The idea of showcasing our affection and devotion to a relationship in the form of objects has been around for hundreds of years. Even in the middle ages, there were forms of gifts that represented this. The most prominent way of showing affection have been promise rings. They represent a huge step in somebody’s relationship and often lead to even greater commitments. However, there are more details behind this seemingly mundane item.
The history of promise rings
These rings date back to ancient times. In Ancient Rome these rings were part of the marriage ceremony. This was partially caused by the law that stated that couples have to wait a specific amount of time from expressing a desire to marry and doing the ceremony itself. Although this is the first historical time frame where we know promise rings were used there are a few more, similar practices throughout the ages.
From the 15th to 17th century one of the most popular ways of showing romantic affection were posy rings. These pieces of jewelry had romantic poems engraved on them, giving both the ring and the poem the symbolic meaning of devotion to the loved person. What may surprise you is that posy rings survived until today. While they aren’t as prominent as they were some centuries back these rings are still a pretty unique way of showcasing devotion.
Following the posy rings, Acrostic rings rose in prominence. Their periods of popularity were the Georgian and Victorian eras. These didn’t contain a poem but rather a simple word. This word could be anything, most usually love due to romantic connotations of the ring, and was spelled out in gemstones.
As we can see the use of these rings has been present for a while now, always coming back with a new and interesting take. The variety of said rings remains potent even now, with all the available styles we can purchase.
Different types of promise rings
Not every promise ring is necessarily romantic, despite the previous examples. The promise rings can bear any number of meanings and can be given to anybody important in our life.
The strongest bond after love is friendship so it’s no surprise there are promise rings based around that. Symbols of friendship in the form of jewelry are nothing new but it’s a nice addition to see stick around. Being gifted something like this is rare but if your friend wants to exchange rings to showcase their eternal support you may have found somebody who’s going to be with you no matter the situation.
Chastity rings are up next and their meaning is right there in the name. The ring is supposed to be a symbol of commitment to abstinence until marriage. The purpose of this ring is to act as a reminder if a person gets tempted into a more physical showcase of love before their promised time.
A less frequent use for promise rings, but one that you may find useful. Is as a promise to yourself. This promise can be related to addictions you are trying to get rid of. Maybe you are struggling with cigarette addiction and wear the ring as a constant reminder not to smoke. The ring can be customized in any form you wish which can improve its effectiveness.
The connotations of promise rings
While we’ve seen the examples of their application outside of symbolizing upcoming marriage it’s important to know what it means to give somebody one such ring. Although similar symbols, like friendship bracelets, are commonly present with kids and said symbols are often given to somebody they’ve known for a short amount of time promise rings are different.
Giving a promise ring should be a culmination of years, maybe even decades, of knowing each other. There’s no set point in time where they should be given, you’ll get the feeling where it seems to be the appropriate time. This goes double for friendship promise rings. While romantic partners are close to us nobody will be closer than the person we’ve confided in for years before they came, our best friend.
Therefore, this ring should appropriately reflect our bonds in both design and presentation. Giving one shouldn’t be haphazard or without a decent amount of planning. The presentation of this gift should also express the appropriate sentiment towards that person, making them understand the reasoning behind the gift. Our history together and the moment of giving them one is what gives promise ring meaning. If you are looking for more ideas and information on these rings check out allrings.co.uk.
The appearance of promise rings
Promise rings are a weird bunch. There are a lot of unique, different designs to go for. These include promise rings with an engraved fingerprint, those with engraved phrases, gem-lined ones, simple silver rings, uniquely styled ones, and other interesting options. The general guideline is to pick something representative of your relationship with the person. For promise rings given to romantic interests, this can be a simple heart motif, or you can go for a theme that resembles a mutual interest for friendship promise rings. If you have money to spare try getting a unique ring with an intricate pattern done, it is bound to stick out not only in public but in the person’s memory as well.
The overall meaning of promise rings has always been a showcase of devotion towards important people in our life. Although the ages have changed their shape and style, some changing the societal impact of them as well, the symbolical meaning remains the same. There are very few people in our life that will become so exceptionally impactful and prominent to us that we end up giving them a promise ring but those people are ones we will have an exceptional amount of love and affection for.
The meaning of the ring nowadays seems to have expanded somewhat. Including not only other people but ourselves in the mix. After all, we should love ourselves, and having a ring as a reminder to do so while avoiding substances that harm us does help. It may not be the most useful method of dealing with bad parts of life but every bit helps. In the end, promise rings are simple but very important items that should be heavily thought about before being given away.