A promise ring is most commonly associated with a man gifting a woman a ring as a promise of marriage in the near future. A good example is a claddagh ring. The ancient Celtic people have used Claddagh rings for centuries as promise rings.
Sometimes though, a promise ring has different uses than what is commonly used. Rather than simply limiting its use to pre-engagement rings, there are a number of other common uses. Basically it all boils down to symbolically representing a promise to oneself or to another party.
These other promises can be:
1. For best or special friends - Between best friends, the rings are given in cases such as when a friend is moving away or as a symbol of their long-lasting friendship. Such rings are a perfect way of indicating a special friendship. Claddagh rings, for example, are given between friends along with the saying "Let love and friendship reign".
2. For chastity - Chastity is another use of a promise ring. While it can be given by a boyfriend or girlfriend to their partner, it is usually given by parents to their child as a reminder to be chaste or pure prior to being married. Another name for such rings are purity rings.
3. For monogamy - Promise rings can also act as a symbol of monogamy for two people who haven't decided on marriage yet. Claddagh rings are exchanged between couples to indicate their commitment to be joined together forever.
Most promise ring are simple mass market rings that don't cost a lot of money. Claddagh rings, though make far better choices as promise rings. It is because of the intricate artwork and the meanings attached to the symbols on the ring. The deep significance of these Celtic rings are well-documented and besides the meanings associated with the metal artwork, there is also the meaning behind the way the rings are worn. Claddagh designs consist of a heart (representing love) and are topped by a crown (representing loyalty) which are both held by two hands (representing friendship). A Claddagh ring, depending on the material used and the manufacturer, can range anywhere from thirty dollars to several hundred or over a thousand dollars.
The fine details contained within a Claddagh ring make them excellent pre-engagement or engagement gifts. As with most cultures, wearing the ring on the left ring finger is an indication that the person is attached. In this case, a Claddagh ring worn with the symbols facing inwards on the left hand indicates that the person is married.
This deep significance in the ring's symbols and the way it is worn has resulted in Celtic jewelry experiencing an upsurge in demand now as more couples are choosing Celtic wedding rings over traditional wedding rings for their wedding ceremony.
Tim O?Malley writes for Shanore.com, a Dublin based Irish Celtic jewelry specialist offering Claddagh rings and other Celtic rings. They offer free FedEx shipping on all their items. Buy authentic Celtic jewelry at Shanore.com today.