The engagement ring has been the traditional symbol of a couple's commitment for generations. However, in recent years, a new trend has emerged that challenges this convention: the pre-engagement ring. 

More and more couples opt for these rings to signify their commitment to each other before getting engaged without the pressure of a formal proposal. This trend has been embraced by couples of all ages and backgrounds, sparking a debate on whether the pre-engagement ring is here to stay or just a fad. 

In this article, we'll explore the rise of pre-engagement rings, their significance, and what you need to know before considering one for yourself or your partner.

The Evolution Of Engagement Rings

Pre Engagement Ring

For centuries, engagement rings have symbolised a couple's commitment. But where did the tradition begin, and how has it evolved? Let's look at the history and evolution of engagement rings.

Historical Significance

The practice of exchanging rings to signify a commitment dates back to ancient times when they were made of simple materials like woven grass or reeds. In ancient Egypt, engagement rings were made of precious metals and decorated with intricate designs. 

The ancient Greeks and Romans also exchanged rings, with the latter using them as a symbol of ownership over their brides.

In the Middle Ages, the concept of the engagement ring as we know it today began to take shape. The rings were often adorned with gems or symbols representing a couple's wedding or engagement.

Diamonds Enter The Scene

While engagement rings were already popular in Europe by the 15th century, it wasn't until the late 19th century that diamonds became the preferred gemstone for engagement rings. The discovery of diamonds in South Africa in 1867 led to a significant increase in diamond production, which made them more accessible and affordable.

Evolution Of Style

The 20th century saw a variety of styles and designs emerge for engagement rings. In the 1920s, the Art Deco movement inspired geometric shapes and bold colours, while the 1950s and 60s favoured more intricate, romantic designs. The 1970s and 80s saw a trend towards more minimalistic and modern designs.

Today, there is a wide range of styles and materials for engagement rings. Many couples opt for custom designs that reflect their tastes and preferences.

What Are Pre-Engagement Rings Anyway?

Pre Engagement Ring

A pre-engagement ring, or a promise ring, is a piece of jewellery that a person gives to their significant other as a token of their commitment. It is similar in style to an engagement ring but is given before an official proposal or engagement occurs. The ring may have various designs, materials, and gemstones and can be worn on any finger.

More instances where a pre-engagement ring is suitable for couples include:

  • High school sweethearts: Although most high school graduates may not be ready for marriage, they may want to commit to their significant other for the future.
  • Graduates: Upon leaving college, finances may be a concern for graduates who may not have the means to purchase an engagement ring or plan a wedding. A pre-engagement ring serves as a token of commitment as they embark on their careers and save money.
  • Couples seeking commitment without marriage: Marriage may not be the desired outcome for every couple. While some may prefer not to marry at all, others may consider it at a later time. However, commitment is still important to these couples, and a pre-engagement ring is a meaningful way to signify a monogamous relationship.

History Of Pre-engagement Rings

Throughout history, the idea of a pre-engagement ring has surfaced in various forms. In the 16th century England, posy rings were engraved with romantic poetry, while acrostic rings spelt a word using gemstones. For instance, "regard" was represented by a ruby, emerald, garnet, amethyst, another ruby, and a diamond.

In the 1970s, the term "promise ring" became widely known and is comparable to a pre-engagement ring.

Now that we understand why couples have pre-engagement rings, and you see you and your partner in the same situation as theirs, chances are you're planning to buy one by the time you're reading this. 

While there are no set rules for the design of pre-engagement rings, certain styles and designs are currently trending among couples.

Here are some popular styles and designs of pre-engagement rings:

Solitaire Rings

Like traditional engagement rings, solitaire rings are a classic and timeless choice for pre-engagement rings. They feature a single gemstone, often a diamond, set on a plain band. This design's simplicity allows the gemstone's beauty to shine through.

Halo Rings

Halo rings feature a central gemstone surrounded by a circle of smaller stones, creating a "halo" effect. This style can add extra sparkle and dimension to the ring, making it a popular choice among couples.

Stackable Rings

Stackable rings are a versatile and customisable option for pre-engagement rings. They allow couples to add or remove rings, creating a unique and personalised look. Stackable rings can also be combined with different metals and gemstones for a more eclectic design.

Coloured Stones

While diamonds are popular for pre-engagement rings, many couples opt for coloured gemstones such as sapphires, rubies, or emeralds. These stones can add a pop of colour and personality to the ring.

Vintage-Inspired Rings

Vintage-inspired rings are a romantic and nostalgic option for pre-engagement rings. They feature designs from past eras, such as art deco or Victorian styles, and often incorporate intricate details and unique shapes.

Minimalist Rings

Minimalist rings are a modern and understated option for pre-engagement rings. They feature simple designs and clean lines, often with a single gemstone or plain band. This style is perfect for couples who prefer a more subtle and understated look.


In a world where tradition constantly evolves, pre-engagement rings have become popular for couples looking to express their commitment to each other. These rings offer a unique and personalised way for couples to symbolise their love and dedication before leaping to a formal engagement.

So why not break tradition and explore the world of pre-engagement rings? With so many styles and designs, you will surely find a ring that perfectly captures your love and commitment to one another.

After all, the most important thing is that the ring you choose represents your unique and special bond and serves as a daily reminder of the love and commitment you share!


How is a pre-engagement ring different from an engagement ring?

Pre-engagement and promise rings are similar since both serve as temporary placeholders for the eventual engagement ring. Whether a couple calls it a promise or a pre-engagement ring is entirely up to them. If marriage isn't imminent, it may be more fitting to call it a promise ring.

The only subtle distinction between the two types of rings is the finger they're worn on

Do I need to get a pre-engagement ring before proposing?

No, getting a pre-engagement ring is not a requirement before proposing to your partner. It's a personal choice and depends on the couple's preferences.

Is it okay for men to wear pre-engagement rings?

Yes, pre-engagement rings are not gender-specific, and both men and women can wear them as a symbol of commitment.