Engagement Rings for Men

If you’re a cisgender straight man from anywhere outside of South America and Northern Europe, you might ask yourself: “Engagement rings for men? Is that a thing?”

Yes. They’re a thing. In many parts of the world, both men and women wear a ring on their ring finger to symbolise their engagement. Thanks to growing recognition of same-sex marriage and gender equality, this tradition is spreading to other parts of the world.


A sign of possession turned sign of devotion.

The Romans believed that the fourth finger on the left hand (falsely counting the thumb as a finger) contained the Vena Amoris, or ‘vein of love’. Despite its romantic name, engagement rings were a sign of ownership at the time. Most engagement rings were made of hemp, leather, or bone, and only the wealthiest of men gave their soon-to-be wives rings of gold or silver, and then only to show off their wealth.

The use of engagement rings spread throughout Europe in the middle ages due to the long waiting period between betrothal and marriage. Still, these were only worn by women and indicated ownership rather than partnership.

In fact, it’s only in the 20th century that marriage has come to be regarded as a partnership of equals and traditions surrounding engagement and marriage have been in constant flux as a result. Every culture has slightly different traditions when it comes to engagement, and in the global community we now live, the choice of how you celebrate your relationship is yours.


A smorgasbord of options

In addition to same-sex couples, many men choose to wear an engagement ring to honour their soon-to-be wives. Why should she wear a sign that she’s taken if he doesn’t? You may have popped the question, but her answer took you both off the market. It’s also becoming more common for women to ask men for their hand in marriage, rather than the other way around.

Purity rings and promise rings are sometimes considered equal to engagement rings as they signify a certain form of faithfulness, and style-wise, there’s very little difference between them.

An engagement ring is a promise. A promise you make to be faithful to your partner even though you’re not legally required to just yet. In that sense, an engagement ring is more impressive than a wedding ring. An engagement ring means you’re faithful to your partner by choice. A wedding ring means you’re doing it for the taxes. Some couples even choose to stay engaged forever.


There are no rules… only guidelines.

You wear your engagement ring on your ring finger - which one is up to you. Local custom differs on the subject. In some cultures, engagement rings are worn on the left ring finger and reused as wedding rings. In others, you’d wear it on your right hand and then the wedding band goes on the left. Yet others would wear it on the left and then move it to the right to make room for the wedding ring, or even suspend it from a chain around your neck or stop using it entirely. British gentlemen would wear their wedding rings stacked below their family signet rings.



Comfort or security? Flashiness or longevity?


Much like wedding rings, engagement rings are traditionally made of gold, platinum, or silver, but like most traditions, this is changing. You probably know an older gentleman who’s worn a gold wedding band for decades with the character and patina it develops.

 Modern materials like titanium, tantalum, zirconium, ceramic, carbon fibre, surgical-grade stainless steel, tungsten, and even silicone offer alternatives that are stronger, more comfortable, more affordable, and longer-lasting.

The choice of material is no longer limited by tradition. Choose the material that best fits you and your lifestyle.


Wedding rings are simple for a reason. They’re made to be worn for the entirety of a man’s life, so they must fit every man and any style. We all go through phases in our lives and change styles accordingly, but our wedding rings are meant to be static.

 This is not the case with engagement rings. If you don’t intend to use the same ring as your wedding ring or move it between fingers, an engagement ring is only meant to be worn from the time you say ‘yes’ till the time you say ‘I do’, so feel free to go as wild as you please. If you wear it on your ring finger, it’ll say what you want it to say.

If you intend to wear it as (or with) a wedding ring, go for something simple that won’t clash with anything else you wear. If your skin tone is warm, gold tone is a safe bet, and if it’s cold, silver tone or steel will fit you nicely. And, as always, black goes with anything, but it may not be particularly celebratory as an engagement ring.

A man’s engagement ring should be noticeable and masculine but not comically oversized or too dainty. Go for a ring between 6 - 10 mm thick and you’ll be in the goldilocks zone of masculine style. If you work with your hands, a brushed steel or satin look will hide the inevitable signs of wear that will appear, and a texture or pattern will make them less noticeable. No matter how tough or scratch-resistant a material is, it will show marks with time. The difference is how many and how prominent.


This is probably the most overlooked feature of engagement rings. Rings come in a multitude of profiles, and most engagement rings for men fall into the category of classic half round or flat.

A flat ring has hard edges and carries a rough aesthetic. These rings sit very well as their entire width is in contact with your skin and the surface tension keeps them exactly where you want them to be.

Rings with a comfort curve on the inside are extremely comfortable to wear, put on, and take off.

The secret to a ring that both of you are happy with is taking your style and lifestyle into account when making your selection.

Your wedding day is a very important milestone that usually only happens once during your lifetime. Wedding bands are created with a belief that the qualities you want from your marriage should be the same qualities you can expect from your ring – precious, comfortable, beautiful, and long lasting.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.