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Promise Rings: An Expression of Commitment

by Haley Anhut
Last updated on November 17, 2021

With This Ring, I Promise Myself to You

While you may not be ready to buy that diamond ring, there are other ways to show the person you love your dedication and love to them. Call them what you want — promise rings, commitment rings, pre-engagement rings — they all represent the love and commitment you have for each other while you are dating. 

Do We Need a Promise Ring?

A promise ring is a tough purchase for some though, not because they are not ready to make the commitment, but because they don’t know where to start! Many worry that they will spend too much, buy the wrong ring, or even give it over too early. It is common to worry about your promise ring purchase, the same way people worry about diamond engagement rings before they start researching, so we thought we would make it easier by compiling some useful information for you. Don’t worry, we at Clean Origin have your back on this one.

So, how important are promise rings, really?

Do you need to buy one? When do you give one? What finger do you wear a promise ring on? Are they expensive? You’ve got questions, and we’ve got the answers.

What Is A Promise Ring?

As the name suggests, a promise ring is exactly that: a ring that may be exchanged when two people promise themselves to each other. While an engagement ring indicates that the ring-wearer is to be married (and given to the person you plan on marrying) and is often set with a diamond, promise rings are different.

Both engagement rings and promise rings represent love, but promise ring significance symbolizes that while not legally married, you are dedicated to each other, and want to outwardly show that you are committed to the relationship.

Promise Rings as an Expression of Commitment

Additionally, some couples who choose not to marry may still wear promise rings to symbolize that their promise extends beyond simply dating or living together. Former Bachelor and Bachelorette stars Dean Unglert and Caelynn Miller-Keyes recently revealed that they wear commitment rings, to show that they are in a committed domestic partnership, and as a symbol to each other.

Other celebrities have worn promise rings in the past, such as Selena Gomez and Miley Cyrus. Whether it’s to signify a future engagement or given as a symbol of devotion to one another, this ring represents love.

When to Give a Promise Ring

A promise ring is not necessarily a diamond engagement ring or a wedding ring, but this ring still holds a lot of meaning that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Most couples consider gifting promise rings only once they are seriously dating.

Whether that’s a year, 3 years, or even longer, that time frame will look different for each couple. Similarly to wondering how long you should wait before proposing to your partner, promise rings are to be given when you are ready to show your partner that you are committed to them and ready to start a life together.

How Do I Know I’m Ready to Give A Promise Ring?

Rather than base the choice of when to gift a promise ring on timing, try to ask yourself some questions about your relationship to gauge whether you’re ready to take that step.

Here are some questions to get you started:

Has your partner supported you through something before? Examples being: finding a new job, being tight on cash, loss of a loved one, etc.

Do you feel you know your partner really well?

What exactly is the promise you are making with this ring?

Has your partner discussed jewelry styles and diamonds with you, perhaps even sent you a link to jewelry with a picture?

Do you know what metals your partner likes? Examples being: gold, sterling silver, rose gold, and platinum.

Who Wears a Promise Ring?

An engagement ring is typically given to one person in the relationship, however, if both people in the relationship want to wear promise rings, there’s nothing wrong with that! Male promise rings are actually common, and there’s no reason why a man shouldn’t be able to wear one.

The purpose of a promise ring is to symbolize the mutual trust you and your partner have in your future, so whether only one partner has a promise ring or you both do does not particularly matter. Since giving a promise ring is a newer tradition, it can be personalized to your special relationship!

Which Finger Does a Promise Ring Go On?

In many Western countries, the engagement ring is to be worn on the fourth finger on the left hand. The wedding band will also sit on this finger, often next to the engagement ring if you choose to wear it daily. A promise ring, however, can be worn on any finger you’d like!

However, it is recommended that you avoid the finger you’d traditionally wear an engagement ring on, as it may cause confusion regarding your marital status. For added significance, couples wear their promise rings on the same finger, but that is up to the couple!

Cultural Expressions of Commitment

There are examples of older cultural traditions that reference a similar as promise rings, such as a Claddagh. These rings are an Irish tradition to represent love, loyalty, and friendship. The way the design faces, as well as the finger choice, denotes marital status, dating status, as well as whether you are of courting age. To mimic the Claddagh’s traditional placement to denote one is of courting age and in a committed relationship, wear your ring with the design facing towards you on your right ring finger.

How Much Should I Spend?

Engagement rings are typically a bigger financial purchase, due to the fact that it has a larger center diamond and more details. There are no rules or guidelines when it comes to how much you should spend on a promise ring. Those on a budget may opt for a simple, promise ring, while others might go with something with a little more sparkle, like a small carat diamond piece. 

But even if traditional promise rings are generally simpler and less expensive than engagement rings, you should spend as much as you’re comfortable with. The stone doesn’t have to be anything specific, but it can be a diamond if you like!

Clean Origin has a great selection for every price range, whether you want to keep it simple or wear more bling. And, if you choose to pick a promise ring with lab-grown diamonds, you’ll be saving even more; man-made stones are up to 40% less expensive than mined diamonds of comparable size and quality.

What Do Promise Rings Look Like?

Promise rings can vary greatly depending on what style or gemstone you choose to buy. Most promise rings will not feature one main center stone, as this could look more like an engagement ring. But, diamonds are still a popular choice for promise rings. Either in a smaller cluster formation or set in a band, promise rings tend to look less extravagant than engagement rings.

You can also choose to not have any diamonds on your promise ring, or feature non-diamond stones. This would include stones like emeralds, rubies, or sapphire gemstones. 

Choose a Diamond Alternative

Other popular diamond alternatives that are out there are moissanite and cubic zirconia. Choosing moissanite or cubic zirconia will be much less expensive than choosing a mined diamond, but they are also less brilliant and much less durable. If you’re looking for a diamond that has all the same qualities as a mined diamond, at a less expensive price, a lab-grown diamond is the way to go.

What Type of Setting Do Promise Rings Have?

Keep in mind as well that on top of choosing the ring’s stone, you will need to consider the style of the setting and the type of metal it is made out of. These are personal preference-driven, so try to match your partner’s preferences. Look at the jewelry they wear and match the metal, such as gifting them rose gold, gold, or sterling silver if they wear a lot of fo jewelry in those colors already.

Our Promise Ring Picks: 

Perfect Fit Solitaire Band

If you are looking for a simple metal band with no diamonds or gemstones, our Perfect Fit Solitaire Band, which is one of our most comfortable band styles, is a perfect choice. The Perfect Fit band ensures that the ring will not turn while on your finger and the sculpted sides provide a comfortable fit, while still looking timeless.

Vintage Solitaire Band

Another great option without a diamond or gemstone is our Vintage Solitaire Band, which looks amazing in yellow gold. Perfect for the romantic at heart with beautiful filigree details — we love this ring even more in Rose Gold!

Oasis Diamond Ring

If you’re looking for a promise ring with a little more sparkle, we, of course, have some fantastic options as well. Our Oasis Diamond Ring features 7 delicately placed lab-created diamonds that sit between intricately detailed metalwork in the precious metal of your choosing, so it will match your partner’s existing rose gold, gold, sterling silver, etc. jewelry.

Evermore Diamond Ring

Another favorite ring is our Evermore Diamond Ring with two infinity twists studded with over forty lab-created diamonds. Fashionable in any of our metal choices, this is one promise ring that’s sure to turn some heads.

We Can Help

A promise ring is a fantastic way to display your relationship status, and if you are looking for an engagement ring to seal the deal down the line, Clean Origin is always here to help!

Next Steps…

Plus, if you do eventually end up marrying your partner, you can easily stack your promise ring with your engagement and wedding rings to show these three stages of commitment in your relationship!