The trend is becoming so popular that engagement rings for men are commonly referred to as ‘mangagement’ rings. Although it has gained popularity in recent years, the first attempt at introducing men’s engagement rings actually pre-dates the wearing of wedding rings by men.
Jewelers in 1926 tried to popularize the idea and even had the original Macy’s department store involved in advertising that made the act of gifting an engagement ring to the groom-to-be out to be the newest best thing. The hope was to start a new trend. It unfortunately flopped and no wonder. Men didn’t really wear hand jewelry on their fingers at the time so rings, let alone engagement rings, were not the craze that was sweeping the nation anytime soon.
You have to give Macy’s credit for trying as the ‘mangagement’ rings being promoted had a slick print promotional campaign that appeared in newspapers along the East Coast. Photos in black and white of a man’s left hand, holding a cigarette in standard position between the first two fingers were used proudly displaying a ring on the fourth finger. The message was clear, guys could still be guys and be even cooler with an engagement ring. They even had names that added to the overall macho feel of the concept. The Pilot, the Master and the Stag were some of the ring names used but guys weren’t buying into the traditional thought that engagement rings were meant for something other than female hands.
Men didn’t start wearing wedding rings until two and three decades later and some credit big name macho movie stars like Humphrey Bogart for pushing the movement forward. In fact, Bogart is known as the first-ever movie star to wear a wedding band. It didn’t take long before men found the need to demonstrate openly their feeling of togetherness with their spouse in wearing matching wedding rings.
It wasn’t until 2009 that the jewelry industry took another run at the management ring thanks to the Tioro Ring designed by British jeweler H. Samuel. It happened to be released the same year that movie star Jennifer Hudson gave her boyfriend an engagement ring in response to his proposal for marriage. Even Canadian music icon Michael Buble sported an engagement ring stating it was customary in the homeland of his Latin fiancée and before you knew it, pop culture pushed the mangagement ring trend into the stratosphere.
While the act of presenting a man an engagement ring is now considered a common practice, the jewelry industry that launched the concept has a lot of ground yet to cover. Women’s engagement rings are available in countless styles and designs and are often one-of-a-kind pieces of expensive finger art. Mangagement rings don’t have as wide a selection but they are available in long-lasting and rugged materials. Gold, platinum and titanium are the standards used to create engagement rings for men. Stones or etched lines are common with mangagement rings, but regardless of the limited choice the significance behind the use of an engagement ring for a man is not any less than that for a woman’s engagement ring.