Men’s Engagement Rings: An Expression of Love and Equality
Engagement rings are a beautiful symbol of commitment and love. They represent a promise made between two people and an intention to marry and to share their lives together. The engagement ring serves as a visible reminder of the love and affection that exists between the couple. In recent years, it has become more common for men as well as women to wear engagement rings to demonstrate their commitment and to make it clear that their affections are already engaged.
Historically, men have worn rings as part of the betrothal ceremonies practiced by both the Eastern Orthodox and the Eastern Catholic churches. Betrothal is a serious step in these faiths, second only to formal marriage in the level of commitment; both parties wore a betrothal ring in order to symbolize the binding together of their hearts and lives. While men in Western countries have not commonly worn engagement rings in the past, the practice is common in some other cultures. In Scandinavian countries, for instance, both members of the engaged couple wear engagement rings; this reinforces the belief in equality that these countries espouse.
The practice of exchanging engagement rings indicates the equality of the partners in the relationship. Because both members of the couple are equally bound and equally valued, the presence of an engagement ring on each of their hands demonstrates their identical commitment to each other. For a woman, purchasing a handsome engagement ring for her fiancé allows her to assert the same visible claim on his affections as the sparkling ring that adorns her own left hand. Rather than merely being the passive recipients of gifts and affection, women can affirm their own commitment and contributions to the relationship by giving their fiancés engagement rings.
Men’s engagement rings are usually simpler and sturdier than the feminine equivalent. They tend to be more understated and incorporate gemstones as accents rather than as the focus of the ring; some men’s engagement rings do not include precious stones at all, but use two or more tones of precious metal to create a distinctive pattern. Gold and platinum are the most commonly used metals, but titanium and other durable metals are gaining in popularity as well.
Textured patterns and two-tone gold bands are among the most popular styles of engagement rings for men. Simplicity is the watchword for most of these rings; brushed platinum or white gold bands are a classic choice and offer quiet elegance. Patterned rings often interweave rose gold and white gold for a rich, burnished effect. Diamond studs or a narrow row of channel-set diamonds can add interest to a simple polished band; inset rubies, sapphires, and emeralds are also popular choices for these tasteful rings. Engagement rings for men tend not to have raised gems; this prevents them snagging on clothes or becoming damaged with constant wear.
Men’s engagement rings tend to be larger and heavier than women’s engagement rings; this allows them to present an unmistakably masculine appearance in contrast to the delicate diamond solitaire rings often presented to women. Prices for men’s and women’s engagement rings are roughly comparable; the difference in the cost of the diamonds or other gemstones in women’s rings is offset by the weight of the precious metals used in engagement bands for men.
For modern couples, engagement represents a commitment by both parties. It simply makes sense for both members of the couple to wear rings symbolizing that commitment and affirming their love for each other. Engagement rings for men serve as reminders that they are loved and valued equally by their partners. By giving her fiancé a tangible reminder of her affection, the bride-to-be can demonstrate that she is an equal partner in the relationship and provide her future husband with a beautiful expression of her love and devotion that he will cherish for many years to come.