Promise Ring Vs Engagement Ring – Check The Differences Before Buying

Promise rings originated back in the 16th and 17th centuries in England and have been evolving from time to time. Promise ring, also called the “posy rings,” was popular in England.

It was engraved in religious words or poems that were romantic. They are made in different styles, and there is no specification on which gemstone is used during the creation of these rings.

On the other hand, the engagement rings originated in Rome and did not initially contain diamonds. It symbolized a forthcoming partnership between couples. In ancient Egypt, engagement rings were made from twisted twigs and leaves.

However, engagement rings are used as a surprise during a marriage proposal after a long-term relationship in the modern world. It does not matter if the couples are of the same sex or different sex.

Promise rings vary from engagement rings in many ways; promise rings are generally not flashy but are more frequent. They are less complicated, while engagement rings possess that appealing glances that are eye-catching. They usually possess diamonds, thus their sparkle.

Despite the differences, the two rings share a common purpose; they are used as symbols of agreement and commitment between partners. A promise ring commitment may vary from one person to another, depending on the type of union.

What is a promise ring?

promise ring

It is a kind of ring commonly used as a pre-engagement ring between couples; this operates as a pledge that, in the future, partners will be betrothed. Apart from the romantic uses, the ring is also used as a mark of bottomless entrenched familiarity intended to go for a long time.

The rings are prevalent and popular nowadays with a wide variety of designs and colors. They are not as brilliant and dazzling as those of engagement rings as they are made from low-quality gems and materials.

As the name suggests, promise rings are given from one person to another for assurance or confirmation of bond, trust, or even faith. It also symbolizes a promise of celibacy until the time of marriage.

Promise rings have no apparent connection with religion; thus, anyone can have them despite their religion. You can also customize your promise ring by engraving it with a message to commemorate the commitment you have as a couple.

When opting for a promise ring, ensure your partner has a clear view of the promise ring to avoid confusion, which may cause unnecessary misunderstanding. It is also essential to avoid kneeling on one knee because it is associated with the engagement ring.

Meanings associated with promise rings

Promise to yourself.

You can buy promise rings for yourself to always remind you to stay focused and committed to a particular objective. The ring is a frequent reminder to the person wearing it that they should keep away from any opposing force and always stay positive towards achieving their cause.


True friends are rare to get in modern society; people who got lucky to have mutual associates tend to bring out their everlasting bond with each other.

The rings will unify them no matter the distance they are from each other as it pledges an everlasting friendship. It is also a commitment that symbolizes that they will continuously be there for each other.

Personal values

Promise rings are commonly associated with romance or friendship, but this is not all because they are also symbols of love and care from a parent to the child to profess an array of affirmations.

The child will possess the ring, and it will always be a reminder of parental love. A promise ring can also be used to celebrate a milestone attained between couples.


Monogamy is the primary reason why people wear promise rings. It symbolizes that there is a romantic engagement between two people. You can use promise rings to show that you are in a committed relationship, even if you do not believe in marriages.

You can also use them for pre-engagement purposes as they fit easily as a substitute for engagement rings. You also get to choose where to wear your ring, whether on the right or left hand, as it pleases you.

When do you give a promise ring?

When the relationship has just begun

Suppose your relationship has just begun, and you and your partner feel like you are ready for a serious relationship. In that case, you can give your partner a ring to demonstrate your commitment to that relationship.

When both of you are young

When the couples are too young but feel like they can stay together, they use a promise ring as a symbol of abstinence and commit to one another until their age is fit for marriage.

When in a long-distance relationship

When couples are far apart, they commit to specific activities or even further education because of work-related stuff. You can use a promise ring to symbolize the commitment between you as partners as they act as a personal reminder that you are together, no matter the distance.

They also act as a stage of progress towards any likelihood of a more significant commitment. It promises togetherness towards taking the next step, both emotionally and financially.

Can men wear promise rings?

There is no limitation as to which gender can wear promise rings. Regardless of the relationship between the couples, whether they are involved in a bisexual or heterosexual relationship, they can still wear a promise ring.

The rings are mostly identical, and they indicate and showcase that you are committed to the relationship you are having and how important it is to you.

Engagement rings

engagement ring

Promise rings hold a combination of possessions and meanings, but it is different when it comes to the engagement ring. An engagement ring serves just one purpose, which is an obligation to marital commitment.

Engagement rings symbolize the beginning of a lifetime journey that two couples commence after deciding to live and spend the rest of their lives together.

Engagement rings are usually circular. The circular nature symbolizes that the two couples’ love has no beginning or end. It depicts an unbounded love that exists between the two couples and love that rises above this lifetime.

Traditionally engagement rings were given to women to ask for their hand in marriage. This, however, has changed over time, with men now wearing the rings with their partners.

The transition in trends and styles has ushered in different roles of gender in relation to engagement rings.

Engagement rings are worn on the left hand. This belief originated in ancient Rome. The belief suggested that the left finger is interconnected with the heart and, therefore, called the vein of love “vena amoris.”

The tradition of engagement rings did not start in the current century. It started way back in ancient Egypt. Giving out a ring in those days symbolized everlasting love between couples. Usually, the ring was circular in shape, and this had a hidden meaning, which was everlasting love.

Types of engagement rings.

The three-stone engagement ring

The three stone engagement ring


This ring is eye-catching because of its style. It is considered a classic design with a lot of traditional features. It, however, has become more appreciated in the modern generation because of its traditional design.

With its stunning and charming appearance, the three-stone engagement has a very treasured meaning in the past, present, and future.

This ring reflects the love that the couple shared in the past, the love they will share now, and that they will share in the future. It also symbolizes the memories that the partners find very important to them.

Halo engagement ring.

Halo engagement ring


Pavements surround this ring at the center. The smaller diamonds encircle the ring, thus increasing its sparkle and brilliance. The halos around the ring make it appear larger.

Its brilliance and versatility are what grab the attention of many people. They are very fashionable and trendy, but they fluctuate in the market by coming in and out of fashion over time.

This ring’s advantage is that you can customize and personalize it by selecting your favorite diamond shape for the center stone.

Solitaire engagement ring.

Solitaire engagement ring


This ring is comprised of only a single diamond stone at the center. They are classic and timeless design rings and are also very simple.

The shape of these rings has significant effects on their appearance. New models like oval and marquise convert these rings into a bolder look from a direct or straightforward design.

Differences between promise rings and engagement rings.

How are they given?

Promise rings are given depending on the intention and the state of affairs. There are no customs involved with promise rings, which means it allows you to be imaginative while presenting the rings.

For instance, you can decide to package the rings in a case and give it to your partner as a gift. When it comes to promising rings, the choices are limitless.

Traditionally, the engagement ring is given to a woman when a man gets down on one knee and asks for their partner’s hand in marriage. However, in the recent past, the shift in gender roles has reduced gender-specific customs.

Women have decided on proposing to their men, and in relationships where the couples are bisexual, both partners may want to propose. You have the choice of choosing which method to propose, whether it’s modern or traditional.

When are they given?

There is no specific time on when you can give the promise ring. Couples can stay for more than a year before exchanging rings. It is a tradition that is mostly practiced by young couples since, at their age, they can easily commit to each other even though they are not eligible for marriage.

Engagement rings are usually given when proposing marriage, and the acceptance of it symbolizes the agreement of marriage among couples and that they both feel the same towards each other.

Design and look

Promise ring lucks any distinctive feature that defines them. They are usually smaller and less expensive than that engagement rings. The commonly featured stones are either gemstones or birthstones. They almost have that similar resemblance to a wedding band.

Engagement rings have a standard plan composition, they have distinctive features, and they have a minimum of one stone at the center. Some engagement rings have modern styles where ascents and metalwork have been added, giving them a new appearance.

What is their cost?

A promise ring is made of less expensive materials; they include woods, glasses, ceramic, silicone, and strings; this makes their durability not last long. Promise rings are readily accessible; therefore, there is no quality certification of good quality diamonds needed.

Promise rings come in a wide range of varieties with different designs and models. The materials used in making them are also cost-effective, which means the rings are affordable. They are readily customized into different shapes and sizes compared to engagement rings.

Engagement rings are made from costly and quality gemstones; they are made to last for a lifetime. The gems used in manufacturing these rings are also not readily found, contributing to their high prices.

It requires enhanced and skilled labor. Unlike promise rings, engagement rings cannot be bought anywhere. They entail decent diamonds that can only be found from superior retailers.

Where are they worn?

A promise ring has no specific place where it can be worn. You can wear them on either of the hands’ fingers. Some people still choose to wear the promise rings on their left hand. Wearing the ring on your left hand is a personal decision.

Nevertheless, many people wear promise rings on the right hand or on any finger they decide to avoid confusion. You can also decide to hang the promise ring around the necklace area.

Unlike the promise ring, an engagement ring is worn on the left hand on the ring finger. According to the ancient roman, there is a belief that the left hand is linked to the heart, and it is the sole reason why the rings are worn on the left hand.

Type of proposal

Traditionally the engagement ring is given to women by their men. Promise ring, on the other hand, has no traditions associated with it. Both partners can give out the rings to one another. The couples can also decide to buy identical rings and wear them together.

Application of the rings

Promise rings have a wide range of applications used for different purposes like pre-engagement, abstinence, and purity. On the other hand, engagement rings have one sole purpose: for commitment between two people, after which marriage comes next.

The choice is yours.

Both these rings have one similarity: they both symbolize the commitment the couples are about to undertake.

Both rings are significantly based on the personal interest and economic status of the concerned persons. The choice of a ring can also be influenced by how the individual value their partners. None of the rings is worth a negative response even if they say cheap is expensive.

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