship but you want to let your loved one know that you are still committed, in love, and you want to work on things.
- You’re in love but you feel it is too early or you are too young to formally become engaged (the most traditional concept of a promise ring, aka a pre-engagement ring).
As you can see, there are many reasons to give your loved one a “promise” ring. You don’t even have to be promising them anything at all to give a lovely gift of jewelry. Each relationship is different. It may or may not be necessary, they may or may not love it. Use your judgement and consider your budget when deciding whether you should give your loved one a diamond promise ring.
When not give your significant other a diamond commitment ring?
The only exception we can think of to our “every woman would love it” is if you have been in a relationship with the woman for many years and she always talks about marriage but you are not ready yet. Giving her a pre-engagement diamond “commitment” ring that is not an engagement ring at that point may actually disappoint her. That said, you know your girlfriend better than we do, so you make your choice.
How much should you spend on a promise ring?
There are no guidelines on how much you should spend on a promise ring. It really depends on what you can afford. That said, you can expect to pay a minimum of a few hundred dollars for a simple promise ring with a semi-precious gemstone to a couple thousand dollars for a diamond promise ring. From there, there really are no limits. After all, the larger and more high quality the gemstones, the more the price will increase. For big name brands or promise rings with large diamonds and/or gemstones of the highest grade, price tags can get pretty heavy.
Used Diamond Promise Rings
If you want to get the best bang for your buck, consider buying a second hand diamond promise ring. You can get a stunning promise ring with diamonds of a respectable size for significantly less this way. The rings will look brand new as jewelers know how to clean and polish them to perfection. Moreover, you won’t have a large depreciation in value like you do when buying new, as new rings lose considerable value as soon as you leave the jewelry store. This is not the case with pre-owned diamond rings.
And remember, any diamond ring can be a promise ring, so it’s not like the diamond ring you will use as a promise was a promise to another person. Someone likely sold it because of financial reasons. Furthermore, even new diamond rings are made with recycled diamonds and precious metals. Much of the jewelry industry is!
Do you kneel for a promise ring?
It is not recommend that you kneel for a promise ring, simply because it can be confused as a marriage proposal. Imagine kneeling down, and in her mind, she’s thinking ‘he’s about to ask me to marry him’, and then…you don’t.
It’s best that you give it to her as you would any other piece of jewelry.
What do you say when giving a promise ring?
Ideally, you want to speak from the heart. So, don’t just go copying what we are about to write. Consider the ideas and put them in your own words. Add some flavor to it. Add something personal that relates to your relationship.
Note: Consider the reason for giving her the promise ring as well. What you are going to say if it is a “placeholder” for an engagement ring will be much different than a boyfriend who just wants to show he loves his girlfriend without any expectations for marriage.
Starting with “I promise…”
- “I promise to never stop loving you.”
- “I promise to be your biggest supporter and to always be faithful to you.”
If the promise is a pre-engagement ring and to be used in its traditional sense…
- “This ring symbolizes my commitment to our relationship and love and I promise to one day put an engagement ring on this finger.”
- “Let this ring be a reminder that someday we will get married.”
- “Wear this ring and never forget that I will always be by your side.”
- “Wear this ring to celebrate our love.”
- “This diamond ring is as bright as our future together.”
- “This eternity ring represents my never ending love for you”
Which finger do you wear a promise ring?
Traditionally speaking, a promise ring goes on the ring finger of the left hand, just like an engagement ring would. Then, when you give her the engagement ring in the future, she could take off, move the ring to another finger, or stack it with the engagement ring (women love stacking rings).
However, a promise ring can be worn on any finger really. It depends on what she prefers and what kind of ring you get her. For example, an eternity ring will look great on the ring finger, middle finger and even the index finger.
Should I give a promise “pre-engagement” ring?
If you love your girlfriend or wife and you have the wherewithal to get her a diamond promise ring that she will cherish, then the answer is a resounding yes. It makes for one of the most wonderful presents you can give a woman, no matter her age. Diamond rings make for a very special gift as they are breathtaking and unlike some other jewelry, the wearer can actually see a ring when wearing it. With necklaces and earrings, the wearer will only see their piece in the mirror. Diamond rings can be appreciated by her and all those in her presence, each and every day.
How do I get my girlfriend’s ring size?
This is probably the most tricky question if you want to keep the gift a surprise, which you likely do. Luckily, there are ways. Men have been getting women engagement rings that fit without asking the women her ring finger size for many, many years. Let’s go over how they’ve achieve that.
- Take one of her rings and trace the inside of the ring on a pen and paper. A jeweler will be able to work with that. You could also just take her ring and bring it to the jeweler and then put it back without her knowing. In either case, just make sure it’s a ring that she actually wears so you know it fits her.
- Think in advance, and find out her ring size in a subtle way months before you decide to buy it for her. Just like knowing the size of her shoes or shirts, it’s good to know her ring size just in case you want to buy her something. To do this subtly, tell her that you are buying a ring for your mom and you want to know her ring size as her hands are similar size. You can make up any believable story to get her ring size.
- Ask her friends. They might know. If they don’t, they can take over point two above and ask in a nonchalant way then get back to you. Friends are always willing to help and keep the secret.
- Compare your hands and fingers with her. Make a joke about how her ring finger is as big as your pinky. You’d be surprised how accurate this is.
You can also just ask her!
The only other way is to simply ask her. Tell her you want to get her a ring and you need her size. She doesn’t have to know what the ring’s purpose is or even that it is going to be something as special as a diamond promise ring. Wait a couple weeks and there will still be an element of surprise when you give it to her.
If she doesn’t know her ring size, you can find a ring sizing guide online and print it out. This is perfectly accurate.
Another option is, you can also take her to the jeweler and pick something out together. Sometimes this is better than surprising a woman as you will be guaranteed to get her a ring she loves. It might not be as romantic in some people’s eyes, but the meaning behind the gesture will still be the same.
Resizing Promise Rings
Don’t worry if you get the wrong size. Most rings can be resized, as long as they have a little free space at the bottom of the ring, which most rings do. Only full eternity rings don’t. In any case, if you get it wrong and you can’t resize it as the diamonds are all the way around the ring, you can always take her to the jewelry store you bought it from and exchange it for another ring. At Diamond By Raymond Lee and Raymond Lee Jewelers in Boca Raton, you can do this without any questions asked.