You found someone truly special and want to give them a symbol of your commitment. Congrats! Love like yours should be celebrated — and there are many ways to declare your devotion, whether or not you’re ready to pop the question.  

While promise rings and engagement rings have many differences, they both symbolize love and commitment. It’s important to understand the purpose of each before taking the next step in your relationship, so you can decide which is right for you. From how promise rings are worn to what they symbolize, we break it all down. Spoiler alert: the number one rule of promise rings is there are no rules! 

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Photo Credit: @starmomentphotos

Where They Originated 

Promise rings originated thousands of years ago. Some believe the tradition began in biblical days, when couples were betrothed instead of engaged. When a couple became betrothed, there was often a legally binding ceremony. Couples promised to stay together and eventually get married, though it may not be for years to come. As part of the ceremony, rings were exchanged as a symbol of commitment.  

What They Symbolize 

While engagement rings represent a promise to move forward into marriage, promise rings can symbolize almost anything. What each ring signifies is unique to the person wearing it. Most often, they’re given to show love and devotion. Many couples opt to exchange promise rings as a way to express their commitment. In many cases, an engagement is on the radar but there are no immediate plans to take that big step. You can gift a ring to your partner or choose complementary rings that you both wear.  

Though promise rings are typically exchanged between couples, it’s not uncommon for them to symbolize other commitments. Parents may give their child a promise ring as a testament to their bond. Close friends may share them as a way to celebrate their friendship. Some wear promise rings as a reminder of their faith or a promise to themselves.  

How They’re Worn 

Traditionally, promise rings exchanged between couples are worn on the ring finger of the left hand. Many move it to the right hand once they’re married. Like the meaning behind your ring, how you wear it is a personal choice. You can wear it on your ring finger in place of a wedding band or around your neck on a chain. Unlike engagement rings, which usually feature at least one center stone, promise rings don’t reflect a specific design. Whether you opt for a simple gold ring or something resembling a diamond wedding band, consider personalizing it with an engraving or colorful gemstones that hold meaning to you both.   

Which Ring is Right for You? 

Every relationship is different. Some couples take the fast track to engagement. Others prefer a slower pace, opting to express their commitment with a promise ring and seal it with an engagement down the road. Whatever your speed, we have engagement rings and promise rings in styles as unique as your love. Find the right ring for you and come back to show it off in The Union!