Promise Rings

Written by Serena Berger
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For many people, promise rings evoke the thought of the innocent and idyllic days of soda fountains, Thunderbirds, and poodle skirts. Girls would speculate excitedly with their friends about whether their boyfriends were going to ask them to go steady, letting them wear their varsity jackets and giving them a promise ring. A boy might give his girl his class ring, which would be too big for her to wear on her finger, so she would wear it on a chain around her neck.

The huge popularity of a film like Pleasantville reminds us that though young people today often seem more jaded than their 50s counterparts, there's still a lot to be said for sweet traditions. If you're half of a couple that celebrates the anniversary of your first date or the day you met, you might be a perfect candidate for a promise ring. If you're too young to get married or not ready to be officially engaged but you want to get your girl a special piece of jewelry, consider a promise ring.

One word of caution, however: make sure you tell her what it is before she opens it! If she's not ready to get engaged either, a moment that should be perfect and romantic could be ruined by her panic attack if she misconstrues your intention as a proposal. Conversely, if she would say yes to a proposal but that's not what you're offering, it would be sad to have to explain that in the midst of her jubilant reaction.

Selecting a Promise Ring

Generally, you wouldn't want to give a ring that could be mistaken for an engagement ring or a wedding ring by others, either. That means no diamond solitaires, in particular, but probably no simple gold or silver bands, either. One option is to wear the ring on another finger; but if she's going to wear it on her left hand ring finger, then you should definitely consider other gemstones or a unique engraved poesy ring, puzzle ring, or Celtic design that doesn't look quite so matrimonial.

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