Promise Rings vs Engagement Rings: Understanding the Differences

Beyond buying them for personal use, people exchange rings between themselves for various reasons. Rings are a great memento because of how easily you can wear them wherever you’re going. Promise and engagement rings are two types of rings that people often give to those they love as signs of commitment.

What Is A Promise Ring?

Promise rings are, as the name implies, rings that couples exchange as a symbol of their commitment to one another. When a couple isn’t ready to get engaged, they frequently use promise rings to transition from dating.

Couples who intended to marry in the Roman era had to observe a waiting period; the promise rings were to symbolize their devotion during that time. While promise rings are not as common as engagement and wedding rings, many couples still exchange them.

People outside a romantic relationship also use Promise rings. Also, a person can decide to buy a promise ring for themself as a commitment to something.

What Is An Engagement Ring?

In Western cultures, an engagement ring is given by a partner as a sign of a proposal of marriage. The engagement ring is usually placed on the finger of the partner after they accept the proposal. After taking the engagement ring, the receiver of the engagement ring would usually wear it until their wedding day.

Most people only attribute the wearing of engagement rings to women; however, men also wear them. In some cases, both partners wear matching engagement rings.

Differences Between Promise Ring And Engagement Ring

Promise Ring vs Engagement Ring

While promise and engagement rings seem to serve similar purposes, there are some differences between the two.

1. The Multiple Purposes Of Promise Rings

Engagement rings have a simple and defined purpose; a couple who wants to get married uses it as a symbol of commitment toward marriage. On the other hand, promise rings can be used for various reasons.

While couples in a romantic relationship make up a large portion of people who use promise rings, their purpose doesn’t stop there. People in unconventional relationships who don’t plan to get married are another set of people who exchange promise rings.

Friends, family, and loved ones can exchange promise rings as symbols of love and commitment. Also, some people use promise rings as reminders of a personal commitment that they have made. 

With all this in mind, when you see someone with a promise ring, you should probably ask them the purpose of the ring. Their reason for wearing it might not be what you assume.

2. Recognized style

Engagement rings usually have a recognized style. A traditional engagement ring setup is one dominant stone at the front of the band; this stone can either stand alone or be surrounded by other smaller stones. The distinct style of an engagement ring makes it easy to spot and discern on a wearer’s finger.

Promise rings do not have any style conventions. A promise ring can be any type and can look anyhow; it depends on the people who want to wear it. Some people choose a promise ring whose style they have a connection to.

3. How People Wear Them

In Western cultures, a person wears an engagement ring on the left hand’s ring finger. In some othe parts of the world, the engagement ring is worn on the middle finger of the left hand. The ring is taken off during the wedding ceremony, and some people wear it back with their wedding rings afterward.

Again, promise rings have no conventions guiding how people wear them. You can wear a promise ring on any finger you choose to. Sometimes, a couple or group of friends exchanging promise rings can choose a matching finger to wear them on.

Others can choose to wear their promise rings as pendants on a necklace instead of wearing them on their finger.

Do Promise Rings Mean Engagement?

Promise rings are not a sign of engagement between a couple. While the couple uses them as a sign of commitment to each other, they aren’t to be confused with engagement rings. Some couples use promise rings as a sort of pre-engagement ring.

Promise Ring vs Engagement Ring Price

Prices for promise rings might vary significantly based on the materials employed. You can purchase simple, unadorned promise rings for as low as $30 to $50. If you buy a ring with diamonds or other precious stones, it might cost a few thousand dollars.

However, promise rings are typically purchased for under a thousand dollars. The amount you should spend largely relies on the style you want to achieve. The perfect price range for both selection and value is between $150 and $500.

Per The Knot, the current average price of an engagement ring in the United States is $6,000. According to their research, around one-third of respondents spent between $1,000 and $4,000 on an engagement ring.

The dramatically higher cost of engagement rings is a result of the gemstones attached to them. Also, over the years, the price of engagement rings has been heavily influenced by the marketing of jewelers.

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