Do Men Wear Engagement Rings?
Cultures around the world are familiar with engagement rings and have their own traditions around the custom. Engagement rings for men have an interesting history and began to be seen in the jewelry industry and more popular usage since the early 21st century. To better understand the practice, we’ve put together a guide to cover the essential questions.
The Custom of Wearing Engagement Rings
Traditionally, an engagement ring is worn on the ring finger of the left hand. While this may still be the most common practice among women and men, it is certainly not the only way, or finger, to wear an engagement ring, and can be entirely dependent on other factors. For example, in Chile, it’s customary for men to wear an engagement ring on the right ring finger instead of the left.
Many men choose to wear their engagement ring on the ring finger of the right hand. Others may even choose to wear it as a necklace strung from a simple chain. However you may want to wear it, the consensus is that there are no rules - you can be as traditional or unique as you want.
In other countries, notably Chile and Sweden, it’s been a commonly accepted practice for men to wear engagement rings for quite some time. In the 1920s United States, the department store later known as Macy’s launched an advertising campaign for men’s engagement rings, but the concept didn’t take off.
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. Celebrities like Ed Sheeran and Michael Bublé have also raised awareness of the practice by wearing their own engagement rings.
Why Haven’t Men Traditionally Worn Engagement Rings?
Historically, the gifting of an engagement ring to a woman was a symbol of paying a dowry for a woman’s hand in marriage. Ancient Romans seemed to have started the custom of giving betrothal rings as a high-priced gift. It symbolized a physical representation of a woman being “taken” or “spoken for” as a means of ownership.
This is no longer the common meaning of an engagement ring. Today, the ring symbolizes love and commitment and the receiver of a ring making a free choice to marry their significant other.
Does an Engagement Ring Replace a Wedding Band?
Engagement rings today are universal symbols of commitment and love. Wedding bands are typically symbols to mark the occasion of the joining of two people and the life they’ll live together. In this sense, an engagement ring doesn’t replace a wedding band.
It’s also up to each person whether they want to continue to wear both rings together, separately, or even on different occasions. Some may choose to move their engagement ring to a different finger so they can wear their wedding ring alone. It’s completely a personal choice.
Men’s engagement rings are just as much an expression of individual taste and personality as women’s engagement rings, and there are the styles to match. Rings can be crafted in any of the same precious metals, with detailing and design characteristics spanning from unique to traditional. Men’s engagement rings can even feature gemstones.
Our Belkin is a classic style platinum band that has a flare for the modern found in its baguette center stone. Or have a bit of mixed metals with our Edo, a simple white gold or platinum band, hugged on the outer edges by a rose gold border.
No matter the traditions of engagement rings, modern times are fully embracing the practice of men receiving and wearing engagement rings with all the level of individuality and personal meaning engagement rings are known to carry.