Engagement rings: they’re a classic symbol of commitment, excitement, and of course, the promise of forever. When it comes to women’s engagement rings, the design and style possibilities are quite literally endless. There are diamonds, emeralds, pearls, and sapphires. Princess cuts, pear cuts, and halo cuts. You can choose from silver or gold; lab made diamonds or mined. But when it comes to men’s engagement rings, it can be hard to curate something that fits your personal style.
Traditional wedding and engagement rings for men are understated, to say the least. Usually they are just a plain gold or silver band that hasn’t changed or evolved stylistically since the last century. In a heterosexual relationship, the woman will usually be proposed to with an elevated silver or gold ring with a priceless stone, whereas the man’s ring is essentially an afterthought. Often, a spouse won’t even pick her husband’s ring. Instead, he’ll order something relatively inexpensive on his own accord.
But you don’t have to go with the grain. There are countless ways to make your engagement or wedding rings stand out. Here are a few special ideas for same-sex couples looking for engagement rings that have more style and flare than average. And remember – these are just tips to get you started. Ultimately, you have the power of what you and your partner choose to invest in and wear.
Before we dive in, a short history lesson will help us understand the meaning behind engagement rings and their initial purpose. Although the Egyptians are often credited with inventing the engagement ring as we see it today, it is actually the Greeks who popularized the tradition. And far before their time, there is evidence that engagement rings even existed in ancient Rome. We’ve lived through (literally) thousands of years of people showing commitment in this tangible way.
The engagement ring is put on the left-hand ring finger in most cultures for a sweet reason. At one time, it was believed that this finger contained a vein that led straight to the heart. Different cultures and classes had different kinds of rings, too. In the second century BC, a roman bride-to-be was actually given two rings; a gold one she wore in public, and an iron one that could be worn around the house while doing housework and other duties. (Basically, a party ring and a business ring.) But in upper-crust, bourgeoisie households, women received diamond rings and other precious gemstones to wear starting as early as the 1400s.
The history of engagement rings for men is a bit murkier, though. The “man-gagement” ring really didn’t grow in popularity until the 21st century. Wedding bands for men weren’t even popularized until the 1940’s and 50’s; after World War II. While this can make finding the right engagement ring for you and your spouse seem like a tall order, having flexibility and creativity at your disposal is never a bad thing.
You might choose to only have an engagement ring or wedding band. It is more cost efficient, and there’s really no clear-cut purpose behind having two rings. But believe it or not, there are some stylish options for stacked rings; even for men. Whatever decision you make will be specific to you as a couple, so don’t be afraid to go against the grain when making a choice.
If you’re looking for wedding bands, there are countless options in many price ranges. If you’re looking for an engagement ring instead, there are still plenty of choices, but we wanted to share a few suggestions to get your search started:
As illustrated above, you can definitely choose to wear the same wedding band as your partner. Having the same hardware can instill a sense of togetherness and equal ground between couples. Plus, if you like the same style of band anyways, you can always find a deal on two matching rings.
Maybe you’re into the idea of having drastically different wedding bands that suit your unique personalities. After all, if you’re going to wear something every day, you obviously want to like the look of it, and not everyone shares the same taste as their partner. But if clashing colors or metals make you cringe, there are still ways for your wedding bands to stand out without sticking out like a sore thumb.
Coordinating wedding bands are a great option for couples who want to look cohesive without sacrificing their personal style. For example, choosing a ring made of damascus steel and another made from titanium is a great way to compliment your partner while forging your own path.
As we’ve touched on, there are multiple different materials you can choose from for your engagement and wedding rings. But which one is best for you? In short, it comes down to your lifestyle and personal preference. Here are a few popular choices to decide from.
Gold: They call it the gold standard for a reason. Gold has long been a favorite for engagement and wedding rings due to its durability and classic appearance. You can choose golds that are yellow, white, or rose.
Platinum: Platinum rings are expensive, but are flashy enough to warrant such a steep price tag. Platinum rings are sophisticated, durable, and easy to resize. If you’re looking to splurge, this is the material we recommend.
Titanium: Titanium is becoming an increasingly popular option for wedding band construction. Although it scratches easier than other materials, it is lightweight and easy to wear. It is also great for people with sensitive skin and strong enough to not bend or warp.
Meteorite: Yes, your wedding band can be made from actual pieces of outer space. Not only is this a great talking point at parties, but it gives your ring a unique, otherworldly appearance. Rings made from meteorite have natural etching and patterns, making each ring as original as it is natural. However, due to high iron content, these rings can rust over time and require careful preservation to last a lifetime.
Cobalt: Cobalt has the same stunning appearance as white gold, but with a much more reasonable price point. They’re highly reflective, like titanium, and boast a shiny appearance. Cobalt is hypoallergenic, making it safe to wear for almost anyone. This ring can be difficult to resize, so be sure to have your finger measured before taking the plunge.
Non-metal: Many men are choosing to opt out of a traditional metallic band for something more modern. Nowadays there are options in wood, opal, and even silicone. Jennifer Jones from Beginner Guitar HQ says “Wood and opal give a rustic look while silicone is a great option for men who prefer more modern styles of rings.”
We’re all about non-traditional celebrations. Not into the antiquated idea of buying engagement or wedding rings? You’re not alone. There are other unique ways, tangible and intangible, to bring symbolism into your marriage.
Wedding ring tattoos come in many forms and are a great option for couples who aren’t shy about getting inked. You can either get a tattoo of your spouse’s initials, or have a literal black band tattooed on your finger. Bonus points if you make the appointment together!
If rings are difficult for you to wear due to your career or comfortability, you can opt for other types of jewelry. Necklaces and bracelets can be comfortable and easier to slip on and off. Plus, you can still find necklaces and bracelets that are made of the same precious metals as engagement rings. Whatever you decide, make sure it’s something you love that captures the invaluable nature of your relationship.
With so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to figure out which engagement rings are right for you and your spouse. We hope that this guide has uncovered some of the mysteries behind engagement rings and has helped narrow down your choices. Maybe after reading this you’ve decided you’d rather opt for a necklace or bracelet, or no wedding rings at all. Whatever you choose, we are confident that it’ll be the best choice for you and your boo.