Getting engaged and being presented with a super sparkling ring has to be one of the best and most exciting moments of a person’s life. But what about your partner? Why should they miss out on this fabulous feeling and be denied the chance to wear one, say diamond jewellery experts 77 Diamonds. Enter, the rise of the ‘mengagement’ ring!
In South America, it’s long been common for both men and women to wear rings when they get engaged, and celebrity couples such as Michael Bublé and Luisana Lopilato have brought the move into the press more recently with their ‘his and hers’ rings.
So what’s the appeal for the modern man? These days, men’s luxury jewellery has become more popular than ever, with Euromonitor recently revealing that in 2012, Brits spent £110.5 million on men’s luxury jewels, while in 2013, the total reached a dazzling £114.8 million.
While each year this spend may only represent 15 per cent of the market compared to women, men’s jewellery makes up an even higher proportion of the total luxury jewellery sales in China and France – and if recent offerings from jewellers such as diamond specialist 77 Diamonds are anything to go by, Britain is set to follow suit.
The diamond mengagement ring was, in fact, this particular jewellers’ first foray into menswear – a move that was met with immediate and lasting success. “We’re excited to be catering to men for the first time,” says 77 Diamonds’ managing director Tobias Kormind. “In reality, we’ve been looking after our male customers for years. It’s just now they’re finally able to wear our jewellery.”
And it’s true; many jewellers have longstanding relationships with their male customers, often built up over the course of years spent helping them pick the perfect treat for their wives, girlfriends, mums and daughters, so isn’t it about time men were able to take a slice of the diamond-strewn action for themselves?
But mengagement rings aren’t just a way for men in heterosexual relationships to express their love. The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill received Royal Assent on 17th July 2013, and on 29th March this year the first same-sex weddings took place after gay marriage became legal in England and Wales at midnight.
Soon after, 77 Diamonds announced they had seen an increase of 63 per cent in the purchase of mengagement rings over the preceding 12 months, something they confidently attributed to the same-sex marriage law. Their mengagement ring service advises and assists same-sex couples in designing their dream rings – be that simple bands or diamond-set designs.
While many men are sure to opt for these more simple designs, 77 Diamonds’ communications manager David Allen explains that for many of us, the classic diamond engagement ring is the perfect – and only – choice when it comes to our engagement. “The legalisation of gay marriage has provided equality for gay and lesbian couples that want to show each other their commitment and love.
Having a diamond ring is something so very common in heterosexual unions and the gesture of giving a diamond ring as a sign of ‘Will you marry me?’ stems from a tradition started in 1477. Therefore it makes sense that we have people from the LGBT community coming to us to find something suitable for their partners, too.”
Whether you agree that the traditional diamond engagement ring is the ultimate choice when popping the question or not, we think that the mengagement phenomenon is to be applauded for giving men – gay or heterosexual – the opportunity to wear a sign of their commitment, as women do, and to choose from an ever-increasing range of designs, so their ring can reflect their tastes. More choice and a tailored service for all is definitely a good thing!
We’d love to hear what you think about mengagement rings, so leave us a comment!