Promise Rings: A Growing Pre-Matrimonial Trend

Sweet Promise Rings for Men and Women
Sweet Promise Rings for Men and Women.
Photo Courtesy of

Everyone knows that June is a popular month for weddings, but did you know that long before the big day, and before the engagement, many couples are exchanging promise rings to signify their commitment?

Sometimes called a pre-engagement ring or a commitment ring, the promise ring is fast becoming a popular pre-matrimonial trend.

According to wedding authority The Knot, the rise of the promise ring has paralleled the growing trend for couples to live together or marry later in life.

These decisions are personal, and unique to each couple. As such, the definition of a promise ring varies; it means different things to different people.

What is a Promise Ring?

Intertwined 14K White Gold and Diamond Promise Ring
Intertwined 14K White Gold and Diamond Promise Ring, $1,049 at

While the promise ring may defy a strict definition, it is widely believed to be a symbol of a romantic commitment. Most couples use the promise ring as a formal pre-engagement ring, while some simply let it signify their devotion to one another.

Many people confuse a promise ring with a purity ring, an altogether different concept. In 2008, widespread publicity ensued when the Jonas Brothers announced that their rings symbolized a promise that they would remain chaste until their weddings.

A ring given in a pledge of abstinence is called a purity ring. A promise ring is typically given to celebrate a relationship.

Engraved Poesy Ring in 18K Gold
Contemporary Poesy Ring in 18K Gold.
Price on Request at

An Age-Old Tradition

The Knot reports that the promise ring tradition dates back many centuries. Posy rings (also spelled posey, poesy and posie), engraved with romantic poetry, were widely exchanged in the Middle Ages. Acrostic rings, which feature words such as “Love” and “Regard” spelled in gemstones, were popular in the Georgian and Victorian eras.

Since the 1940s, school rings and class rings have been exchanged between some men and women to signify they are “going steady.” Typically, a young woman might wear her boyfriend’s class ring wrapped with tape to fit her smaller ring finger, or on a chain around her neck.

It is only in the last decade or so that promise rings have gone mainstream…especially among Millennials. For some couples the reasons may be a matter of economics. An engagement ring, a wedding, a honeymoon, and a mortgage all entail a big financial sacrifice, so many couples are postponing these events while they build their savings accounts or pay back student loans.

Modern love. Pink Gold & Diamond Ring and White Gold & Diamond “Amour” Ring from the Gold Pebble Collection by Umane Paris
Modern Love. Pink, Yellow, and White Gold and Diamond Rings from the Gold Pebble Collection by Umane Paris.
Available in the U.S. Exclusively at

Promise Ring Styles

Promise rings come in many shapes and styles; there are really no hard-and-fast rules to their design. Common themes for women and men include interwoven hearts and knots, Claddagh rings, and eternity bands.

1970s Vintage Tiffany and Co Promise Ring, 18K Yellow Gold, 0.05 ct Center Stone
1970s Vintage Tiffany & Co. Promise Ring, 18K Yellow Gold, 0.05-Carat Center Stone, at via Verma Estate Jewels.

So as not to compete or be confused with an engagement ring, a promise ring is likely to be more casual or feature a smaller stone. As for price, promise rings at fine jewelers and on e-commerce sites usually cost significantly less than engagement rings.

Do you or any of your friends wear a promise ring? Please tell OBJ in the Comments section below.

Source: The Knot


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Charleston’s Craig Conover presented a promise ring to girlfriend Naomie Olindo on an episode of the popular Bravo reality show “Southern Charm.”
Charleston’s Craig Conover presented a promise ring to girlfriend Naomie Olindo on an episode
of the popular Bravo reality show “Southern Charm.” Photo Courtesy of Instagram @naomie_olindo





  1. Renz Path

    It’s awesome that this article talked about promise rings that are becoming popular especially to those who want to be deeply engaged. As it is a symbol of romantic commitment, many men are thrilled and excited to give this kind of ring to their fiancee. As such, they get to take the time and the efforts to save for that. If in case my advice will be sought where this ring is usually found, I will definitely point them to those retailers I know can show them the ring that they can choose from.

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