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The Emergence of Men’s Engagement Rings

by Haig Ter-Martirosian
Last updated on October 29, 2021
mens engagement rings

If James Brown once sang, “this is a man’s world,” then why are we still asking ourselves, “Can men wear engagement rings? For far too long, the traditional norm of claiming ownership when gifting it to women was perceived as normal. It is about time we normalize men’s engagement rings.

Thanks to millennials and now Gen-Z for defying gender norms and redefining how couples can freely showcase equality and commitment within their romantic relationship. If engagement rings are supposed to signify an eternal bond to your soulmate, then who decided that a girl can’t surprise her husband-to-be with a handsome diamond ring on a bent knee?

A stereotypical proposal leading to a gender-biased wedding is a thing of the past. Kick back and enjoy your read as Clean Origin dives deeper into the topic of men’s engagement rings and all the buzz that surrounds it!

What Do Engagement Rings for Men Symbolize?

Firstly, as a man myself, I’d say they represent the innovation of social norms and forward-thinking.

Considering the patriarchal influence of this symbolic ring and its traditional association with women being the primary receiver, every new man getting a ring during a proposal is another step forward to empower equality. Modern couples, notably those in their 20s and 30s, have a broader spectrum of what getting engaged should look like. This is why the ring must symbolize alliance for many of them rather than what its traditional roots commanded.

Every romantic union is unique on its own. Thus, breaking this unnecessary hierarchy of who should be making the first move is a thing of the past. After all, aren’t we celebrating love, inclusiveness, and partaking in the evolution of marriage proposals? Why follow rules that are simply outdated?

Mangagement Rings: Celebrities Who Took the Lead

Did you know in Latin American cultures such as Cuba and Argentina, both bride and groom gift each other engagement rings to be worn on their right hand before the traditional wedding ring exchange on the big day!

This was precisely the case for jazz sensationalist Michael Bublé, who proudly flaunted his plain band during a concert in Toronto back in 2010. His fiancée at the time, actress Luisana Lopilato carried on tradition — it’s perfectly normal for men in Argentina to receive a ring before marriage.

Another superstar named Ed Sheeran kicked up a fuss after announcing that he and Cherry Seaborn will be tying the knot. At the same time, fans had their eyes locked on a shiny sterling silver band comfortably sitting on the singer’s left hand.

These celebrities kicked off with a clear message: “Who said men should only wear wedding rings?”

Men’s Engagement Rings Make Bold Statements

A great conversation starter. Naturally, rocking one will say that you are taken and pleased to show it. You can see the spark in a girl’s eyes when she shows off her ring piece to friends and family. What about us guys? Other than that pat on the back and the usual “good job buddy” from our entourage. Don’t we deserve one of our own?

This being said, do men wear engagement rings? Of course, they do, and we believe more of them should! Women today are super confident, in control of their destiny. Therefore, they can choose to surprise their significant other whenever they feel that time has come. 

Of course, there’s also the scenario where couples can mutually agree to give each other rings. Nonetheless, if she liked it, then she better put a ring on it — All my single fellas!

Design Thinking in the Men’s Engagement Ring

So, what are men’s engagement rings supposed to look like? What are the distinctive features of the design aspect that’ll make them appealing to men? When wish to shop for a piece, what metal, shape, symbol, or mark are considered in fashion? Another good question would be, will they wear it every day or only on occasions? The latter, notably, is significant because, let’s all agree, a guy working in a construction site as opposed to a guy who’s at the office won’t have the same concerns about durability. Create a list of what’s important to you so you can shop accordingly.

Some of the most common materials used by jewelers include, but are not limited to:

  • The 3 G’s: Yellow Gold, White Gold & Rose Gold
  • .925 Sterling Silver
  • Palladium, Titanium & Platinum
  • Tungsten, Tantalum & Cobalt
  • Non-metals such as Silicone & Wood

As the popularity of men’s hand jewelry is thriving, many brands are showing commitment to this movement by creating a dedicated collection or announcing new releases coming soon. Since Clean Origin does not have its line of engagement rings for men (sit tight!), here are a few styles we deem trendy amongst men:

Plain Platinum Band With a Single Tiny Diamond

If your man has a taste for classic with a combination of minimalist and modern design, a subtle plain band in white gold or a platinum band encompassing a single round or cushion-cut diamond at the center will do the job. Other variations of this piece, such as hammered texturing to the band or adding micro pave diamonds, can add a layer of fanciness to your masculine piece.

Sculpted Vintage-Inspired Yellow Gold Ring

Who said Victorian-era-inspired jewelry is for women only? Nothing beats a diamond solitaire gold ring with carved artwork along the edges of the center stone and shoulders! Neoclassical designs have long followed artisans throughout history, so why not have a modern revival version of this design? Alternatively, the white gold or rose gold version would equally evoke the same charm! Some guys still stick to the script: Gold never gets old!

The Diamond Solitaire Men’s Engagement Ring 

Set a masculine tone to the iconic solitaire engagement ring with a truly authentic and bold piece. Tiffany & Co recently unveiled their latest addition to their engagement suite, featuring a daring solitaire ring with choices of emerald-cut or brilliant round cut diamonds fused with titanium or platinum. White gold can also be a wise option. The design breathes modernity with a knife or beveled edge variations while taking its female counterpart to a whole new level.

Built for the Modern Groom

The modern gentleman has the free will to pick and choose an engagement ring that will mirror his personality and charisma and mimic his romantic story. The technical aesthetics dictating what an engagement ring for gents should or shouldn’t look like is practically non-existent. There are no written rules that say, “a man’s ring shall be yellow gold.” These days, men shop for jewelry the same way they’d shop for a car.

By and large, men’s proposal ring styles balance between bold and exquisite. One may opt for a personalized message typically engraved on the inner part or present particular motifs on the outside, best depicting a distinctive trait about the person wearing it. Also, as men’s jewelry is becoming more and more popular, rose gold is similarly gaining traction as a preferred choice of metal.

Now and then, men have a thing for extra glitter such as gold eternity bands or go with a darker option, like black titanium with black diamonds, for instance. Options for men can be pretty versatile. What matters is making a choice based on your individuality.

Matching Mens Engagement Rings With Wedding Bands

Today, most married men will adorn a gold wedding ring, which traditionally slips on their left hand’s ring finger by the bride during the wedding ceremony. The advantage for men in getting their proposal ring before marriage is that they’ll have enough time to style and match it with their wedding band.

Try to search for a piece to complement it and not take away all the shine by good practice. More importantly, don’t go for something that looks too similar, as you want your male engagement ring to make a statement by itself, especially if you’re planning to stack them both together. The term “Groom Sets” still doesn’t exist in wedding jewelry, but don’t be surprised to see it become a category soon!

The Ideal Choice of Rings for Gay Couples

Remember only six years ago when the Us officially legalized same-sex marriages? That decision led to a growing demand for male rings. From that moment on, it was no secret that a guy wanting to surprise his boyfriend could now opt for some pre-wedding novelty: engagement rings!

Fun fact: Nearly 50% of American gay males planning on taking the plunge desire an engagement ring before the marriage ceremony. Furthermore, 40% of gay newlyweds show that both lovers rock engagement rings with pride. That number is only rising by the day, pushing jewelry designers to sketch out ring designs suited for same-sex partners.

Is the Gent’s Ring Going Mainstream?

You bet it is!

And the reason is quite simple: progressive-thinking in love relationships. See, those love birds who don’t find genuineness in old-school gender roles that society imposed on us thrive on swimming against the current and become advocates of change promoting conformity. Couples who decide to put on engagement rings lead others, making wedding planners return to the drawing board!

People with such a mindset don’t care about fancy limousines and expensive white wedding gowns. They genuinely value organizing a marriage ceremony that mirrors their individualities and a theme that celebrates their togetherness. That is also why women who take the initiative to get their man an engagement ring take matters into their own hands to give a message along these lines.

Final Thoughts

Men’s engagement rings are the perfect gentlemen’s jewelry that’ll voice out their undivided loyalty and devotion to their lover. When you shop for a men’s engagement ring, the correct size, realistic budget, and personalized fashion and style are three major puzzles you will need to solve before searching for that manly, handsome, solidly-hand crafted perfect ring. 

When you purchase one for your partner, it means leaving behind a legacy of enhanced wedding tradition, thus contributing to real change and empowering a healthier alpha-omega balance.

At Clean Origin, we are committed to equality, inclusivity and will only produce eco-conscious rings with the finest lab-grown diamonds in the market. Our settings are carefully mounted and polished with our quality craftsmanship promise. Need inspiration for men’s ring ideas, such as some of our fantastic wedding bands? Check out our definitive guide to help out. Alternatively, if you have any questions regarding this article or lab-cultivated diamonds, try our virtual appointment service for some professional feedback from our experienced jewelry consultant!