Becoming engaged to the one you love is a beautiful and very personal act, which should be reflected in the jewellery that symbolises this commitment. Bianca Mangion uncovers current trends in men’s engagement rings.
A woman’s engagement ring is often traditional and simple in style, allowing the diamond to tell the story while shining its brightest; however, men are not bound by such conventions and can afford to be more liberal with the style of their rings whilst still keeping their pieces timeless.
Men’s engagement rings are big business today and, in contrast to the classic solitaire for the girls, guys are somewhat freer to explore the use of textures, tones and stones to create pieces that scream style while also telling the world of their upcoming nuptials.
Custom designs herald a shift toward personalisation, which is a trend that MDT Designs workshop manager and sales executive Kosta Theochari is noticing among his clients. The moment Thoechari explains to men their options for enagement rings, his customers usually choose to put an individual spin on their choices.
“At first, men think their only options are to purchase something ready-made yet this soon changes when we explain everything here is 100 per cent handmade onsite and that modifications can be done,” Theochari explains. “Around 80 per cent of men don’t find exactly what they want on a shelf so they opt to change elements of designs such as the finish, metal tones and adding or removing stones.”
The Melbourne-based jeweller attests that simple changes can make for a ring with individuality, something especially to suit the wearer, and rightly so.
“A person should not compromise on such an important purchase; generally, custom making a ring for them is the way to go,” he says.
MDT’s sales of men’s engagement rings are higher than ever, further indicating men don’t want to miss out on the fun of selecting a beautiful engagement ring for themselves.
“There has been a big increase in male engagement rings over the past few years and our stock is growing to keep up with the ideas and concepts that guys like,” Theochari says. “We now have a much larger collection compared to five years ago and, from this collection, our clients get ideas for us to custom design – every person is different and their jewellery should be too.”
One popular trend in the category is Mokume Gane, an ancient Japanese technique blending both 18-carat white and yellow gold or 18-carat white and rose gold. The metal is layered together to give a fluid, natural finish reminiscent of wood grain. The interconnected, two-tone effect is also a symbolic way to reflect the union of two lovers.
“Mokume Gane is great for those wanting a two-tone ring with a difference,” Theochari says.
Another departure from tradition is the preference for natural white gold without the classic rhodium plating. The natural grey colour of white gold makes for a more industrial looking piece that appeals to men, according to Theochari.
It’s important for men’s engagement rings to look masculine and strong whilst still being opulent enough for such a grand commitment. The desired effect is often achieved through the finish of modern men’s engagement rings. Gone is the era where a polished gold band was all on offer.
Another way to highlight the engagement band is with precious stones. According to Theochari, around half of all MDT Designs’ male customers include stones in their engagement bands.
“Many men are choosing to have their ring in an emery or brushed finish, along with black rhodium plating in grooves and etchings on the ring,” Theochari reports. “The darker colour works well when combined with traditional coloured metals like white, rose or yellow gold.”
“Over the years there has been an increase in men’s jewellery with diamonds but they often prefer a coloured diamond, such as blue, black or pink, compared to the more traditional white diamond,” he says.
Styles are getting fancier and more detailed but men are still consciously seeking timelessness also.
“More men are liking the idea of customising their rings to be different to the more traditional styles while still combining traditional elements so it doesn’t look too crazy on their fingers in 50 years. An example is having a half-round, simple band with grooves running through the ring and a central diamond,” Theochari details.
With good fortune, a men’s engagement ring will be worn throughout a lifetime to symbolise a strong, solid union. The ring should be reflective of this partnership, whilst also expressing the individuality of the wearer. It’s lucky then that modern couples have a bevy of creative customisation options right at their fingertips.