Engagement rings are familiar to most people, signifying the commitment made by two people to marry each other in the future. However, an engagement ring isn't the only piece of jewelry you might get from your beloved. Promise rings and pre-engagement rings are two other types, but you may not be familiar with these options and what each means.
Meaning of Pre-Engagement Rings
A pre-engagement ring is a gesture of intent to commit to another person. A partner in a couple that is trying to move slowly in the relationship or that may be too young to get married in the near future may choose to give this type of ring. The ring serves as a symbol of love and commitment, sitting just below engagement in the hierarchy of meaning. When you give someone a pre-engagement ring, it typically indicates that you want and plans to marry that person, but you are not ready to do so just yet.
Meaning of Promise Rings
Promise rings are somewhat similar to engagement rings in that they are considered placeholders for engagement rings, which will likely come in the future. A promise ring also symbolizes the love and commitment between the giver and the wearer. However, a promise ring isn't always worn on the ring finger of the left hand, which is the finger on which a pre-engagement or engagement ring will typically be worn.
In some religions and cultures, promise rings are given to teenagers and young adults who are making promises to themselves and their beliefs. In certain Christian religious sects, a promise ring represents a commitment to remain abstinent until marriage and may also be referred to as a purity ring. Other cultures may view a promise ring more similarly to a pre-engagement ring. Who you receive the ring from typically plays into its meaning.
Pre-Engagement Ring History
You can see examples of promise rings throughout history. In 16th-century England, posy rings, which were rings inscribed with romantic poetry before being given to a special someone, became popular. Another example of an early pre-engagement ring is the acrostic ring, which was made popular by designer Jean-Baptiste Mellerio of the House of Mellerio. Marie Antoinette wore some of his designs. Acrostic rings feature gems that spell out words or hold secret meanings. One example of such a ring designed by Mellerio featured gems that spelled out "j'adore," which is French for "I love you."
Today, you might see young couples as well as those who may not see marriage in their immediate future with pre-engagement rings. High school sweethearts may choose to commit to one another with a tangible symbol of their love and devotion. Those who are planning to get married, such as recent college graduates, may use pre-engagement rings as a less expensive alternative to an engagement ring as they start their careers and work to save money for a ring and a wedding.
Pre-engagement rings became more popular in the early 2000s, due in part to several celebrity couples who showcased these unique pieces of jewelry. Jordin Sparks, Selena Gomez, and Tenaya Taylor have all worn pre-engagement rings at some point. Nick Jonas, a member of the Jonas Brothers, famously hosted a pre-engagement celebration with his now-wife, Priyanka Chopra.
When giving a pre-engagement ring to your special someone, it's smart to make it clear up front what the ring symbolizes to you. Since these rings can look similar to traditional engagement rings, your partner may feel like you're asking for their hand in marriage when you open the ring box. By communicating your desire to get married in the future or expressing your love and commitment for the other person, you can increase the odds of the gift being well-received by your partner.
Types of Pre-Engagement Rings
Although just about any style of ring can qualify as a pre-engagement ring, certain styles are more popular among couples. A ring featuring a heart-shaped stone is especially popular, as the heart shape is synonymous with love. You might also choose a pre-engagement ring that features a diamond, which is a popular gemstone for engagement rings, as well. However, you're not limited to one specific style or type. You can choose the ring that best fits the personality and style of the person you're giving it to, rather than feeling like you have to fit a mold.
A custom pre-engagement ring is a great option if you want to give your special someone a piece of jewelry that feels more personalized to their individual tastes and preferences. Custom rings are appealing and unique, making them good choices for those who want to reflect their commitment to their future spouse. Some couples choose pre-engagement rings that feature their birthstones, while others stick to more traditional gemstones, such as diamonds.
Shopping for Pre-Engagement Rings
Shopping for a pre-engagement ring may feel overwhelming, especially if you're on a tight budget. Many people who buy these types of rings don't have a lot of money to spend, especially those who are younger and don't have high-paying jobs. Since pre-engagement rings are popular among younger couples, finding one that fits your budget doesn't have to be too challenging. A number of jewelry designers offer affordable ring options with smaller central stones or gemstones that aren't as pricey as others.
At Martin Busch Jewelers, we can help you pick out or design the perfect pre-engagement ring for your beloved person. Our selection of rings includes a wide range of options across all price ranges. The rings we carry also feature beautiful, high-quality stones set on gorgeous metal options, allowing you to find the ideal ring for your future spouse. If you don't spot exactly what you're looking for, we also offer custom jewelry design services.
Our company has been serving shoppers in and around New York City for over six decades, and our family-owned shop treats every customer like a part of the family. Find your pre-engagement ring at Martin Busch Jewelers and get ready to see your partner's face light up when they see what you've selected to represent your love and devotion to them.