Promise Ring Vs. Eternity Ring: What’s The Difference?

Some people get overwhelmed by the topic of rings. There are so many kinds at different price points. They are often bought not just for aesthetic purposes but to symbolise commitment and love. We all know about wedding rings and engagement rings, but what about the lesser-known promise rings and eternity rings? How exactly do these rings differ?

A promise ring is technically not an engagement ring, but it still symbolises commitment and love. There’s no official rule on this definition, and it may change from one relationship to another. 

Eternity rings, on the other hand, are given to a person after being married for many years or when they’ve reached a milestone in their life with their significant other. This band symbolises eternal love and can be worn anywhere on the ring finger. But how is it different from promise rings? This post explores the differences.

 

Origin

Promise rings have been around for centuries, but they became popular in the early 1900s when young men would give their girlfriends promise rings as symbols of their commitment and love. In modern times, these rings are given as pre-engagement gifts or even just as tokens of affection without any romantic meaning.

Eternity rings can be traced to Ancient Egyptians. Then came modern eternity bands with diamonds atop, introduced by Tiffany & Co. in 1886. However, other companies soon started making their versions. Now most jewellers offer versions of eternity bands called ‘eternity’ or ‘infinity’ bands to symbolise everlasting love, fidelity, and commitment between spouses.

 

Functionality

Promise rings symbolise a promise between two people. The terms and specifics of this promise are defined by the parties involved, and it can be anything from a romantic agreement to a promise of friendship or abstinence. These rings are usually worn on any finger and are often given as gifts without reference to any relationship. Some people choose not to wear their promise ring in public so as not to cause confusion or unnecessary comments.

Eternity rings symbolise eternity in a relationship, so generally, this is reserved for married couples who wish to mark a significant anniversary. Because these represent marriage, they’re usually worn on the wedding ring finger, unless you don’t wish to.

 

Cost

When it comes to cost, promise rings are much more affordable than engagement and wedding rings. While the price of an engagement ring can quickly start in the thousands, you can get a promise ring for as low as $100. Of course, some prefer to spend thousands on a promise ring, but this is not necessary nor common.

On the other hand, eternity rings are much more expensive than promise and engagement rings. The price of an eternity ring depends on the ring’s design and its diamond quality. Typically, eternity rings start at USD$300 and can go up as high as USD$2,000 depending on size and quality.

 

Durability

The promise ring is more durable and cheaper than the eternity ring because of its materials. Most promise rings are made of gold and silver. These metals are more durable than precious stones like diamonds, which can crack, chip, or break if not stored correctly. 

On the other hand, eternity rings are often diamond, platinum, and gold. Platinum is more expensive to buy, harder to work with for manufacturing, and heavier than other metals. Although some people prefer a diamond eternity ring because it looks more expensive and attractive, it’s still not as sturdy as metal when it comes to durability.

 

Emphasis

One of the most critical differences between promise rings and wedding/eternity rings is emphasis.

Promise rings are often used to highlight the significance of a particular promise. While they sometimes do mark an engagement or pre-engagement, they can also be exchanged for other reasons—perhaps to signify that the couple will remain exclusive or faithful. They’re also frequently used as purity rings, where one party agrees to abstinence before marriage and gives their partner a ring to signify their intent (usually asked for by parents). 

Eternity rings, on the other hand, honour what has already happened: namely, years of wedded bliss.

 

Size

The main difference between a promise ring and an eternity ring is size. An eternity ring is more significant than a promise ring and takes up more space on the finger. An eternity ring typically has a diamond (or another gemstone) around the entire band. A promise ring tends to have one or a small cluster of stones, so it’s smaller and daintier than an eternity ring.

Usually, when buying an eternity ring, you should ask the jeweller about the size and then custom order it. But if you already have an engagement or wedding ring that matches your promise ring, you might want to buy one that matches the existing set, so they all fit together comfortably.

 

Conclusion

While the two rings are similar in some ways, they serve different purposes. A promise ring represents a commitment to love and loyalty. An eternity ring celebrates the longevity of love, marriage, and family. If you’re still unsure which one is right for you, the differences above will help you.

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