The concept of promise rings has become quite popular among today’s youth. A person gifts a promise ring to his/her beloved as a symbol of loyalty, love, and commitment. Though many think that the promise ring is a millennial concept, it actually goes a long way back.
Irish Heritage tells us that the Claddagh Ring was used as a promise ring for several generations. This article will explore what significance a promise ring holds and take a peek into the Celtic history of the Claddagh ring, the Irish Ring.
What is a Promise Ring?
A promise ring is a token of love and loyalty to one’s loved one or partner. People give this piece of jewelry as a pre-engagement ring or as a sign of commitment in a monogamous relationship. They can be of any design and made up of any metal.
Each design of a promise ring has a different significance. Similarly, the intention of giving a promise ring can differ too. A promise ring can have a completely unique significance in each relationship. These are the most common types of promise rings:
- Pre-engagement Ring: This kind of jewelry is shared by couples who are moving towards the path of engagement.
- Friendship Ring: Good friends often share promise rings to commemorate their lifelong friendship.
- Chastity Ring: Promise rings are sometimes exchanged between a parent and a child or between couples as a symbol of purity.
- Pledge Ring: Many people choose to give themselves a promise ring as a symbol of abstinence from smoking, drinking, and other negative temptations.
But, people often confuse promise rings with commitment rings. Are they really the same? Let’s find out.
Is a Promise Ring Same as a Commitment Ring?
Though people perceive that a promise ring and a commitment ring are the same, they are not. While a promise ring is given to convey that an engagement ring is coming on the way, a commitment ring is a form of “pre-pre-engagement ring.” When one presents a commitment ring to another person, it usually implies that he/she loves being in the company of that person and would want to keep it that way.
Origin of the Promise Ring: Story of the Posy Ring
The origin of the promise ring dates back to as early as the 2nd century. In ancient Roman culture, brides wore promise rings before their wedding ceremony. It symbolized that they have been betrothed to someone.
We can also find anecdotes of the tradition of exchanging rings representing love and devotion in Greek mythology. The Greeks believed that there was a vein of love in the fourth finger of the left hand that connects to the heart directly. Thus, they chose to wear promise rings, engagement rings, and wedding bands on the fourth finger of the left hand
Posy rings were quite popular in England from the early 15th to 17th century. They delivered the same essence as promise rings. The rings had romantic poems engraved on them that symbolized affection and devotion. As their popularity faded over time, Acrostic rings grew to prominence. These rings had words like “love” spelled in gemstones.
The Irish Claddagh Ring: The Perfect Choice for a Promise Ring
An Irish Promise Ring or a Claddagh ring features a crowned heart held by two hands. The design symbolizes love, loyalty, and friendship. Couples often exchange Claddagh rings before an engagement ring or wedding band. They are usually made up of economical metals like sterling silver or 9-carat gold. Jewelers also engrave romantic quotes or initials on the Claddagh ring.
Origin of the Claddagh Ring?
So, who exchanged the first Claddagh ring? Irish history tells us a romantic story of a young man Richard Joyce. He lived in the village of Claddagh. He fell in love with a young girl but had to leave for the West Indies to seek his fortune. Unfortunately, pirates attacked his ship and took him as a slave. He worked for 12 long years as a slave in Algiers. Joyce was in the service of a goldsmith and learned unusual skills. He crafted the first Claddagh ring in the hope that he would return to his beloved someday.
When he won his freedom, he immediately returned to Ireland and presented the first-ever “Claddagh Ring” to his lover with a promise to marry her. Thus, if you are looking for a promise ring to convey your love and loyalty to someone, no ring can be better than the Claddagh Ring.
Shanore offers you beautiful Claddagh rings. If you are looking for different designs with Irish heritage, you can check out the other Celtic rings like Trinity knot rings and Celtic love knot. You can also make a custom engagement ring for your partner.
Discover our Claddagh Rings
Promise rings with bow and arrow are also quite popular now. You can even get promise rings with a maple leaf to make a unique proposal to your sweetheart. People believe that Maple leaves represent eternal love and passion between lovers. Rings with fancy shapes are also on-trend now.
How to Wear Your Claddagh Ring?
There is no hard and fast rule for how to wear a Claddagh ring. You can wear it on your index finger, middle finger, or ring finger. But, Colin Murphy, an Irish author, says that the way one wears a Claddagh ring tells us about the wearer’s relationship status.
If you wear the ring on the right hand with the heart pointing towards the fingertip, it means you may be looking for love and are currently single. When the heart points towards the wrist, it means that you have committed your love and loyalty to someone.
If someone is wearing the Claddagh ring on the ring finger of the left hand, with the heart facing the fingertips, it means the person is engaged. When you are wearing a diamond engagement ring, you can wear your promise ring on the other hand. Again, someone wears the ring with the heart facing the wrist, it implies that the wearer is married. If one is wearing a wedding ring, she can shift the ring to the right ring finger.
How to Give a Promise Ring?
Presenting a promise ring to a loved one can be a very special moment. You might want to select a day that is special to your beloved like birthdays, first date anniversary, etc. You may want to take them to a special spot that holds significance in their life and present the ring along with a beautiful bouquet of red roses.
How Much Should I Spend on a Promise Ring?
The cost of the Promise ring does not matter so much when it’s about celebrating love and loyalty. Promise rings are available in a wide price range. You can find Claddagh rings below $50 too. If you are looking for rings made from fine silver and precious and semi-precious stones, they may cost in the range of $100 to $10000.
The Bottom Line:
A promise ring can mean many things depending upon the relationship. When you are presenting a ring to your beloved, Claddagh Ring can be the best option for you. Richard Joyce designed the first Claddagh ring about 400 years ago. It signifies long-lasting love loyalty and friendship. Finally, we hope this article has helped you understand the significance of Celtic promise rings and have intrigued you to make one for your sweetheart.