Traditionally, engagement rings have been targeted toward women. While choosing an engagement ring is an undoubtedly exciting part of marriage, the history is a bit less romantic. Eventually, the expensive rings were worn by women in place of high-priced gifts and dowries as a physical representation that they were 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 an engagement ring. "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?"
Do Men Wear Engagement Rings?
Men in both opposite- and same-sex couples can wear engagement rings. While not every man may choose to wear one, more and more men are wanting to display the token of their commitment in an equal fashion as their partner.
What exactly is a male engagement ring? "To us, it's a ring, worn by someone who identifies as male, before an actual wedding ceremony," says Ferris. "The ring can become the wedding band or additional bands can be added after a wedding."
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 an engagement ring 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 25 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 six to 12.
SHOP NOW: Valerie Madison, $750
Valerie Madison Mobius Band
The mobius band comes in three widths and features a mathematical twisted design. The six gold options include yellow, rose, or white in either 18k or 14k. The ring also comes in platinum. The mobius band comes in sizes six through 12 with half and quarter sizes available.
SHOP NOW: Valerie Madison, $775
Blue Nile Black Diamond Channel Set Wedding Ring in 14k White Gold (6mm)
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 tradition engagement jewelry. The ring is available in sizes six through 13.
SHOP NOW: Blue Nile, from $1,690
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.
Olive Ave Jewelry Slate
The Slate ring is made from black immerse-plated tungsten in a comfort-fit band. It features a contour edging with a satin finish and comes in six- or eight-millimeter widths. Sizes range from seven to 12.
SHOP NOW: Olive Ave Jewelry, $220
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.
SHOP NOW: John Hardy, $895
De Beers Fused Lines Band
Five bands of platinum are fused together to create a rigid line finish. The fused band measures a total of five millimeters in width. A small, secret diamond is placed on the inside of the ring, only known to the wearer.
SHOP NOW: De Beers, $1,600
Olive Ave Jewelry Cannon Ring
The Cannon ring is hammered with a comfort fit band. It's available in six- and eight-millimeter widths and is made from tungsten with 18k rose gold PVD. Sizes range from five to 14.
SHOP NOW: Olive Ave Jewelry, $220
Valerie Madison 4mm Birch Wedding Band
This band is hand-textured to resemble birch bark. The hammered texture stands out against the silky satin finish. The ring comes in 14k and 18k yellow, white, and rose gold and is available in four through 12.
SHOP NOW: Valerie Madison, $550
Anna Sheffield Virtue Band in Rose Gold & Black Diamonds
The seven-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.
SHOP NOW: Anna Sheffield, $2,650
Anna Sheffield Classic Half Round Band With Hidden Diamond
The classic half round band features a hidden black diamond accent. The two-millimeter ring is made from 14k recycled yellow gold and can be engraved upon request. Sizes three through 12 are available, including half and quarter sizes.
SHOP NOW: Anna Sheffield, $510
Leo Ingwer GX178 Diamond Wedding Band
Pictured in white gold, this band is available in several different metals and widths. The ring has a comfortable fit and details an eight-channel set diamond melee. A bright finish step-edge contrasts the main piece's matte finish.
SHOP NOW: Leo Ingwer, price upon request
Anna Sheffield 4mm Brushed Soft Square Band
The 14k recycled brushed rose gold band is also available in silver and yellow gold. The soft square shape is modern while remaining comfortable and can be engraved. The ring is available in sizes three to 12.
SHOP NOW: Anna Sheffield, $1,100
Capucinne Personalized Men's Ring
A champagne gold band is inlaid with crushed natural black spinel. Metal options are 14k or 18k solid yellow, white, or rose gold, or platinum. Sizes options are three through 11.5.
SHOP NOW: Capucinne, $1,300
Anna Sheffield 5mm Brushed Soft Square Band With Diamond Accent
A unique square shape with a five-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 three through 12 and can be engraved.
SHOP NOW: Anna Sheffield, $1,100
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.
SHOP NOW: Brilliant Earth, $1,550
Olive Ave Jewelry Ridge Band
Available in sizes six to 14, the Ridge band comes in tungsten with 18k rose gold PVD. The band is eight millimeters wide and due to the materials, cannot be resized. You may exchange sizes for a $25 fee.
SHOP NOW: Olive Ave Jewelry, $220
Mociun Men's Square Wire Studded Band
The square band comes in 14k and 18k gold as well as platinum. It's studded with six black diamonds, evenly spaced around the ring. It comes in sizes seven through 13 with half and quarter sizes available, but cannot be resized.
SHOP NOW: MOCIUN, $1,275
For men who prefer a single ring, but want something to signify the wedding, have a new stone set in the engagement band for the ceremony.
Bario Neal Milla Square Rims Band
This handmade square band has 14k gold rims with a platinum matte finish. Width options are four, five, six, or eight millimeters and can be custom engraved. Bario Neal is a sustainable jewelry brand, making all rings from either 100 percent recycled metal or fairmined gold.
SHOP NOW: Bario Neal, from $349
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.
SHOP NOW: Porter Gulch, $720
Tacori Mixed Finish
In 18k white gold, the 6-millimeter rounded band is a simple and classic choice. An off-center diamond lining brings out the high polish finish. Tacori's signature crescent design marks the ring's profile.
SHOP NOW: Tacori, $2,800
Otem Signature Ring II, Sterling Silver
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 was made to be worn up or down.
SHOP NOW: Otem, $130
Lane + Lanae Tag You're It Ring
This unique piece features a cutout with a .07ct round brilliant cut diamond. The band is made from 14k white gold is also available in yellow and rose gold. Order from size four to 12 with half sizes available.
SHOP NOW: Lane + Lanae, $1,000
Nora Kogan Ridgeback Ring in Yellow Gold (4mm)
The handcrafted ring comes in both 14k and 18k solid yellow gold. Ridged edges add interest and contrast to the high shine finish of the classic and simple design. Available in sizes eight, nine, and 10.
SHOP NOW: Nora Kogan, $1,340
Tiffany & Co. Double Milgrain Ring
The engravable unisex ring is textured with a double milgrain motif. A .01ct round brilliant cut diamond sits centered on the platinum band. The ring is four millimeters wide and comes in sizes three to 13 with half sizes available.
SHOP NOW: Tiffany & Co., $1,850