What is the difference between the promise ring and the engagement ring?


Are you thinking of buying a ring for your significant other and when you quickly use a google search you found out there are a bazillion different types of rings, which one with a different meaning behind and more importantly different prices? Well don’t worry, in this post, I will tell you the main differences between the two main rings in a relationship; the engagement ring and the promise ring. Hop on and here we go!

1. The Meaning Behind It

The main difference between these two rings is the purpose behind them. An engagement ring has only one purpose; a marriage request, a commitment to spending the rest of your life together with that person. 

So yeah, you probably won’t see fancy proposals or people kneeling when giving a promise ring. 

Instead, a promise ring was a more particular and unique promise behind it. It also can be used by any two people, not only lovers, to express a special friendship, a parent’s love for their child, monogamy, abstinence, etc…

2. Their general appearances

Normally the engagement ring has a classic style on him, with the metal made of gold or platinum, with a diamond in the middle. In contrast, a promise ring has normally a simpler design. No diamonds, the metal composition doesn’t have to be gold or platinum, etc.… 

Since the promise ring has that a not so static design it can be heavily customized. Want to put an engravement, a particular phrase you enjoy? Go on man. Try to avoid skulls though, there aren’t very romantic or symbolic.

3. Position on the Hand.

Being very technical there is a clear difference between these two rings. The engagement ring was to be put on the ring finger on the left hand, where one day the wedding band will go to, while the promise ring has the freedom to go in any finger that the person wants. I know, I know, it is a very minor difference, but it is there. I am, differences, thoroughly.

4 Can I Use a Promise Ring for a Proposal?

Well yes, sure. Most of the time promise rings are used among couples to bind their love for each other, and isn’t that the objective of an engagement ring? If your partner doesn’t care much about the formal’s etiquette of marriage, then you can go for it.

 Do remember though that they normally have pretty different designs, so when proposing be sure to tell your special someone that the overall design is different. Wouldn’t be awkward that in the middle of the engagement, she realizes she didn’t receive a formal engagement ring and starts a huge fight. Not a good way of starting your married life. 

With the intent of using as an engagement ring, there are a lot of promise rings to replace an engagement ring. As we all know, engagement rings can be expensive, with all the diamond and gold. So, to save some money, a couple might decide to get a simpler promise ring, with less diamonds or some other gem on it. For example, a ruby, that represents passion and love or perhaps a sapphire that represents good fortune. 

Also, be sure when giving your partner a promise ring to properly explain the meaning of it. So, if you give you girlfriend a promise ring that represents how much you like her, sit down with her and explain the real meaning of the ring, you don’t want to mislead her thinking you guys are going to marry soon when you don’t have any intention of marrying for some time.

5. Can I use a promise ring for a personal promise.

So, you don’t have any particular loved ones you want to share a promise ring with? Can you use it to solidify a promise to yourself? Yes, absolutely. A promise ring can help you maintain the discipline necessary to maintain a personal promise.

The use of a promise ring can be a really strong point that helps you to commit to a certain promise, either a promise you made to someone else or a promise you made to yourself. For example, say you want to stop smoking, and therefore promised yourself that you would quit smoking from now on. 

Besides the usual tactics that any person who wants to stop smoking uses, it can be said that a promise ring, a symbol of your commitment, can make a difference when the urge to smoke strikes it. So, a promise ring isn’t only for couples or between loved ones, it can also be a powerful tool that can help you be the person you want to be.


As mentioned above there are several differences between a promise ring and an engagement ring. The engagement ring is solely used for marriage proposals between lovers, while a promise being can be used by anyone, friends, lovers, family, and even by yourself to simply express their feelings towards a, you name it, promise. 

A promise ring can also be used as an engagement ring as well, though when used for this purpose they tend to be simpler and incorporate the use of other jewels instead of only diamonds. In the end, should you buy a promise ring? If you want to show to someone, either your lover, friend, or family that you love them, then a promise ring is a great way of expressing your feelings. 

If you also want a physical reminder that helps you in solving a personal promise, then the promise ring is also extremely helpful as a reminder of your disciple and determination to see your promise go through. 

My final consideration? Even if you are not in a relationship give it a try, since most people have at least a form of a promise they want to follow in their lives, a promise ring can be a good way of keeping firm to that promise. Don’t wait until New Year’s Eve to make a resolution, just pick a promise ring and start one now.