EEP editors sometimes link to products to make your planning process fast and easy. We may earn a small commission if you make a purchase from a link.

What Is A Promise Ring? 20 Useful Tips on Why to Get One

What Is A Promise Ring?

Updated on: Feb 23, 2024

What is a promise ring? Well, a promise ring can be given for many reasons and not all of them are romantic. The answer really depends on you! Whether you want to show commitment to a friend, a lover, a family member, or even to yourself, promise rings are perfectly versatile and meaningful gifts that can be given in a number of ways. Who doesn’t appreciate a ring? Promise rings can also vary in style and shape depending on the reason and recipient. We have a great guide to answer your questions about what a promise ring is and how to give the perfect one.

What Is A Promise Ring

Promise rings have a rich history of being for lovers with the concept dating all the way back to Roman times. They were also prevalent in 14th century England and also called posy rings. These rings typically had an engraved love poem. The acrostic ring also appeared in the 19th century and had gems and stones that would spell words out.

As promise rings are so versatile, a lot of people may think they are one thing while they can be many. For example, a promise ring is not necessarily the same as a purity ring. Or, people may believe that promise rings symbolize an engagement in the future. These are all possible reasons for a promise ring but there are many more and many aren’t even romantic at all!

Romantic Reasons To Give A Promise Ring

1. Pre-Engagement

A very common reason to give promise rings in a romantic relationship is when you’re in a relationship where you are ready emotionally for an engagement but not ready financially. This way, a promise ring still represents a strong commitment to one another and gives you time to think of proposal ideas! You can still keep your promise ring after you get engaged or married. Many people continue to wear it or convert it to something like a necklace.

engagement sign


2. Non-Marriage Commitment

If you don’t believe in marriage, exchanging promise rings is a sentimental and meaningful way to show your commitment to a long-lasting relationship. Just because you’re not getting married, doesn’t mean you can’t put a ring on each other!

3. Renewing a Love

A promise ring could symbolize the act of renewing your love for one another, just as married couples sometimes renew their wedding vows. By giving promise rings to renew your love or bond, you’ll be able to celebrate your lasting love for each other while reaffirming all the promises you made to each other.

4. Special Promises

A promise ring could also symbolize any special promises between you and your special someone. Your ring could be a daily reminder of that special promise.

5. Long-Distance Relationships

Whether work, school, or any other reasons split you and your loved one apart for a period of time, a promise ring is sure to keep you in their heart and they in yours.

Other Reasons To Give A Promise Ring

6. Parent and Child Bond

Many parents choose to give their child promise rings as a symbol of their love for and bond with them. Your promise ring to your children could take a variety of forms and styles and is a meaningful treasure that is sure to be held close to their heart through the years.

7. Friendship

Promise rings don’t have to just be for romantic relationships. Giving a promise ring to a close friend can show them that you cherish and celebrate your friendship with them. Matching rings is another way to show your promise of friendship to your closest friends.

promise rings


8. Personal Values

Getting yourself a ring to show your promise to your own personal values is another reason to invest in a promise ring. This could symbolize a religious commitment, or any other important value that you want to show your commitment to.

9.Giving Up A Bad Habit

Another reason to get yourself or perhaps someone close to you a promise ring is to give up any bad habits like smoking. The promise ring could serve as a constant reminder of your promise to yourself.

10. Abstinence

While some may think of promise rings as purity rings, they don’t necessarily have to be. However, promise rings could serve as purity rings in symbolizing a promise of abstinence if you choose.

Types of Promise Rings

11. Smaller Diamonds Rings

Diamonds that are 0.25ct or below are a special way to give someone a promise ring. Larger diamonds are typically associated with official wedding engagements but a smaller stone would perfectly communicate a future wedding engagement. Or, give a smaller diamond ring simply to represent any commitment. Diamond rings are a classic choice and are sure to please whoever you gift one to.

12. Claddagh Rings

Claddagh rings are a traditionally Irish design. Claddagh rings feature a heart, representing loyalty, held by a crown and two hands. The crown represents loyalty, while the two hands represent friendship. This makes it a versatile choice of a promise ring! You could give it to a friend, a lover, or any other loved ones.

13. Infinity Symbol Ring

Rings with infinity symbols are popular choices for promise rings. The motif of the infinity symbol universally conveys a lifelong promise to anyone who catches a glance at your ring!

14. Birthstone Rings

Giving your promise ring recipient a birthstone ring is a personal and meaningful option. The idea of a birthstone is more long-lasting and can be worn no matter what compared to the other promise rings that will most likely be taken off if an engagement happens. Any gemstone would be a beautiful choice too. Birthstone and gemstone rings are a suitable option for platonic relationships as well, especially friendships.

15. Simple Band Rings

A more simple or subtle ring such as a band ring could be the perfect choice for your promise ring. Something less subtle could lessen the chance that your promise ring is mistaken for an engagement ring if that is of concern to you. Simple doesn’t have to mean boring however, and you could engrave writing into the ring to make it that much more special.

simple rings


16. 10K Gold or Sterling Silver

10K sterling silver and gold promise rings are an affordable yet still stylish choice! While 14K or 18K platinum and gold rings are common for promise rings. You could also choose a simple silver or gold band.

How Should I Give A Promise Ring?

17. Talk About It

If you decide to give or exchange promise rings, it could be a good idea to bring it up in a conversation and explain your reasoning behind it. This is relevant especially for a romantic relationship as you want to be clear that you're not proposing yet.

18. Be Creative

Since giving a promise ring is different from an engagement ring and therefore doesn’t have any rules like a proposal does, get creative! Write a speech, sing a song, wrap up the jewelry box or just bring it up casually and exchange rings simultaneously. The options are endless!

19. Surprise Them

Even if you decided to discuss the promise ring in advance, you can still make the act of giving or exchanging rings a memorable and magical moment. You could go out to a special dinner, enjoy a lovely picnic, or do any other fun activities that the two of you enjoy.

20. One or Two?

You can either get two promise rings, one for each of you (they could be matching or not) or one. Getting two promise rings could call for a prior discussion about mutual commitment, while gifting one promise ring to your significant other or person of choice could be more a surprise or gift. Promise rings are also not gender-exclusive and can be worn and given to anyone.


So, what is a promise ring? Hopefully we answered that question well enough! Now that you know how easy and adaptable to your needs that the process of giving promise rings is, you’ll be able to give a sentimental gift to those most important to you. Whether you’re giving a diamond ring to a romantic partner or a birthstone ring to a friend, they’re sure to love it and flaunt it knowing the effort and thought put into it!

Written by Camryn Yuen; Contributor: Lauren Bolt