Let’s talk about before
A little bit of history
Jewelry sales today
Trendy Pendy (men’s jewelry trend)
Just for love
- Man-gagement ring
- Same Love
- Some jewelers
Let’s talk about before
Until a few years ago, the jewelry market was just for few jewelry passionates, lovers and couples. This changed since the coming of a new generation eager to wear more jewels or even maybe because of the legalization of same-sex marriage that had a big effect on the rise of man-gagement rings.
Let’s dive into the beautiful world of men’s jewelry.
A little bit of history
- In 1970, the first gay marriage license was denied. Few US states even banned same-sex marriage!
- In 1989, Denmark became the first country to recognize a legal relationship for same-sex couples, establishing registered partnerships, which gave those in same-sex relationships “most rights of married heterosexuals, but not the right to adopt or obtain joint custody of a child”
- In 2001, the Netherlands became the first country to establish same-sex marriage by law.
- Today, many countries (26 countries) followed the footstep of Netherlands and legalized same-sex marriage.
- 2018: Same-sex marriage is now just called marriage across the U.S., and the savvy 51 Billion dollar wedding industry is celebrating as much (if not much more) than anyone.
Jewelry sales today
With the legality of gay marriages around the world, we see the sales of engagement ring double or even triple in just a few years. If two men or women get engaged, the traditional concept of a man proposing to a woman and her wearing an engagement ring goes out the window. Getting two engagement rings at Tiffany’s became a commodity. Think about it, double the gender, double the sales. In more music to jeweler’s ears, according to the Wall Street Journal, there is “some evidence that same-sex engaged couples are more likely to purchase more rings — and more expensive rings — than male-female engaged couples.” For lesbian couples, many retailers have zoned in on the fact that a lesbian wedding is a potential double payday. Is it just two jewelry sold to a couple instead of one?
- Man + Woman = 1 solitaire for the woman + 1 wedding band for man + many jewelry accessories
- Man + Man = 2 solitaires OR 2 wedding bands
- Woman + Woman = 2 solitaires OR 2 wedding bands
Trendy Pendy (men’s jewelry trend)
Following this so-called movement, jewelry sales have risen. Until the 1940s and 1950s, the idea of men wearing jewelry hadn’t really been seen. And still today, many men don’t wear one, although this is changing amongst millennials. Here are some trends of jewelry for men:
Solid bracelet or leather bracelet?
Many men have repurposed the way we see bracelets. Some prefer a plain solid gold bracelet that matches their engagement ring. Alice made this have pioneered in providing this perfect jewel addition for men’s outfit. Some prefer a designed leather bracelet with or without a brand logo as a statement. Fred, Versace or even Loui Vuitton have pioneered in that subject.
Hoop or no hoop? Men are starting to like wearing simple earrings they wear daily. Tom Wood has pioneered this concept.
For a simple gold chain that won’t rust or have your accountant giving you frantic calls, look no further than this 9-karat neck piece. Big bold chains became a trend during the rap era but today, thinner gold chains are a must for any man’s closet. It matches everything, from a colorless t-shirt to fancy shirts. London-based Alan Crocetti continues to push boundaries when it comes to jewelry designing and this chainring is one of the more interesting pieces you can get your fingers stuck into.
Lock your heart
Apparently, men have become more sensitive than man. They need to lock their love stories or memories in a necklace. An easy way to do that is with a lock necklace. The perfect is Louis Vuitton’s one: Not only will this look great around your neck, but you’ll also be doing your bit for charity. £200 from every sale of this pendant will go to Unicef to help children all over the world.
A medallion is a cool item to own. Think of repurposing a money coin or design your skull one! Alexander McQueen is a good brand to think of.
Sure you might not have been blessed with a signet ring as a family heirloom, but luckily for you, Urban Outfitters does a seriously good one. Check out more.
Just for love
No, that’s not a typo. Mangagement rings are a thing. And they’re exactly what they sound like: engagement rings for men.
With gay wedding bands, you can expect both traditional and unconventional trends to emerge. Couples wanting the basic solid gold or platinum wedding band can have that, but the couple who wants something more extravagant can also have that too. Wearing a wedding band is a timeless, iconic and powerful symbol that means a lot to members of the gay community. They have fought for years to gain the right to do this legally, so showing their commitment to the public is an amazing first step. With everyone getting a ring to mark an engagement, no one wants to be left out. The trend of the man-gagement Ring is rising in popularity. And couples agreeing to split the cost on engagement rings are also giving the industry a boost. Many gay couples prefer to avoid any potentially awkward conversation with the local jewelry clerk and therefore more and more have been turning online to do their ring shopping. Retailers have obliged with improved online user experiences.
At the end of the day, gay, straight or any variation of the two, your wedding band and engagement ring is a personal selection. When you begin looking, finding something that speaks to both you and your partner is most important. Your rings can match or be contrasting-that is totally up to you and your partner. Here are some trends for the man-gagement ring:
Do it simple!
Simple engagement rings are a great option for couples looking for an affordable male ring. When choosing a simple engagement ring, the material the ring is made of should be your main concern. You could purchase a sleek gold or silver band. Add a little diamond to unify that union!
Modern: Color or colorless?
If modern engagement rings are more your man’s style, a sleek, black tungsten ring might be a great option. Alternatively, you could purchase a black titanium-plated ring with a carbon fiber inlay. Carbon fiber inlays combine black with another color, such as red, green, or blue, to create a contemporary woven look that really stands out. Consider purchasing an engagement ring with a carbon fiber inlay in colors that represent your boyfriend’s favorite sports team for example.
Shine like a diamond!
The spreading legalization of same-sex marriage has created a new demand in the diamond industry—and not just for simple bands. Gay men often seek out diamonds, and some purchases are “bling bling,” according to Jillian Rebol, the manager of Ultra Diamonds (soon to be Kay Jeweler’s) in Chicago. If your boyfriend favors more classic styles, consider purchasing a more traditional-style engagement ring. Bands that are lined with gemstones on either side have a timeless appeal that a true romantic can appreciate. While you can certainly purchase an engagement band that’s lined with diamonds, you should consider other gemstones as well. Rubies, sapphires, emeralds, and cubic zirconia are all good options. Alternatively, consider purchasing a simple band with a few small stones in the top center.
Calla Gold, whose eponymous business is based in Santa Barbara, adds textural elements or engraving to make a man’s ring special. She often designs a wedding band and offers a customer “permission” to wear it as a management ring.
When you’re looking for men’s engagement rings, you don’t have to only look at bands. In fact, a fashion ring might be a better option for you. Consider purchase an Irish Claddagh ring instead of a traditional-style wedding band or set. Claddagh rings feature two hands holding a heart that’s topped with a crown to symbolize love, friendship, and loyalty. When the ring is worn on the left hand with the heart facing away from the body, it indicates that you’re engaged. Once you’re married, the ring is turned so that the heart points towards the body.
Alternatively, consider purchasing a fashion ring with one large gemstone. Black agate set in stainless steel with a black finish is a good option for those who prefer the modern style. If you want a traditional-style ring, a stainless steel ring with a round or oval black onyx stone is a good choice.
An engagement band that features a gold-tone and silver-tone finish has a timeless look that isn’t likely to go out of style quickly. However, two-toned engagement rings come in a variety of colors and materials. Consider purchasing a titanium ring that has a white and black finish or a black titanium-plated and rose gold ring if you want a ring that’s sleek and stylish. Alternatively, have a custom men’s engagement ring made by purchasing a two-tone titanium spinner ring with custom wording around the band.
- Cocktail at engagement
Cocktail rings are very popular on women’s fingers. You probably didn’t think that men could wear such important pieces. Think twice. With the coming of customized services, jewelry is now limitless and men have more designed cocktail rings than women!
Rings with designs inspired by nature work well as engagement rings because they have a look that’s original and masculine. Rings with wood inlays are available in both light and dark shades. Also, a black ceramic ring with a camo-themed inlay is a great option for men who enjoy outdoor activities, such as hunting and fishing.
2. Same Love:
Back in the 1920s, the jewelry industry made a botched attempt to market pre-wedding bling for men. But with today’s egalitarian marriages, the time may be right for another try. Here are some campaigns that marked the history of man-gagement ring.
In 1926, jewelers tried to popularize the concept, but to no avail. Companies like L. Bamburger & Co., a large department store later rebranded as Macy’s, joined together for a cooperative advertising campaign. The ads, which ran in East Coast newspapers, featured black and white photos of a man’s left hand, a cigarette resting between the first two fingers and a large rock flashing on the fourth. The rings even had ultra-macho names: the Pilot, the Stag, the Master. But these campaigns were unable to overcome the ingrained femininity of the symbol, and the movement flopped.
Popular culture has also helped guide this trend down the aisle. Recall the recent season finale of Glee, when heartthrob Blaine buys a ring to propose to his longtime boyfriend, Kurt.
Tiffany & Co. released a new campaign in 2015, featuring seven real-life couples who’ve all popped the question—including a same-sex couple.
Following in Tiffany & Co.’s footsteps (among a number of other businesses) David’s Bridal is promoting inclusivity. The wedding dress retailer is “rewriting the rules” by featuring an array of non-traditional brides wearing their designs in the brand’s new TV spot, including a same-sex couple.
3. Some jewelers
A few years ago, a study by XO Group Inc – the parent company of wedding site The Knot – found that five per cent of men wear engagement rings. And more and more jewellers are designing rings specifically for men.
Luxury jeweler Ritani, for example, allows customers to design their engagement rings online, have them made, and then delivered to a local jewelry store before paying for them. This eliminates the clammy-handed pressure of needing to grab a ring under the watchful eye of someone who only gets their commission when the deal is sealed. In a further effort to woo gay customers, Ritani offers a helpful buying guide for same-sex wedding jewelry.
In 2009, British jeweler H. Samuel designed The Tioro Ring. Less expensive than a woman’s engagement ring, but a bit fancier than a man’s wedding band, this titanium ring is about half a centimeter wide, embedded with a tiny diamond or two. The most expensive is $204, a bargain compared to the average $5,431 spent on a women’s engagement ring in the U.S. in 2012.
New York-based designer has designed his recent collection “Tie The Knot” that look distinctly unisex, so both for women and men. This niche jeweler Rony Tennenbaum designs jewelry specifically for same-sex couples. His “Tie the Knot” collection features rings in gold, silver and rose gold, some with diamonds that serve as engagement or wedding bands for men and women. He combines classic embellishments of traditional wedding jewelry with symbolic details—knots or “equal” signs—for same-sex couples to make his designs distinctive.
Down under, Gus Hashem is the managing director and founder of Diamond Emporium, an Australian online jeweler that customizes rings for gay men and women. He has seen influences from both sides: women purchasing for women, and men purchasing for men.