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Choosing an engagement ring is an undoubtedly exciting part of marriage; however, the history is a bit less romantic. Traditionally, engagement rings have been targeted toward women, as they served as replacements for high-priced gifts and dowries and physical representations that a woman was taken. A token of ownership, if you will. Things have come a long way since then and many modern men are choosing to showcase their commitment by wearing one.
"We are finding this a more and more common practice," says Liz Ferris of Valerie Madison Fine Jewelry. "Why should only one partner get to rock some bling in advance of the wedding date?"
Meet the Expert
- Liz Ferris is a custom ring specialist at the Seattle-based sustainable jewelry brand Valerie Madison Fine Jewelry.
While some men may not be interested in a huge, sparkling rock, there are certainly those who want in on the symbolic practice of giving or receiving a beautiful engagement ring. For those who want a little (or a lot) of sparkle, the options are far from short. There are plenty of men’s bands on the market that can serve as engagement rings from brands synonymous with marriage—think Cartier, Tiffany & Co., and De Beers. Additionally, many lesser-known jewelry designers have handsome creations befitting a men's engagement ring.
Ring shopping is a very personal experience. "It's easy to feel pressure to conform to tradition or stereotypes, but only you know your exact preferences, lifestyle, and taste," says Ferris. Since there are a lot more options out there than you’d expect, the first step is figuring out what type of ring suits you or your partner.
We’ve rounded up 34 of our favorite options to inspire you.
Valerie Madison 6mm Men's Hammered Wedding Band
Valerie Madison's hand-hammered wedding bands come in a variety of widths to suit each couples' unique style. A satin finish accentuates every rise and fall of the hammered texture. The band comes in six gold options, including yellow, white, or rose in either 18k or 14k. Half and quarter sizes are available in sizes 6 to 12.
Blue Nile Black Diamond Channel Set Wedding Ring
This elegant band is made with 14k white gold and has a matte finish. The center is channel-set with treated black diamonds for a masculine approach to traditional engagement jewelry. The ring is available in sizes 6 to 13.
Pair two wedding bands together in contrasting metals and textures, and choose one to wear as an engagement ring and save the other for the ceremony to wear as a wedding ring.
John Hardy Classic Chain Band Ring With Black Sapphire
The sterling silver ring is hand-crafted in Bali with powerful and dramatic detailing. John Hardy's Classic Chain Collection symbolizes both eternal human connection and community bond, fitting for a lifetime commitment. The patterned detailing is set with tiny black sapphires.
Anna Sheffield Virtue Band in Rose Gold and Black Diamonds
The 7-millimeter band is flanked on a single edge with treated black diamonds. The ring is available in recycled rose, yellow, and white gold and platinum. A custom inner-band engraving and brushed or hammered side detailing can be added. White and champagne diamonds are also available.
Anna Sheffield 5mm Brushed Soft Square Band With Diamond Accent
A unique square shape with a 5-millimeter band width, this ring puts a masculine twist on a traditional engagement ring. It features a champagne diamond baguette accent in brushed recycled 14k yellow gold, rose gold, or sterling silver. It's available in sizes 3 to 12 and can be engraved.
Brilliant Earth Horizon Sapphire Wedding Ring in 18K White Gold
The modern band has a softened edge for comfortable wear and features a matte brush finish in 18k white gold, 14k rose gold, 18k white gold, or platinum. A thin vertical row of deep-blue sapphires sits in a single channel setting. This ring comes in any size; however, it cannot be resized after it is made.
Capucinne Dylan Wedding Band With Gemstone
The Dylan band features a dual finish in solid 14k rose gold with a morganite baguette. Other stones are available per request, and the ring can also be made in 14k or 18k white or yellow gold, 18k rose gold, or platinum.
Porter Gulch Narrow Comfort Fit Band With Distressed Finish
An ideal choice for the active man, the rounded inner edges and narrow design give this ring a comfortable fit on the finger. Each ring is unique with individual hand-distressing. Metal choices are sterling silver, 14k yellow gold, or 14k palladium white gold, all with a high-polish finish. The bands are made to order with an option for engraving.
Otem Signature Ring II with Black and White Diamonds
This chunky silver ring boasts a square silhouette with a gapped top. The shape widens to 3 millimeters at the open end and narrows to 1.5 millimeters at the closed end. The piece is made from recycled sterling silver with a brushed matte finish and features black-and-white diamonds.
What to Look for When Purchasing a Men's Engagement Ring
The type of metal you choose will help define your engagement ring's aesthetic, especially if you decide against diamonds or other gemstones. When it comes to metals, there is no shortage of options. Platinum has long been a popular choice for men's rings because it is a subtle and timeless look. On the other hand, gold is also a popular choice that is eye-catching and elegant. For a more romantic look, you may also choose to go with a rose gold ring, which has increased in popularity over the past few years. Sterling silver is another option you might choose, which is crisp and a bit more cost-efficient.
Diamonds and gemstones are popping up in many men's engagement rings. Traditionally, diamonds were not the center of attention in men's rings, but that is quickly changing. Now you may see rings with a large center stone or even a pavé band for all-around sparkle. If you decide to choose a diamond engagement ring, take into account the 4Cs: color, cut, clarity, and carat weight. These four qualities in a diamond will guide you in the right direction when choosing your ring. For other stones, like black onyx, sapphire, morganite, etc., keep in mind that they are softer stones—meaning they could scratch easier—so they should be held in a safe setting, such as a bezel setting.
In the past, men's wedding rings were standard without many different options outside of metal options. Now, men's engagement rings are more customizable than ever. For example, you may find that you prefer a thinner band compared to a thicker option. Signet rings are also a popular option, especially because there is room for engraving.
- Can men wear both an engagement ring and a wedding band? Yes, you can wear both a wedding band along with an engagement ring. Just keep in mind the thickness of each band, so they fit together nicely. If you choose to do both an engagement ring and a wedding band, consider a fused band, so the rings move together on your ring finger.
- What is the average ring size for men? The average ring size for men is a size nine. Most men's engagement rings range in sizes. Generally, you'll be able to find rings in sizes 4 to 13. If your ring size happens to change over time, not to worry. If you bring your ring to your local jeweler, they will slightly stretch the ring for you without trouble.
- How much do men's engagement rings generally cost? Pricing can start around $250 for men's engagement rings and can range up to $2000. Cost depends on the type of metal you get and if you choose a ring with diamonds or other gemstones. Platinum and gold rings tend to be on the pricer side while silver and titanium rings are less costly.
- Where can I shop for a men's engagement ring? Typically, a men's engagement ring can also be marketed as a wedding band, so you can look for your ring at any jeweler that sells men's wedding bands. For a more unique look, brands like Bario Neal, Valerie Madison, and Anna Sheffield are all great places to start. Tiffany & Co., Mociun, and Angara are popular options for a more traditional look.