Engagement rings for men definitely are not a ‘must have’ item for the average guy, but jewelry manufacturers and retailers are hoping that the new trend for men engagement rings catches on. Whether there’s enough genuine desire for male rings to justify the aggressive marketing remains to be seen. Overall jewelry sales figures show that the average man is less interested in jewelry than the average woman. Traditionalists will reject the idea of engagement rings for men on principle.
Jewelers are counting on a younger generation to embrace the idea of men’s engagement rings, or are even hoping that they’ll buy the rings as fashion accessories, simply because they like the designs. One specific target market is gay couples and there is also a growth market for matching engagement rings, either his & his or his & hers. In an age of gender equality, some women may want to buy their men a ring.
- 7% of all men in the US who plan to marry wear an engagement ring
- 6% of hetrosexual men receive an engagement ring before marriage
- 49% of gay couples will mark their engagement with a ring.
Are there engagement rings for men in mainstream American culture?
No, by and large, the trend for men’s engagement rings is confined to gay men, celebrities, and a small minority of sophisticated urban couples. The fashion hasn’t caught on with ordinary middle and working-class people, or with social conservatives from any background. So far, most American men – and presumably their fiances – just aren’t interested.
Are There Engagement Rings For Men without Diamonds?
Most engagement rings for men don’t have diamonds. If you mention the idea of an engagement ring to a typical man, his first mental image will probably be of a delicate solitaire ring with a brilliant-cut or halo diamond center stone. It’s the very last thing he wants to wear on his finger. Fortunately, jewelry designers have a detailed knowledge of mens’ tastes when it comes to rings. They know that guys usually prefer simple and masculine designs. They also know that men prefer basic bands that won’t interfere with chores or active sports.
Are There Engagement Rings For Men on a Budget?
Yes – Jewelers know that it’s a lot harder to persuade men to buy expensive jewelry (at least when they’re shopping for themselves). They also know that men are generally far less enthusiastic about receiving an engagement ring than women are. The average cost of a man’s wedding ring in the US is just over $500. Compare that to an average price of over $5,000 for a women’s wedding ring. Average prices are always skewed by super-expensive purchases at the top end of the market, but you start to get the picture…
There are whole ranges of simple and well-designed rings that look good and won’t break the bank. One modern design trend is a move towards non-precious metals. Many men love the striking high-tech look of a black titanium ring, or even black stainless steel set with a black agate or other semi-precious stone. Another choice could be a cobalt ring, inlaid with tiny black laboratory diamonds.
Are there Engagement Rings for Men Online?
Yes, big online retailers like Blue Nile and Tiffany & Co already have a range of men’s engagement rings in their online stores. Other smaller jewelers and specialist sites also offer their own designs. A quick search on Amazon, Etsy or eBay will show a list of stores and sellers. The overall lower cost of men’s engagement rings (non-precious metals and no diamonds) is encouraging some couples to approach jewelers and ateliers for bespoke hand-made designs.
How do I Wear a Man’s Engagement Ring?
There are no hard and fast rules about how to wear a man’s engagement ring. You don’t even have to put it on your finger; some men opt to wear their ring on a chain around their neck. If you’ve chosen a Claddagh ring as an engagement ring, you might wear it on the left ring finger with the point of the heart toward the fingertips. If you’ve bought a signet ring (quite a few men do opt for signet rings) you might wear it on your pinky. This can be a good compromise if you’re not really happy with the idea of wearing an engagement ring in the first place.
Is there a Difference between Wedding and Engagement Rings?
For all their efforts to market mens engagement rings, jewelers haven’t really come up with a distinctive style. Most wedding and engagement rings for men are basically the same – regardless of the actual type. If you want an engagement ring, there’s no reason why you can’t buy a wedding band. The average person who sees a band on your ring finger will assume that it’s a wedding ring anyway. If you’re planning to wear both an engagement ring and a wedding ring together, you’ll need to consider choosing slender bands.
How do I Choose an Engagement Ring?
Before you think about how to choose an engagement ring, decide on your budget. When you know how much you intend to spend, you can look at all the options.
- If you work with your hands, or enjoy active sports, choose a simple, slender band that is easy to remove. Doctors across the US deal with thousands of horrific finger injuries every year, including avulsions, deglovings and amputations. Most of these are incurred at work, during sports, or performing household chores. N.B. If you’re in any way squeamish, don’t Google these injuries…
- Choose a ring that will look good whatever you’re wearing (jeans and a t-shirt or a business suit). If you’re considering a ring that makes a fashion statement, bear in mind that your tastes may change over the years. Rings are like tattoos – what was flaunted at 20 can be regretted at 30 and hated at 40.
- If you’re not used to wearing rings (plenty of men have never worn a ring before they get married) check the sensitivity of your skin. Specific allergies to metals are fortunately rare, but a silicon ring is a good choice if you have sensitive skin.
I’m uncomfortable about the idea of wearing an engagement ring…
If you’re uncomfortable about wearing a men’s engagement ring, the simple solution is don’t buy one! At the end of the day it’s just a minor fashion trend – not an unbreakable social convention. There’s absolutely no point in spending money on an item of jewelry that you don’t want and will hate wearing. Another issue is that not everybody likes the physical sensation of wearing a ring. Sometimes, even wearing a wedding ring is a major compromise.
If your girlfriend was adventurous and surprised you with a ring, or is putting pressure on you to choose one, tell her “thank you – but no thank you”. You love her, and you want to build a life together, but you simply aren’t comfortable wearing an engagement ring. If she can’t accept that, take it as an urgent warning sign that you’re in a relationship with the wrong woman.