From mild-mannered Victorians to Miley Cyrus, promise rings have a unique place in the culture of romance. This pre-matrimonial trend piece can have a wide range of meanings, and comes in numerous styles. Here are the basics:
What They Mean
Promise rings can be a way to signify your intention to become engaged. They can also function as a symbol to a more general commitment to one another. They’re increasingly becoming a trend among couples who cohabitate, but for financial or other reasons don’t wish to marry, or don’t wish to marry until later in life. The term promise ring is sometimes used interchangeably with purity ring–a ring worn to signify a commitment to abstinence–but historically, they are two very different traditions.
How to Shop Them
Popular promise ring styles include infinity rings, designs with small hearts, or meaningful stones. They are normally significantly less expensive than engagement rings– the Szul promise ring collection starts at $99. They should be simple and delicate enough not to compete with a future engagement ring.
How To Wear Them
Promise rings are generally worn on the ring finger of left hand if unmarried, or ring finger of the right hand if married. They are also sometimes worn on a chain around the neck.
How To Give Them
Just because they are less expensive than traditional engagement rings doesn’t mean promise rings should be given lightly. Promise rings should only be given after a couple has been together for some time–normally, a minimum of one year. Valentine’s Day and anniversaries are popular–and appropriate–occasions to give promise rings. Because they are a newer tradition, it’s important to pick an event where you’ll have time to discuss the meaning of the gift, and what it signifies to you–it’s not supposed to pack the self-explanatory punch of a big diamond engagement ring.
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