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A Guide to Pre-Engagement Rings

·4 min read

Should you buy a Pre-engagement ring?

So you’re going to pop the question- ask the one you love to share that love for the long-haul. But, maybe you aren’t ready to start the wedding board and work months on end to figure out the seating arrangements and which shade of white the napkins need to be. Or maybe you want to make sure they get the big, flashy, Instagram-worthy rock they’ve always dreamed of, but can’t afford it right now. Or maybe you’re young and you still have a lot of life left to discover before you make the big commitment, but want something to symbolize the commitment you have to each other. In any case, these are all great reasons to get a pre-engagement ring. Or pre-ring for short.

So what is it?

A pre-engagement ring, or promise ring, is a ring that one partner gives to the other to show commitment in the relationship. While these have been around since the 1500’s in England, they really began to gain popularity in the mid 2000’s with celebs like Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus and Kylie Jenner all getting promise rings from their beaus. While it's not exactly traditional, there may be some advantages to getting a pre-engagement ring.

What do they look like?

Since this isn't the actual engagement ring, typically this is a much more dainty and small style (usually less expensive) ring. These are simple, non-extravagant designs. Since this isn’t very traditional, there's no norms to adhere to, so really anything goes! Sometimes made with just sterling silver, which isn’t quite as common for wedding sets because it's a softer metal that doesn’t stand up long term and can become disformed.

Moissanite is a diamond simulant (looks and shines like diamond, but is actually a different chemical composition all-together) and may be one of the most common stone you’ll find in these types of rings. They are very inexpensive but look like the real deal. You can usually find these in a decent carat weight too, which means more rock for your money.

Another popular stone is morganite. This is a peachy-pink stone that pairs amazingly with rose gold (really these two are like PB & J, they were made for each other). These blush colors are eye-catching and very trendy. Morganite is also relatively inexpensive compared to diamond. It’s classy, and goes with everything.

Dainty and subtle are common styles for pre-engagement rings. You want to save all the ooh’s and aah’s for the real deal. Luckily, minimalism is en vogue right now and there are plenty of options to choose from. A lot of styles you may find while looking for a pre-ring are hand made and have a vintage or understated style to them.

Why get one?

Once upon a time when you found the one you wanted to spend forever with, you’d break out great-grandma Ruthie’s old wedding ring that was passed down generations. Vintage is coming back, but maybe you want something more modern. Giving the family heirloom to a loved one as a promise of commitment until they find the ring of their dreams is a great and sweet opportunity. This means you have something to propose with already, but they'll have a choice in the real ring later on and the sentiment behind this will mean a lot to your sweetie and Nana.

Maybe you want to give your sweetie the ring of their dreams but you don't have the pocketbook of YOUR dreams yet. This doen't mean you should have to wait to really express how you feel to them. FInding a smaller ring will solve this conundrum. This means you get to pop the question and give them a great ring for now, until you can afford the big one.

If you buy a smaller pre-ring before you pop the question, you’re not out a chunk of cash if the answer doesn’t go the way you were hoping. Of course this would never happen to you though, you’re awesome and doing your research. You’re a catch!

After you find the dream ring

Alright, so you’ve had your pre-ring for a while and now you’ve found your forever, love at first sight ring, now what? Well a few things. Once you settle on the style and aesthetic you’re going for, you can have your jeweler melt down the materials and repurpose accent stones that were originally in your pre-ring. This adds sentimental value, while giving you time to find the style and main center stone you want.

Another stylish option would be to wear the ring on your right hand. It's always nice to have more than one everyday ring to wear. And it’ll remind you each day of where your love started, and on the other hand what it grew to be.

So should you get a pre-ring? There’s lots of benefits to finding one! Best of all, there’s no rush in finding your dream ring. There’s nothing worse than ring-regrets every time you look down, wishing it was just a little different. This means you (or your partner) can make all the Pinterest boards (come on… we already know you have at least one or two) and really find what your heart desires without the pressure.

Lex Alcala
Lex has been studying and diving into the gem world for years. She’s finally able to combine her love of writing and passion for all things gem and diamond related as a writer for Rare Carat. When she’s not working on on creating fun and fascinating articles or studying for her Graduate Gemologist Diploma, she’s hanging with her husband and 3 amazing bonus kids.