Promise Ring vs Engagement Ring: What’s the Difference?

As far as purpose, appearance, cost, manner of gifting, and etiquette go, promise rings and engagement rings are very different. That being said, they both represent a deep and sincere devotion of one person to another.
When it comes to traditional diamond jewelry, determining whether a promise ring or an engagement ring makes the most sense for your situation is essential to ensure you make the right decision for your partner.
Engagement rings are designed to captivate eyes with a stunning center stone, whereas promise rings are usually less flashy and contain gemstones.
It is not necessarily about pitting a promise ring vs an engagement ring against each other, but rather understanding their differences and their place in your relationship. We’ve explored the style and purpose of both below to find the perfect ring to symbolize your commitment.

Promise Ring vs Engagement Ring: When Are They Given?

Both a promise ring and engagement ring are given at special milestones in your relationship. Rings, especially adorned with diamonds, are always a classic option when making a romantic gesture. How do you know when is the right time?
We've included some typical advice below, but ultimately the pace is up to you.
Tacori SR13419 Gemma Bloom Simply Gem Ring
Tacori SR13419 Gemma Bloom Simply Gem Ring

Promise rings:

Dating back to the Roman era, the promise ring is typically exchanged closer to the beginning of a relationship, but often once both parties feel committed to each other. Young couples are more likely to give a promise ring because they are committed to staying together, but they are not yet ready for marriage. As a precursor to an engagement ring, it signifies a commitment to a monogamous relationship.
If you are giving an eternity ring—whether to yourself or someone else—to symbolize milestones rather than symbolizing a relationship, they can be given at any point in time. There are no hard and fast rules.
Even though the traditional meanings of a promise ring are widely accepted and used today, other elements of the ring can be interpreted and customized in ways that are uniquely your own. Promise rings carry special meanings specific to the person who gives them.
It is commonly understood that this is the idea of intended marriage, but in reality, it can mean more specific promises that describe the relationship between two people. They can symbolize essentially anything that you desire to convey, whether it's a symbolic meaning or a commitment.

Engagement rings

You are about to change your life forever when you ask your future spouse "Will you marry me?". As a more black-and-white matter, engagement rings are usually given only for marriage proposals. Although the timeframe of this ring can vary based on individual situations, the meaning is always the same.
The diamond engagement ring has served as a symbol of love and dedication for centuries. In the eyes of lovers everywhere, combining the beauty and strength of a fine diamond with the purity and strength of precious metals is a perfect promise of an enduring and wonderful marriage. Only you can decide when popping the question is right - and we can’t wait to hear of your nuptials.
Engagement Rings
Item Code: 31883-100
18k White Gold Tacori 2620RDP Dantela Crown Diamond Engagement Ring (0.25ctw, For 1ct Center Diamond)
18k White Gold Tacori 2620RDP Dantela Crown Diamond Engagement Ring (0.25ctw, For 1ct Center Diamond)
Price:
$3,490.00
*Center diamond not included in price
Select This Ring
Item Code: 34489
14k White Gold Two Tone Verragio Tradition TR150R4-2T Diamond 4 Prong Engagement Ring with Rose Gold Inlay
14k White Gold Two Tone Verragio Tradition TR150R4-2T Diamond 4 Prong Engagement Ring with Rose Gold Inlay
Price:
$2,900.00
*Center diamond not included in price
Select This Ring
Item Code: 32813
18k White Gold Simon G. MR1394 Fabled Diamond Engagement Ring
18k White Gold Simon G. MR1394 Fabled Diamond Engagement Ring
Price:
$1,760.00
*Center diamond not included in price
Select This Ring
Item Code: 1991
Platinum Vatche U-113 6-Prong Solitaire Engagement Ring
Platinum Vatche U-113 6-Prong Solitaire Engagement Ring
Price:
$1,800.00
*Center diamond not included in price
Select This Ring
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Promise Ring vs Engagement Ring: How Are They Given?

The ring finger of the left hand is customarily used for engagement rings; it is believed that this finger is the most closely connected finger to the heart.
Although promise rings are also commonly worn on the left hand's ring finger too, couples have more freedom to decide how they wish to wear them.
Normally, when a proposal is made, the promise ring is transferred to the right hand's ring finger so that the engagement ring can take its rightful place. We’ve explored the nuances of each of the rings below.
Tacori SR14834 City Lights Clear Quartz over Ruby Red Quartz Ring
Tacori SR14834 City Lights Clear Quartz over Ruby Red Quartz Ring

Promise rings

There is no one way to give promise rings. It varies, depending on the unique circumstances and their intended purpose. Since there isn't a particular protocol, you can be creative when giving a promise ring.
It could be hidden in a jewelry box, gifted as a surprise, or placed on each other's fingers in unison. The possibilities are unlimited. But save your knee for the proposal!
An engraved promise ring can be also worn as a pendant on a necklace after a proposal, close to your heart and leaving room for your spectacular diamond ring.

Engagement rings:

It's traditional for a man to get down on one knee and ask for his beloved's hand in marriage while he presents her with an engagement ring. There are fewer gender-specific protocols now that gender roles are changing, making room for more dynamic proposals.
Many women have chosen to propose to their man, and in same-sex relationships, both parties may feel obliged to do so. The more creative route has even led some couples to forego getting down on one knee entirely. There is no right or wrong way to do it, this is your love story.
Whether over an intimate dinner or something more public, the perfect proposal takes both innovation and commitment. Some require significant investment, others are creative and unique, and many have undeniably romantic settings reminiscent of shared memories.

Promise Ring vs Engagement Ring: What Do They Look Like?

In general, promise rings are less expensive than engagement rings because they are simpler in design. Nevertheless, promise rings and engagement rings' prices will vary based on the customizations you choose such as material, diamond carat, clarity, color grade and of course cut. Not to mention the beautiful setting you opt for, of course.
A complex and intricate design will most likely result in a more expensive final product; this is also indicative of the cost of resizing the ring if you’ve opted for a design all around the band that requires some expertise to adjust.
With both beautiful gestures of love and craftsmanship, we have broken down the differences in their appearance below and shared some of our favorite pieces we stock here at Whiteflash. Regardless of your intention with your beloved, these rings are certainly worth a look.

Promise Rings:

A promise ring does not follow a specific design. The majority of engagement rings have at least one center stone, but they can vary according to other design details.
It's more common for promise rings to feature gemstones, such as birthstones or fancy colored diamond, if any stones at all. Instead of a single center stone, they appear more like wedding bands with accents and detailing on the shank.

Our Favorite Diamond Promise Rings

Even though they're not exclusively for promise rings, these pieces are incredibly unique and quite different from their engagement ring counterpart. While we keep only a limited inventory of colored gemstone and pearl jewelry in stock, you can rely on Whiteflash to source your special gems, pearls, and fancy color diamonds because of our reputation for quality and reliability.
Simon G. LP2314-A Midi Diamond Right Hand Ring
Simon G. LP2314-A Midi Diamond Right Hand Ring
The Simon G. LP2314-A diamond ring is a modern design made from 18k rose gold. An eye-catching designer piece that is in every way unique, this piece stands out. Perfect for a promise of everlasting love.
Tacori SR13901 Lilac Blossoms Amethyst Ring
Tacori SR13901 Lilac Blossoms Amethyst Ring
The Tacori SR13901 Lilac Blossoms Amethyst Ring features a unique oval-shaped amethyst center stone creating a truly exceptional Tacori design. An elegant ring that sparkles from every angle, this Sterling Silver ring combines timeless elegance with classic beauty.
Heart Shaped Diamond in Solitaire Engagement Ring
Heart Shaped Diamond in Solitaire Engagement Ring
No other shape more directly captures the romance of diamonds than the heart shape. Along with the sparkle and radiance of the cut, the shape of the heart echoes "LOVE" to all those who behold it. This 14k White Gold Classic Solitaire Ring set with a heart-shaped diamond could be the perfect promise ring.
You can choose a smaller carat and lower diamond grade to make sure that when you do pop the question, you can make a statement with your engagement ring.

Engagement rings:

Engagement rings commonly have at least one stone at the center, and either a plain or accented band - dependent on taste. There are settings with more stones at the center and intricate designs that adorn diamonds throughout, however, for those who want something more striking.
Additional accents or metalwork may then be added to enhance the vintage or modern style if desired. You can easily find something that fits you or your significant other's personal style since there are so many stunning styles to choose from.
Diamond engagement rings come in a variety of styles and new designs are continuously emerging to express the diverse tastes of our community. Traditional solitaires remain a highly popular choice. By keeping it simple and sleek, a solitaire allows the diamond to stand alone as the center of attention.
An engagement ring would not be complete without diamonds. Savvy shoppers today know that the most important factor in the beauty of a diamond is its light performance. Light performance is directly related to the quality of a fine cut, and this understanding is driving demand for ideal cut loose diamonds.

Our Favorite Diamond Engagement Rings

Infinity Diamond Engagement Ring
Infinity Diamond Engagement Ring
This stunning "Infinity" Diamond Engagement Ring is designed around the idea of eternal love and is lined with our brilliant A CUT ABOVE® Hearts and Arrows Diamond Melee. You have the option of purchasing the engagement ring alone or choosing the “Infinity” Diamond Wedding Set which includes our “Infinity” Diamond Wedding Ring.
Legato Sleek Line Pave Diamond Engagement Ring
Legato Sleek Line Pave Diamond Engagement Ring
This exclusive Signature Design ring by Whiteflash is truly one-of-a-kind. As you begin designing a Legato Sleek Line Pave, you'll need to decide whether you want a princess, round or cushion-cut diamond in the center, as well as what carat weight you want.
It has the option of various metals, making it a ring nobody else will be able to match. In order to increase exclusivity and add a little something extra, there is 'W' built into the head as a sign of the creative specialist's excellence.
Tacori 2620RDP Dantela Crown Diamond Engagement Ring
Tacori 2620RDP Dantela Crown Diamond Engagement Ring
As you understand the major differences between the two rings, you can better determine whether a promise ring or engagement ring is right for you. To keep it short and sweet, promise rings are most commonly given earlier in the relationship to symbolize a commitment without marrying. No matter what the reason may be-whether it's not the right time in your life, you're unsure of marriage, or it's an economic decision-there are dozens of reasons for couples to wear promise rings.
The engagement ring, on the other hand, is more direct, and it is only intended to propose marriage. As a symbol of lifelong commitment, they should only be given at the right time in a relationship and in your life.
Engagement Rings
Item Code: 31883-100
18k White Gold Tacori 2620RDP Dantela Crown Diamond Engagement Ring (0.25ctw, For 1ct Center Diamond)
18k White Gold Tacori 2620RDP Dantela Crown Diamond Engagement Ring (0.25ctw, For 1ct Center Diamond)
Price:
$3,490.00
*Center diamond not included in price
Select This Ring
Item Code: 34489
14k White Gold Two Tone Verragio Tradition TR150R4-2T Diamond 4 Prong Engagement Ring with Rose Gold Inlay
14k White Gold Two Tone Verragio Tradition TR150R4-2T Diamond 4 Prong Engagement Ring with Rose Gold Inlay
Price:
$2,900.00
*Center diamond not included in price
Select This Ring
Item Code: 32813
18k White Gold Simon G. MR1394 Fabled Diamond Engagement Ring
18k White Gold Simon G. MR1394 Fabled Diamond Engagement Ring
Price:
$1,760.00
*Center diamond not included in price
Select This Ring
Item Code: 1991
Platinum Vatche U-113 6-Prong Solitaire Engagement Ring
Platinum Vatche U-113 6-Prong Solitaire Engagement Ring
Price:
$1,800.00
*Center diamond not included in price
Select This Ring
LOAD MORE
Although engagement rings differ in a lot of ways from promise rings, they share one common feature: they both represent a promise. Whether it's a promise to stay together, to always be honest with each other, to help you reach your personal goals, or to be married, both rings are an opportunity to express your commitment to one another.
You can both wear these to keep those promises close to your heart and bring them with you wherever you go. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you do your due diligence on diamond education and research exactly what you want to continue being an informed, confident buyer.
As diamond specialists and manufacturers of high-quality engagement rings and jewelry, we realize the impact that such an important purchase can have on a relationship. If you need any guidance or help to find the perfect style or expression of love, the friendly and knowledgeable jewelry consultants and gemologists here at Whiteflash will be happy to assist you.
You can reach out to us via email, phone, or chat. It will be our pleasure to help you.

Be Inspired By Our Designer Engagement Rings

Find the perfect Designer Ring for your special diamond by clicking the links below, and let us build the ultimate ring for the love of your life!
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