Male Wedding Bands
Despite a major effort by a couple of large retailers to promote men’s engagement rings in the 1920’s, the practice of a man’s wearing an engagement ring never became a trend, potentially because the rings were viewed as too feminine. After all, men weren’t even wearing wedding bands in the 1920’s, never mind a man’s engagement ring.
Wedding bands started to become popular in the 1940’s around the time of World War II. Young, recently-married soldiers were being sent to Europe to fight against the Nazis, and they were unsure if they would ever see their spouses again. To remind them of their brides back in the states, many began to wear a very plain and simple wedding band. Then, in 1945, Humphrey Bogart married Lauren Bacall and he was photographed wearing a wedding band. Those photographs transformed men’s wedding bands from a trend to a tradition.
At the same time, the whole notion of a man’s engagement ring simply faded into oblivion. Young women had a hard enough time trying to afford simple wedding bands for their spouses during the war years, never mind engagement rings.
Male Engagement Rings
A man’s engagement ring is slowly becoming more popular among straight couples, where it symbolizes equality in their relationship and serves as a reminder that the couple is entering into their marriage as equal partners.
Same-sex marriages between men have also contributed to the rising sales and popularity of men’s engagement rings. Gay men often want to propose with an engagement ring and to wear rings to show they are engaged. But, just as with the wedding band, it’s Hollywood celebrities who are moving the trend into the mainstream. Michael Bublé, Johnny Depp, Charlie Sheen and Ed Sheeran are just some of the stars who recently wore a man’s engagement ring prior to their weddings (or, in Charlie Sheen’s case, during his engagement, which didn’t end with a wedding).
While the estimates are that only about 5 percent of all men currently wear a man’s engagement ring, a majority of men don’t have any objection to wearing an engagement ring, and many have said they would like to wear one. Among gay men, the percentage who wear engagement rings is much higher.
A Typical Man’s Engagement Ring
If you’re browsing in a jewelry store and you come to a section labeled Management Rings, you’ve just stumbled upon men’s engagement rings. In the jewelry industry, man-engagement rings are referred to as management rings.
While there are no strict guidelines for how a man’s engagement ring should look, the designs you’ll see while shopping in jewelry stores are typically simple and understated rather than elaborate and flashy.
Gold remains the most popular metal used in a man’s engagement ring, although it might be yellow gold, rose gold or white gold. Platinum, which is more expensive than gold, is also a common metal used in men’s engagement rings. Titanium is another popular choice because it is very durable, but also less expensive than gold, hypoallergenic, lightweight, scratch-resistant and corrosion-proof.
Man’s Engagement Ring Price
A man’s engagement ring ranges in price from about $200 to more than $1,000. However, even at the high end, it’s still a bargain compared to the $6,000 average price of a woman’s engagement ring.
How Men Wear Engagement Rings
When you purchase a man’s engagement ring, consider what you’re going to do with the ring after you get married. The current trend is to move your man’s engagement ring to your right hand after you get married, since you wear your wedding band on the left hand.
Budget is the Only Obstacle
Other than the added expense, there’s really no reason for men not to wear a man’s engagement ring. In most big cities, it’s easy to find a jeweler that caters to same-sex couples and has a specific selection of management rings or provides the option for you to design your own rings. If you’re considering men’s engagement rings, you can become a trend-setter by wearing them You’ll be the envy of all the gay grooms without gay engagement rings!