What does a ring mean in a relationship? In the case of an engagement ring, the intention would seem pretty clear cut, but how about giving a ring to mark a significant milestone, mutual decision or as a reminder of your enduring love and intimacy? Enter the commitment ring.
A commitment ring could be given as a pre-engagement ring, symbolising your intention to get married at some point in the future, or on the other hand (quite literally), a commitment ring can be given in the place of a traditional engagement ring if the conventional idea and framework of marriage doesn’t appeal to you. Perhaps you’ve weathered a storm together and a beautiful bespoke ring would serve as a daily reminder of your strength, or maybe you’re going long-distance and a commitment ring seems apt to rep your love while you’re far apart.
Jeweller Dinny Hall explains that giving and receiving commitment rings is becoming ever more popular and that there’s no set etiquette to be followed:
“My team and I are designing more and more fine rings that are not necessarily intended for an engagement in the traditional sense. This could be down to the fact that we’ve all recently endured a time when the idea of a wedding seems quite far off and commitment in the form of a ring says a lot to mark your ‘togetherness’.”
Jeweller Maya Magal agrees that commitment rings can convey just as much meaning as an engagement or wedding ring, especially during uncertain times:
“We have definitely noticed an uptick in interest for commitment rings. I’m not sure whether this is directly related to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in terms of people wanting to show their commitment and plan a full wedding much later on, or whether it’s just that the concept of wearing a commitment ring is just becoming more popular in general.”
What Does a Commitment Ring Look Like?
In short, however you want it to. We’ll let Dinny take it from here:
“I’m not really one for ‘ring rules’ but in general an engagement ring is based around the idea of a central precious gemstone, designed to be worn with a wedding band to create a ‘formal’ look.
“A commitment ring is more free but still given with love and longevity in mind, in the same way that you’d give an eternity, trilogy, signet or a posy ring. These kinds of rings could all be seen as commitment rings in a way. On the whole I would say that there’s more scope for pushing the boundaries design-wise when creating a commitment ring.”
Maya emphasises that just because a commitment ring doesn’t have the same implicit associations as an engagement or wedding ring, it should nevertheless be designed or chosen with permanence in mind:
“Think of a commitment ring as a piece of jewellery that can be worn forever and passed down.
“Perhaps it can stack up against an engagement and wedding ring eventually or even be strung on a chain and worn as a necklace. If a commitment ring is a precursor to an engagement ring I think that it should be considered as a standalone piece to be added to rather than replaced. See it as a means to cultivate a sustainable and long lasting relationship with both your jewellery and each other!”
Dinny recommends “choosing or designing a commitment ring that’s in keeping with the rings and jewellery that the recipient might already wear”, but notes that half eternity and signet style style rings are especially popular commitment ring options.
If a commitment ring symbolises an alternative to a wedding or engagement ring, you might want to commission a bespoke ring or splash out on a lavish design. Conversely it might be that you’re giving your S.O a commitment ring because neither of you are in the financial position to get engaged or marry just yet, in which case a commitment ring could be simple, understated and seriously affordable (but no less meaningful). The joy of a commitment ring is that it’s whatever you want it to be, both in meaning and design, and you don’t have to tell anyone your reasons for either if you don’t fancy it.
What Finger Do You Wear a Commitment Ring On?
While an engagement ring is worn on the fourth finger of your left hand in many Western cultures, a commitment ring can be worn on any finger (or thumb!). Dinny notes that pinky rings are increasingly sought after, giving a whole new meaning to the notion of a pinky promise.
How Do You Give a Commitment Ring?
You know what’s coming by now and the answer is...however you like! You could design and exchange rings together, give them to each other in private so that only the two of you know the true meaning behind them or invite your nearest and dearest to join a commitment ring ceremony. You might surprise your partner with a commitment ring and/or include a meaningful engraving, birthstone or other detail in the ring design too. There’s no expectation when it comes to getting down on one knee either, but go for it if the mood takes you.
Who Wears a Commitment Ring?
You can both wear one to remember each other by, as the Ancient Greeks did, or approach a commitment ring as a pre-engagement ring worn by just one partner in line with Ancient Roman tradition. Your commitment ring might emulate a 16th century posy ring, with romantic poetry inscribed onto your metal of choice, or you can take inspiration from distinctive traditional Irish Claddagh rings, whereby the hands represent friendship, the central heart symbolises love and the crown denotes loyalty.
Select matching rings, customise your own design, throw in diamonds and colourful gems or keep things sleek and understated – the who, why, where, what and how is totally your call. That said, if you’re in need of commitment ring ideas, we’ve got plenty of those too.
NB: We have included third party products to help you navigate and enjoy life’s biggest moments. Purchases made through links on this page may earn us a commission.
The Best Commitment Rings for Her
1. Evergreen Ring – £350, Maya Magal
Handmade in Maya’s London studio, this 9 karat gold ring is as evergreen as your relationship thanks to its intricate craftsmanship and flowing leaf design.
2. Elyhara 18 Karat Gold Sapphire Five Stone Ring – £2,500, Dinny Hall
A twinkly twist on a half eternity ring, this Georgian inspired design is studded with cornflower blue Sri Lankan sapphires and is the most in-demand style of Dinny’s collection. If you’re looking to invest in an heirloom commitment ring, Elyhara could well be the one.
3. Ripple Ring – £130, Bar Jewellery
A contemporary commitment ring that blends beautifully with other rings or makes a striking statement on its own. Each artisan ring is uniquely cast in London so that no two ‘ripples’ are ever the same.
4. Halo Lab Grown Diamond Band Ring – £85, Milly Grace
A dazzlingly clear lab grown diamond is suspended in a simple recycled silver band with 18 karat gold plating – as affordable commitment rings go, this one is the height of chic.
5. Audrey Vintage Style Ruby and Diamond Cluster Ring – £230
After a more retro ring? This ruby and diamond ‘flower’ is a beauty that hails from the 1950s and is sure to please if vintage details are her thing.
6. Gold Plated Vermeil Silver Stilla Arc White Sapphire Mini Beaded Ring – £50, Liberty London
Delicate and celestial with a white sapphire at its centre, this 18 karat gold plated ring is an inexpensive treasure.
7. Keepsake Ring – £650, Ellie Air
A keepsake gem that makes for the perfect commitment ring. The compass point claw setting showcases the white rose cut diamond at the centre of the design to stellar effect and you can include an engraving on the 18 karat gold band for free.
8. White Gold North Star Diamond Ring – £245, Edge of Ember
Speaking of starry rings, this 14 karat recycled white gold ring worn on the first finger will make for a spangly daily reminder of where your hearts are at. The diamond at the centre of the star is sustainably lab grown too.
9. Gold Interstellar Star Studded Ring – £59, Missoma
We’re sticking with the night sky theme because this cubic zirconia studded gold band really caught our eye. It would look especially striking nestled next to other stacking rings, or an investment piece in the future.
10. Ray Ring – £495, Kimai
This intricate perlee effect ring is available in recycled yellow, white or rose gold and brings some subtle bling in the form of a studded sphere of lab grown diamonds at its centre. As commitment rings go, it’s an achingly cool option.
11. Cushion 10 Karat Gold Pinky Ring – £345, Dinny Hall
This signet pinky ring is a bestseller that’s strong, scratch-proof and modern heirloom material. Engrave it with your initials for a traditional statement with a twist.
12. Atelier VM Gold In Due Wire Ring – £70, Liberty London
A super slender 18 karat gold band that would make the ideal commitment ring for any minimalist. Stack them up, wear one on every finger or opt for matching wire rings to style it out your way.
READ MORE: 42 Simple Engagement Rings for Modern Brides
13. Russian Wedding Ring – £250, Sophie Breitmeyer
Symbolising a couple’s past, present and future by way of three interlocking bands made with three different precious metals, a Russian wedding ring is traditionally worn on the fourth finger of your right hand and, as the name implies, was originally popular in Russia. This customary take on the style includes complimentary engraving to give the ring even more meaning.
14. Emilie Wrap Ring – £111, Maria Black
A modern multiband ring, this sterling silver gold plated triple wrap ring is an elegant everyday commitment ring choice that’s guaranteed to become an everyday staple.
15. Stone and Strand Wavy 14 Karat Gold Diamond Ring – £390, Net A Porter
A stylish curved ring studded with pavé diamonds that sits pretty alongside other rings. Not that it needs back-up – it’s beautiful all by itself.
16. Silver Diamond Style Baguette Eternity Ring – £69, Lily & Roo
Baguette sparklers always look refined and this crystal lineup in a sterling slender silver band is a gorgeous example of a commitment ring that looks far more spendy than it is.
17. Quartz Crystal & Diamond Pinky Ring – £195, Theodora Warre
A pinky ring with bling, this matt silver band hides inlaid trillion diamonds alongside the central asscher cut quartz crystal. A commitment ring to know their socks off, basically.
18. Follina Quadrato Ring – £135, Sif Jakobs
A polished 18 karat gold plated white zirconia bordered engravable piece that makes for an ‘extra’ take on a traditional signet ring. Surprise your partner or order individual rings for a bold commitment statement.
READ MORE: 30 Meaningful Wedding Ring Tattoo Ideas
19. Agnès de Verneuil Claddagh Ring – £163, Wolf & Badger
This classic Claddagh ring would make for a poignant symbol of your commitment if yourself or your partner has Irish heritage, or simply if the timeless Celtic trinket holds meaning for you both.
20. Panarea Ring – £75, By Alona
From a time honoured token to something altogether more edgy, the Panarea is inspired by the curving coastline, sparkling waters and dramatic cliffs of Sicliy’s Panarea region. Organic in shape and design and with different natural gemstone options to mimic the prismatic effect of the sun on water, the Panarea is probably as unique as ready to wear commitment rings come. Choose between white sapphire, peridot, pearl citrine or amethyst.
21. Gold Amun-Ra Ring – £130, Motley x Emily Robinson
This simple stamped gold ring references the chief of the ancient Eqyptian gods Amun-ra, with the three suns on the 18 karat gold band representing three generations of women in ring designer Emily’s family. The idea is to pass this ring down to loved ones, so giving it to your true love as a commitment ring is a fitting way to begin your very own tradition.
22. Mini Signet Ring – £205, Edge of Ember
Who says that a signet ring has to be chunky? This dainty 14 karat gold take on the traditional ring style is so neat and petite that just one initial can be inscribed onto the face, so pick a significant letter or number to suit your partner or speak to your relationship. Meghan Markle, who is said to have been given a commitment ring by Prince Harry (simply reading ‘H’), is also a fan of this ethical London-based brand, so you’ll be in fine company.
23. Stone and Strand 9 Karat Gold Sapphire Eternity Ring – £385, Net A Porter
An eternity ring that also makes a fitting commitment ring, this band of rainbow sapphires signals a celebration as soon as you slip it on.
24. Blake Bamboo Ring – £105, Marta Frisnes
Colourful commitment rings convey happiness at a glance. These gold, silver and enamel bamboo rings look striking worn alone but can also be stacked for a more opulent look.
25. Maria Black White Gold Diamond Cut Viper Trillion Sapphire Ring – £235, Liberty London
This ethereal ring may be small in size but everything about it is designed to catch the light, from the etched white gold band to the white trillion cut triangle sapphire at its centre.
26. Lune Rainbow Moonstone Ring – £155, Stellar 79
The definition of a dreamy commitment ring, the ‘rainbow’ moonstone at its centre is so called thanks to its ability to bounce off kaleidoscopic light. If gems and jewels aren’t your partner’s thing, this ring could be a goer.
27. Vermeil Pearl Half Eternity Ring – £175, Otiumberg
As non-traditional as eternity style commitment rings come, this pearl crowned yellow gold ring is fitted to the pinky finger. It may be small but it makes a statement.
28. Silver Utopia Ring – £50, Motley x Alice Cicolini
Wear your heart on your sleeve (or whichever finger you fancy) with this William Morris inspired sterling silver ring. It’s also available in 18 karat gold if that’s your partner’s jewellery hue of choice.
29. Grey Diamond Gold Stack Ring – £500, Sophia Perez
Salt and pepper diamonds may be having a moment but they have eternal appeal. This emerald cut diamond is simply presented on a recycled gold band – it’s classic yet unusual at the same time.
30. Lumina Rising Sun Round Yellow Sapphire Stacking Ring – £980, Vashi
An exquisite commitment ring that’s distinctive in design from a traditional engagement ring (and all the more alluring for it). The twisted 18 karat gold band is studded with pavé diamonds and the suspended yellow sapphire symbolises a new dawn, therefore appropriate for taking your relationship up a notch.
Commitment Rings For Him
31. Memory Ring – £770, Jacqueline & Edward
This matt 18 karat gold ring is handmade in Yorkshire using a blend of alluvial river gold (think old skool gold panning) and ethically sourced recycled gold. The memory band is also seriously cool – it can be an inlay of almost anything that’s special to the both of you, whether it’s a shell from your favourite beach or even a piece of your kid’s lego.
32. Miansai Edge Matte 14-Karat White and Yellow Gold Ring – £530, Mr Porter
Can’t decide on a precious metal? This two-tone ring combines the best of both and can be worn both ways for ultimate accessory versatility.
33. Maria Black Lovers Ring – £115, Liberty London
This bold commitment ring spells it out, in case of doubt.
34. Mens Long Pebble Signet Ring – £145, Dower & Hall
A slim take on a traditional men’s ring, this modern, angular signet style features a long engraving panel for initials of your choice.
35. Core Spliced Sterling Silver Rings – £235, Matches Men
A textured, oxidised and edgy commitment ring with a trio formation that nods to tradition.
Ready to propose but after something unusual? Browse these unique engagement rings for alternative brides.