Promise ring, proposal ring, and engagement ring: What does each denote?

Relationships have changed a lot over the years. But rings continue to play an important role in it. The couples of today are less conformist compared to the olden days and feel that their formalities play a secondary role in relationships. Love does not need any formal form of expression. Hence, while old traditionalists imposed strict customs and etiquette in form of engagement, proposal, and promise rings, the newer generation prefers only one ring which is mostly called the engagement ring. But then, what is the difference between the three types of rings in a relationship?

Promise ring

Promise is the pledge of commitment made in any relationship. And in a romantic relationship, it is marked by the presence of a precious symbol usually a ring. There are strong feelings and devotion involved and a promise is made never to be forgotten. The ring which is exchanged or given at such a time, is the promise ring.

Typical promise ring [Source: Gordon’s Jewelers]
Though, promise rings were part of a rigid etiquette practiced in the old days, it has now become less common. Couples rarely exchange the promise rings and there are only some rare extremely devoted couples who want this too in their marking of their relationships milestones.

Proposal and engagement rings

Proposal is the exact moment when the male partner usually gathers the courage and reveals to his lady love the desire to stay together for lifetime. And this expression comes with a sweet gesture of a gift which is the proposal ring. It is a token of his professed love to her. It is a symbol of their love together and union. But before the wedding.

Proposal ring [Source: Vogue Italy]
Engagement has a slightly different timing than a proposal though nowadays, the two are combined. Engagement comes after the proposal when a couple declares that they cannot stay without each other. And they are committed to living a life together. This is a more formal moment and a ring marks the occasion. Usually, marriage used to take place exactly one year after the proposal. But this is now variable depending on how the couples choose the duration to be.

Types of jewels in these rings

Though one can choose the rings which they want for the occasion, a promise ring is best in 18kt rose and white gold with a CENTO central gem usually a diamond. This can be supported by round cut diamonds.

While a proposal ring is usually a CENTO diamond set on a King Cross. And an engagement needs extra consideration and should be selected with care and awareness. It is a forever thing. Therefore, it should be durable and resistant. Best is to give a ring in 18kt white gold which has a Tulip setting which supports and protects a precious CENTO diamond.

Engagement ring in a Tulip setting [Source: Pinterest]
All in all, it is the choice of the couple whether they want to segregate these three magical moments in the life of their relationship or combine all three moments into one, namely the engagement.

Also, read Are both engagement ring and wedding ring necessary?