What is a Promise Ring?

We are regularly asked the question “What’s a promise ring?”

Promise rings are plain or stone set ring, given to a loved one. It can symbolize the love and commitment within a one-2-one relationship. It is sometimes worn as a pre-engagement ring.

For young couples, with little money, an engagement ring can be expensive. A promise ring can act as a stand-in ring, for a couple to take their relationship one stage further. The engagement ring would come later.

The promise ring can be created in less expensive materials, including sterling silver, 9ct Gold or even Palladium. Selecting a smaller diamond will also reduce cost.

In the UK Promise rings are a new idea. It is more established in the US. Most girls would automatically consider the purchase an engagement ring.

A Promise rings meaning varies from person to person, but our next step looks at the various meanings given to a promise ring.

What do Promise Rings Mean?


Another meaning of the promise ring takes the form of a purity ring, which conveys a slightly different to the pre-engagement ring. This type of ring is symbolic of sexual abstinence in a relationship prior to marriage. Indeed this will always act as a physical reminder of the pledge to save oneself for marriage.

Engraved engagement ring featuring a secret flush set diamond

Example of a bespoke engagement ring / promise ring with a religious engraving and secret diamond.


Purity rings also have a strong connection with religion. Nuns have always worn rings. Rings make symbols of betrothal to their heavenly spouse. This meaning can be conveyed by any wearer. In religion, plain gold bands make a more humble statement. Furthermore, plain rings are more consistent with spiritual purity and the simple life.

A promise from one person to another

A promise ring can be purchased outside of a relationship. It can be worn, to denote a promise to oneself. Perhaps a reward and reminder to give up smoking or to work towards a goal. Perhaps even weight loss, although this might require several size adjustments along the way!

Can men wear promise rings?

We are regularly asked if promise rings are for men? Promise rings are for men and for women. Choose a ring design and personalisation that you will be happy to wear in a male or female style. Add meaning with a message and present it as a symbolic keepsake.

Most popular and original ideas for promise rings for her

We have many good ideas for unique and inspiring promise rings. The following suggestions are for both her and him.

Fingerprint promise rings for couples

Fingerprint rings make perfect promise rings for her. Additionally, they make great promise rings for men. Any width, any style, and your actual fingerprints engraved. One or both. A spectacular idea as a surprise or as a joint sentimental purchase. Our heart patterned fingerprint rings are just one way to truly romanticise your rings. Moreover, add two types of engraving. Interestingly, some clients choose a heartbeat and fingerprint together.

Adding a heart to your promise rings with each others fingerprints

White gold fingerprint ring set

Signet rings as promise rings – a good idea?

The engraved signet ring is another opportunity for a truly unique ring. Literally, add whatever you like to the signet ring. Over the years, we added heartbeats, city skylines, mountain ranges, infinity symbols and even logos from popular computer games.

We have both male and female signet rings in every size and shape available, with or without a fingerprint or personal engraving.

Promise styled signet rings

Two unique ideas for promise styled rings in rose gold and white gold with pink sapphires

Can solitaire rings be used as a promise ring?

Most of our diamond rings can be engraved with a personal message—a promise between each of you, or we can apply a perfect sentimental message in any font you need. Engraved diamond rings make amazing promise rings, available across so many of our ring designs. Couples can choose regular certified diamonds or traceable diamonds for 100% ethical standards. For buyers with a substantial budget looking for an expensive promise ring, many of our certified diamond engagement rings with engravings make an excellent choice.

Promise rings UK - Engraved promise styled solitaire diamond ring with engraving

Destiny shown engraved with a truly personal message in white gold

3 Stone Promise Rings

The trilogy or 3 stone promise ring is a great idea. The combined carat weight means more carat weight at a lower cost compared to a single diamond of equivalent carat weight. View a complete collection of 3 stone ring designs, all suitable as 3 stone promise rings.

Men's 3 stone diamond promise ring

3 stone promise ring with blue sapphire and diamonds

Gemstone Rings

Gemstone rings make excellent Promise rings. Furthermore, they give plenty of scope across many different budgets. For example Aquamarine makes an affordable gemstone ring choice. Alternatively, Tourmaline works very well. As a suggestion, why not research your partner’s birthstone and consider a gemstone Promise ring? Add a small gemstone to a band, or go for a large gemstone for the focal point of the ring.

Pink Sapphire Promise Rings

Perhaps the best suggestion for pink stone promise ring is the pink sapphire. With or without diamonds, pink sapphires give a vibrant burst of pink to any diamond ring.

Tickled Pink stone promise ring

Promise rings with your actual heartbeat. Wow!

That is absolutely correct. At Serendipity Diamonds, we add a heartbeat within a band measuring 4mm or more. We even send out a monitor to take your heartbeat. This incredible service delivers a truly unique finishing touch to your promise ring.

What finger is a promise ring worn on?

The promise ring, worn as a pre-engagement ring goes on the second from last finger of the left hand. A future engagement ring would replace the promise ring at a later stage. The second-from-last finger has greater significance owing to the vena-amoris blood vessel which flows to the heart.

Where to get a personalised promise ring

A custom design makes a very personal Promise ring. It turns a plain ring, or a simple diamond ring, into a promise ring. As a result, it adds a greater depth of sentiment. An engraved word or a phrase will give a unique look to the ring.

Promise rings with engravings – ideas

  1. Purity rings engraved with each other’s names (most popular)
  2. Significant date – when a couple started dating, or an important date along the way
  3. Pet names – nicknames between a couple
  4. A promise – written out to remind the wearer of their promise or goal
  5. Dating names – usernames, log-ins are becoming ever popular especially as online dating soars in popularity
  6. Phrases – a single phrase that binds a couple, whether this is a line of poetry or a favorite lyric from a song
  7. A religious quote, or chapter engraved in an appropriate font
  8. Fingerprints
  9. Actual heartbeats

We create promise rings, and wedding rings, with laser engravings. Some have secret diamonds. A diamond acts as a separator between phrases or words. But remember, it requires a minimum depth to allow the diamond to sit into the metal.

Commissioning an engraved Promise ring

Engraved promise rings make most impact with a truly personal detail applied. For example, a handwritten message goes much further than a stampted date. Use the internal space for a secret message to your loved-one. Then, write it on paper, scan and email it to us from anywhere in the world. Then, we will apply this by laser engraving as shown in two examples below.

Brushed finish rose gold promise ring with handwritten engraving

Engraved promise ring with heart and message

Posie Rings

Posie rings (not Posy rings) originate as early as the 15th Century. French and English examples. Most were simple plain bands with a short sentimental inscription added. Text appeared in English, French and Latin. Posie rings give a rustic, hand-engraved look. It is possible to replicate the look of Posie rings. This idea, seldom seen in jewellery shop windows makes a truly unique Promise ring idea.

Claddagh rings

What are Claddagh rings? Most jewellers sell Claddagh rings. The Claddagh ring is a traditional Irish ring representing love, friendship and loyalty. The style, origin and custom originates in the Irish fishing village of Claddagh in Galway. The distinctive style and availability of Claddagh ring designs make them a popular Promise ring choice. Each ring features a heart (love), crown (loyalty) and hands (representing friendship).

The following video offers a lovely overview of the Claddagh ring design.

Promise rings and the world of marketing

On a final note, a brief word on the wonderful world of marketing. Some will no doubt see promise rings as a way to market and ultimately sell more rings. The truth really is that promise rings have been in existence for many years in one form or another, from the betrothal rings in ancient times.

Interestingly, Promise rings soared in popularity with the growth of the internet. Promise rings, engagement rings, right-hand-rings and halo rings—just a few of the styles with enormous focus online. The pre-engagement ring provides a solid opportunity for an affordable surprise ring, allowing a couple to choose the ultimate engagement ring together.

Promise Rings capturing your very own heartbeat

How incredible would it be to capture your actual heartbeat rhythm—to be featured on your promise ring. Believe it or not, Promise rings with a heartbeat are genuine. Using the latest technology, we offer this service for many of our rings. This suits wide promise rings with a minimum 4mm wide band.

Find out more about adding a heartbeat to your ring.

When to order your wedding rings, showing heartbeat rings taking around 5-6 weeks to create

The DeBeers Promise Ring & alternatives

Interestingly, a branded Promise ring exisits. It was introduced in recent years by DeBeers. The DeBeers promise ring features cross-over diamond shoulders. Owing to the brand name, expect to pay a very high price for the DeBeers Promise Ring.

Alternatively, anyone interested in the DeBeer’s Promise ring, may seek a similar design. Interestingly, bespoke jewellery allows anyone to create a unique ring design. This design often takes influence from other styles.

How much do promise rings cost?

The cost of a promise rings varies enormously depending on the precious metal and gemstone content. For example, a cheap silver promise ring could cost as little as $10. In contrast, expect to pay upwards from $200 – $300 for an engraved promise ring. Finally, if you’re considering a promise ring for a future engagement ring, it might be interesting to research average costs and assess your ideal budget.

Introducing the “Meetaversary” Ring

A Meetaversary Ring describes a ring celebrates the date when a couple first met. Popular with younger byers, the Meetaversary Ring celebrates a year after a couple meet. Typically, it is given as a gift after a year of meeting for the first time.

Presenting the ring

Perhaps, you have a good idea on how to present the ring. Or, maybe get creative. Just ensure you have the ring before making plans. Funnily, we found several videos on the subject. For example, the following video works a little magic into the process.

Mark Johnson

About Mark Johnson

Mark attended Liverpool University and went on to pursue a career in the diamond industry. After more than a decade working in polished diamonds, Mark moved to the Isle of Wight where he launched Serendipity Diamonds. He works most days from their busy Ryde showroom, photographing jewellery and writing for the Serendipity Diamonds website. Anyone interested can connect with Mark on Linkedin via the profile link.

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