Admittedly, promise rings are a very confusing concept. What is the purpose of it? How do I know when to get one?

Believe it or not, promise rings are one of the most popular items purchased from jewelry stores. Even with all the unanswered questions, people still want them. We think it’s because of all the different reasons for getting one.

A promise can mean anything and that’s special. So, today we’re going to cover everything you need to know about promise rings and if it’s time for you to get one.

What is a Promise Ring?

The great thing about promise rings is that they can really mean anything. Typically based around a promise, these rings can portray anything from friendship, commitment, love, sobriety—the list goes on.

The most popular reason behind a promise ring purchase is a ‘pre-engagement’ gift to a significant other as a symbol of love. Even Brooke Brinkman, the vice president of marketing for Simon G (a very popular bridal brand here at J.H. Young) received a promise ring from her now-husband almost a year a half before they were engaged.

The History Behind Promise Rings

There is evidence that Roman brides hundreds and hundreds of years ago wore ‘posy’ rings that were engraved with poems. And then, centuries later, ‘acrostic’ rings were introduced that featured gemstones. Often times, the gemstones were placed a certain way to spell out words.

Although those are more specific examples of promise rings, we believe a promise ring falls under the category of any ring gifted as a sign of commitment before engagement.

There are many times in history where make-shift rings were presented as gifts from men who were unable to purchase an engagement ring at the time. Examples would include ribbons tied around the finger, or ring-shaped steel made blacksmiths.

How Do I Know When to Give a Promise Ring?

Promise Ring

The short answer is, you’ll know. Whether it’s a deep feeling of love inside, or an array of not-so-subtle hints dropped by your significant other—you’ll typically know when it’s time. However, we want to emphasize that a promise ring can truly mean anything. You can even purchase one for yourself!

Perhaps you’ve overcome a significant obstacle in your life, or recently reached a huge accomplishment; these are all reasons to purchase a ring for yourself. It could represent a celebration, or even a commitment to yourself (like sobriety or chastity).

Promise rings don’t just have to fall under the category of ‘high school sweethearts too young to be married’. Promises come in all shapes and sizes.

Are There Rules for a Promise Ring?

We don’t think so. Some people will wear their promise ring on their other ring finger because they’re saving their left hand for an engagement ring. Others do the complete opposite and wear the promise ring as a placeholder on their left hand until they get the real thing—to show commitment.

In our opinion, a promise ring that belongs to you is a ring that can be worn in any form. Whether you want to put it in a display box or wear it on a chain around your neck, we are not here to judge. Some people even opt out of the jewelry option and get tattoos instead—the options are endless!