Do Men Wear Engagement Rings?

January 16th, 2023

Engagement rings are familiar to cultures worldwide, and each has its unique set of practices surrounding the custom. Engagement rings for men have an intriguing history and have become more popular in the jewelry industry and in everyday life since the early twenty-first century. Here’s a look at how engagement rings for men have evolved. 

The Custom of Wearing Engagement Rings

An engagement ring is traditionally worn on the ring finger of the left hand. While this is still the most prevalent practice among both men and women, it is far from the only way (or finger) to wear an engagement ring. In Chile, for example, males wear engagement rings on the right ring finger rather than the left.

Today, there are no rules for men wearing an engagement ring and you can be as traditional or as distinctive as you desire. Guys might prefer to wear their engagement ring on their right hand’s ring finger as opposed to the left. Others may prefer to wear it as a necklace on a simple chain.

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The History of Men’s Engagement Rings

For a long time, males have been expected to wear engagement rings in other nations, most notably Chile and Sweden. But in the U.S., the custom has only recently caught on.

Macy’s department store, for example, conducted an advertising campaign for men’s engagement rings in the 1920s, but the notion never did catch on. However, in the last 10 years, the wearing of a male engagement ring has gained popularity across the United States. Many men see it as an indication of a more equal partnership between two people, while others may have been proposed to by their partner or simply wish to wear a token of their commitment. Celebrities such as Ed Sheeran and Michael Bublé have also brought attention to the issue by wearing their own engagement rings.

Why Haven’t Men Traditionally Worn Engagement Rings?

Historically, giving a woman an engagement ring represented the payment of a dowry for a woman’s hand in marriage. The practice of offering betrothal rings as a high-priced gift appears to have originated with the ancient Romans. It represented a tangible representation of a woman being “taken” or “spoken for” in order to gain ownership.

Not surprisingly, this interpretation of an engagement ring changes with the times. Today, the ring represents love and commitment, with the recipient making the free choice to marry their significant other.

Read Also: How To Insure Your Engagement Ring

Why Haven’t Men Traditionally Worn Engagement Rings?

Does an Engagement Ring Replace a Wedding Band?

Nowadays, engagement rings are global emblems of commitment and love. Wedding bands are typically used to commemorate the union of two people and the life they will share. Thus, an engagement ring has a distinct role that is complementary yet separate from that of a wedding band.

Each individual has the option to choose wearing both rings together, separately, or on various occasions. Some people prefer to switch their engagement band to a different finger so they can wear their wedding ring alone. It is entirely up to youl.

Men’s Engagement Ring Styles

Men’s Engagement Ring Styles

Men’s engagement rings, like women’s engagement rings, are an expression of individual taste and personality, and there are styles to match. Rings can be made from the same precious metals, with intricacy and design elements ranging from unique to classic. Men’s engagement rings can also include gemstones.  A solitaire diamond set within a substantial mounting is a popular style.

Tiffany & Co., for example, has a dedicated line of men’s engagement rings, along with retailers such as Blue Nile.  Many custom designers also feature men’s engagement ring creations.

Regardless of engagement ring traditions, current times are completely embracing the practice of men receiving and wearing engagement rings with all of the originality and personal meaning that engagement rings are known to convey.

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About the Author

Dustin Lemick is the Founder and CEO of BriteCo and a third-generation jeweler with over thirteen years of retail jewelry experience. He holds a Graduate Gemologist degree from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and has in-depth knowledge and expertise in appraisal systems, diamond and gemstone markets, retail pricing models, insurance replacement models, and jewelry quotation pricing systems.
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