History of Promise Rings

Promise rings date back to the old days of betrothals. Betrothals go back as far as Biblical times. They were a public announcement followed by a contract for marriage. So, they were legally binding. At the betrothal ceremony, the future groom would give his future bride a betrothal ring as a sign of good faith. The rings were typically plain until the eighth century, where Jewish jewelers starting making more elaborate rings. Betrothals became a thing of the past around the 18th or 19th century, where engagement rings took its place. The term “promise ring” came about in the 1990s. It’s a custom mostly, not entirely, followed by Christians to promise marriage someday in the future, with no set date.
Another way promise rings came about was from ancient days where Bishops wore rings to pledge spiritual union with the church. Dignitaries in Venice, Italy even renew the city’s “marriage promise” to the Adriatic Sea by tossing a ring into its waters on the annual Ascension morning.
During the 16th and 17th centuries, Europeans would exchange rings as a token of love or friendship. An example of one of these rings is the scribbling ring. The scribbling ring was used by lovers to write vows in windowpanes with a sharp edge of the diamond. Another ring with a similar idea was known as the poesy ring. The poesy ring was just a band with a promise or vow engraved on its surface.