The Meaning of Promise Rings

A promise ring is not an engagement ring, but it is a declaration of commitment just the same.

Why choose a promise ring?

A promise ring is unique to the wearer, but it is always meant to express some sort of commitment and, most often, love. Most commonly, a promise ring is given to symbolize an exclusive relationship. A couple may not be ready for marriage, but they do want to devote themselves to each other. An engagement may be planned for the future, but there are no immediate plans for that big step. In this instance, a promise ring signifies devoted love and the intention to stay together.

Promise rings are not exclusively for women. Many times, both partners will wear a promise ring. Men can wear a simple band to share their promise.

Other meanings and associations

While promise rings are most often exchanged between couples, it is not uncommon for them to be used as a special indication of other commitments. Parents may give their children a promise ring as a testament to their bond. Close friends may share them as a way to celebrate their friendship. Sometimes faith is associated with promise rings as well. This can range from expressing a commitment to one's religion to a pledge of abstinence. Additionally, some find strength in using a promise ring to commit to breaking a bad habit. You can personalize the look of your ring to align with your own meaning.

What promise rings look like and how to wear them

Promise rings are purposely distinct from engagement rings by design. You won't see a large center diamond in a promise ring, but you will notice more delicate styles and gemstone designs. That said, promise rings can take a variety of forms to honor the commitment being expressed. The Claddagh ring is a popular style for promise rings, as are simple bands featuring birthstones or engraving.

How you wear a promise ring is another personal choice. If your ring is a symbol of a romantic relationship, you could wear it on your ring finger in place of a wedding ring. You could also wear it on a different finger to distinguish that you have not reached that milestone yet. As for other commitments, it's really up to you and what you're comfortable with. No matter what, wear your promise ring proudly and with love.

You can find a great selection of Promise Rings online at and at your local Zales store.