More men are wearing engagement rings. The market is figuring it out. (2024)

By Brennan DohertyFeatures correspondent

More men are wearing engagement rings. The market is figuring it out. (1)More men are wearing engagement rings. The market is figuring it out. (2)Alamy

Several celebrities, including Canadian singer Michael Bublé, have begun wearing men's engagement rings, propelling the trend (Credit: Alamy)

A symbol long worn by women, engagement rings are becoming increasingly appealing to men.

Last April, on a secluded beach overlooking Toronto, I slipped an engagement ring on my girlfriend's finger. Then she did something relatively unusual for a twenty-something North American couple: she put a ring on mine.

My engagement ring is a 2mm-wide circle of white gold to match my fiancée's band. Going without one felt strange to me. For many people, a ring has traditionally been a sign a woman was "taken" by a man. But I think of our relationship as an equal partnership – the traditional approach didn't quite fit.

Engagement rings for men are a common practice in several countries, including Chile, Sweden and Brazil, where the jewellery traditionally doubles as the wedding ring. But in much of the Western world, only women receive engagement rings. That's changing.

For the past several years, in the absence of a men-focused engagement ring market, some men have traditional wedding bands instead, says Yagmur Telaferli, head of brand communications and content at New York-based jeweller Eternate. However, now, companies of all sizes are getting wise to the demand, introducing collections of engagement rings specifically for men.

Eternate launched its own line in January. Additionally, many major brands serving global markets – including Tiffany & Co and Brilliant Earth – have introduced men-centric designs, often with thicker bands and more discreetly placed diamonds than their feminine counterparts. Like rings for women, they can run into the thousands of dollars.

More men are wearing engagement rings. The market is figuring it out. (3)More men are wearing engagement rings. The market is figuring it out. (4)Courtesy of Tiffany & Co

Global fine jewellery company Tiffany & Co launched a line of men's engagement rings in 2021, with price tags climbing into the six figures (Credit: Courtesy of Tiffany & Co)

Tobias Kormind, managing director of London-based online diamond retailer 77 Diamonds, says the demand for men's engagement rings was close to zero until about seven years ago. Today, he estimates they account for as many as one in 30 custom orders from men looking for gem-set rings with diamonds or precious stones. "It's still not a core product," he says, "but it definitely seems to be growing".

Experts from jewellery retailers say gay men were some of the first customers seeking out engagement rings for men. "Gay couples have been really trying to define their own engagements and weddings and find ways to express their commitment to each other," says Joshua Sherman, director of marketing at Grown Brilliance, which focuses on lab-grown diamonds.

However, the trend has rippled out. Some high-profile celebrities including Ed Sheeran, Ryan Reynolds, Brooklyn Beckham and Michael Bublé have gone on to mark their own engagements with a ring, sometimes wearing them with a wedding band after marriage.

In part, alongside a booming market for inclusive and gender-neutral fashion, more men are embracing jewellery in general. At Eternate, men's jewellery comprised 7.2% of all sales in 2021, says Telaferli. Today, that figure is closer to 15%. At Grown Brilliance, Sherman says their men's sales have grown at double the rate of their women's lines.

Some people are also questioning the traditional symbolism of the engagement ring as social attitudes evolve. Eddie LeVian, CEO of New York-based jeweller Le Vian Corp, describes the practice of a man's engagement ring as a reflection of the changing dynamics within relationships and love. He wears his own engagement ring. "As a husband who proudly wears his diamond engagement ring, gifted to me by my wife Miranda 38 years ago, I've witnessed first-hand the growing acceptance of this practice."

More men are wearing engagement rings. The market is figuring it out. (5)More men are wearing engagement rings. The market is figuring it out. (6)Courtesy of Brennan Doherty

Writer Brennan Doherty's engagement ring was sold as a wedding band (Credit: Courtesy of Brennan Doherty)

Talia Koren, a California-based dating expert who hosts the Dating Intentionally podcast, gave her now-fiancé an engagement ring about a week after he proposed to her. "I don't really see why, in a heterosexual relationship, a woman wears a ring but a man doesn't," she says. "Why not have a symbol of commitment on the man's side before marriage?"

Koren doesn't personally know anyone else who has gone the his-and-hers engagement ring approach, but based on her own observations, some couples seem interested in doing so. She thinks they want to align their own engagement process with their values. She also says since she gave her fiancé a ring, some women have approached her saying it was a great move. (Not everyone is on board, however – some of her Instagram followers bristled at the idea.)

Many jewellers believe this practice will grow – even mainstream, especially as more people, including celebrities, adopt it. "It has become an important piece of jewellery for many couples," says Alison McGill, an expert at Canada-based wedding publication The Kit.

Crucially, LeVian says ballooning demand spells ballooning revenue. "From a business perspective, the rise of men's engagement rings presents a lucrative opportunity for jewellers and entrepreneurs alike. With a growing market eager to explore new expressions of love and commitment, there's immense potential to cater to diverse tastes and preferences."


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More men are wearing engagement rings. The market is figuring it out. (2024)


Are more men wearing engagement rings? ›

Although traditionally, engagement rings were worn only by women, many men today wear a male engagement ring. This male engagement ring trend may seem new in countries like the United States, but in other countries like Sweden and Chile, men have been wearing engagement rings for a while.

How much do men actually spend on engagement rings? ›

If you're deciding how much to spend on an engagement ring, there are several factors to consider. While $5,500 is the national average cost of a ring, the spend per couple varies. Our study found that nearly half of all respondents are spending between $1,000 to $4,000 on their engagement ring.

How come men don't wear an engagement ring? ›

Historically, engagement rings upheld sexist beliefs that women “belonged” to men once they got engaged. As freer members of society, men didn't need to wear them. In the 1900s, men gave engagement rings as “collateral” in case they ended the engagement and damaged their bride-to-be's reputation.

Who usually buys the man's engagement ring? ›

Tradition has it that each person pays for the other person's ring. So in a traditional wedding, the groom or his family would pay for the bride's ring, and the bride or her family would pay for the groom's ring.

What does an engagement ring mean to a man? ›

In a nutshell, to a man, an engagement ring means a public declaration of intent to marry, a symbol of love and commitment to his partner, even a financial investment and a time-honoured tradition.

Should men get engagement rings back? ›

Many courts classify engagement rings as a conditional gift. The engagement ring is a fit in anticipation of marriage. Thus, if the future condition (marriage) does not occur, the ring should be returned to the giver. When the court decides the ring is a conditional gift, it usually takes a no-fault approach.

How much should a husband pay for an engagement ring? ›

Most people believe you should spend at least two months' salary on your engagement ring. If, for example, you are making $60,000 per year, you should spend $10,000 on the engagement ring.

Is $20,000 too much for engagement ring? ›

According to tradition, the amount you choose to spend on an engagement ring should approximate the amount of your monthly salary times two. By this measure, anyone who earns $2,000 a month should be looking at models in the $4,000 range. For someone earning $10,000 a month, a $20,000 ring would be about right.

Is $5000 too much for an engagement ring? ›

Is $5,000 too much for an engagement ring? their 2021 study that the average amount spent on an engagement ring in the U.S. was $6,000. If $5,000 for an engagement ring feels like too much for you, look into our financing options like 12-month interest-free financing.

Why should men wear engagement rings? ›

In the last ten years in the United States though, the wearing of a male engagement ring has been gaining momentum. For many, it's a sign of a more egalitarian partnership between two people. For others, they may have been proposed to by their partner or they simply want to also sport a symbol of their commitment.

Where do guys usually hide engagement rings? ›

Hide the Ring In a Pair of Socks

Here's how to hide an engagement ring box stealthily using socks. Find a pair of socks (calf-length is best) you don't wear as often, and tuck the ring box in one of the socks. Then, roll the two socks into a ball and place them in the back of your sock or underwear drawer.

In what cultures do men wear engagement rings? ›

In many Latin American countries, notably Argentina and Chile, men have been wearing engagement rings for generations. They choose to do so because it is part of their culture.

Who pays for the honeymoon? ›

Who Traditionally Pays for the Honeymoon. "'Traditional' older etiquette states that the groom and his parents are supposed to fund the honeymoon because the bride and her family are paying for the wedding," explains Forrest Skurnik while noting that these rules no longer apply.

Who pays for the bride's dress? ›

Who traditionally pays for the wedding dress? One of the most closely stuck-to traditions is that the bride's family will pay for the wedding dress. This also includes any accessories the bride may wear, such as a veil, a bag and shoes. For modern weddings, the bride may want to pay for her own dress.

How much should a man's wedding ring cost? ›

Men's Wedding Rings cost on average between under $100 for low-end quality, $150-$300 for good quality, and $500-$1,000 for high-end wedding brands.

Is it common for men to wear wedding rings? ›

A widespread tradition now is for grooms and brides to both wear a wedding ring. It is, however, a personal taste for a man to opt for a wedding ring as an emblem of marriage. Men have worn wedding rings more generally since the mid 20th century.

Is it common for men to wear rings? ›

Today many men wear wedding rings, but there are some cultures where men never adopted this tradition. Some men wear rings as a fashion choice, while others only wear them during certain times of the year, such as Halloween and Mardi Gras.

What percentage of a man's income should he spend on an engagement ring? ›

For a more manageable salary metric, Paddock advises his clients “to spend no more than 5% of your salary on an engagement ring.” For those earning $61,937, the U.S. median household income, that's about $3,000.

Are men who wear wedding rings more attractive? ›

Wedding rings convey marriage which imply social proof in the sense that some other woman is interested in you. Women look for that credibility for attraction. There's plenty of studies on this social proof effect. At the same time, there's research pointing to a negligible effect of the ring.

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