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It’s easy to get a promise ring confused with an engagement ring. The two styles look quite similar physically, so it is a common mistake. In addition to the fact that the rings may look similar to the eye, they also share a common theme of dedication and commitment to another. It’s important to understand the difference between a promise ring and an engagement ring because it can assist you and your significant other when making the decision to take your relationship to the next level. Here’s what you need to know about the difference between promise rings and engagement rings.  

Promise Ring Meaning: A Symbol of Commitment 

Unlike an engagement ring, a promise ring symbolizes another’s commitment, dedication and true feelings for you. While many promise rings are given to another when a romantic relationship becomes serious, some give promise rings to loved ones or very special friends for platonic or even faith-based reasons. Traditionally though, a promise ring is given as a physical token of their love and plans to marry the other person at some point. 

That being said, the gift of a promise ring is not a proposal and should not be confused with one. It’s important to know that when someone gives a promise ring, it usually means that they intend to marry the other person, just not at that time. This could be for many reasons including age, distance, career goals or the fact that the couple would like to spend more time in a dating relationship before getting engaged. Whatever the reason behind a promise ring, it always means that the person is committed to the other wholly. 

rings with variety of gemstones

While the traditional values of a promise ring are widely accepted and used today, other elements of the ring allow for some unique interpretation and personalization. The specific  meaning behind a promise ring is truly up to the giver of the ring. While this meaning is commonly known as the idea of intended marriage, it can be a more specific promise that rings true to the person’s relationship with another. Other unique meanings behind promise rings include abstinence until marriage, values passed down from parents to their children or even a unique promise that the wearer makes to themselves. 

Another way to personalize your promise ring is through the materials used to make it. There are relatively no rules when it comes to what a promise ring should look like. Though these rings commonly include colored gemstones, birthstones and varied designs, they usually look different than a traditional engagement ring (without a diamond in the center) to differentiate between the two. Popular promise rings might include a symbol like a heart (like our “Sweetheart” ring) or infinity symbol, but it’s most important to choose a design that represents who you are! 

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white gold diamond ring

Engagement Ring Meaning: Love and Marriage 

Unlike a promise ring, an engagement ring’s meaning doesn’t have any wiggle room. An engagement ring symbolizes a person’s desire to have the other’s hand in marriage. The giving of an engagement ring marks the start point of planning a wedding and spending the rest of your life with someone else. 

Another major difference between a promise ring and an engagement ring is physical appearance. Traditional engagement rings are rather unmistakable in appearance, featuring a silver or gold band and one or more diamonds, usually with a larger stone in the center. While there are numerous styles and diamond shapes within the engagement ring category, these rings usually follow a general guideline. 

Learn About The Different Types of Engagement Rings

Like most rules and traditions, some like to break the mold and try something different. Nowadays, there are many different styles of engagement rings, including silicone bands, colored gemstones and unique styles. You don’t have to break the bank when shopping for a ring either. For those with a smaller ring budget, there are affordable engagement rings in most any style and size. No matter your preference, there is an engagement ring out there for everyone. 

The Promise of Forever

Despite their different meanings, appearances and intentions, both engagement rings and promise rings symbolize something that is meant to last. They are beautiful physical reminders of your own values or someone else’s love for you, and Modern Gents has the perfect option for everyone. 

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