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Do men wear engagement rings?

Throughout history, women have typically been the receivers and wearers of engagement rings. However, times are changing and it’s becoming increasingly common for men to wear engagement rings.

Every month in the UK, there are a staggering 11,200 combined searches for ‘men’s engagement rings’ and ‘engagement rings for men’, illustrating how their popularity has skyrocketed.

In this guide, we delve into the world of men’s engagement rings to explain more about their history and the new traditions couples around the world are creating.

Men wearing engagement rings

Why don’t men wear engagement rings?

The reason why many men in the Western world don’t wear engagement rings is because of history and the traditions that we continue to follow today.

Many of the origins of engagement rings are rooted in the idea that marriage is a business transaction - far from the romantic gesture we associate with a proposal today! A woman wearing an engagement ring was seen as a symbol of a man’s ownership of his wife.

However, there are some instances of men wearing engagement rings of sorts throughout history. During the Enlightenment, gimmel rings gained popularity. Featuring two interlocked rings, they were separated and worn by each partner throughout their engagement. The rings were combined during the marriage ceremony and given to the bride as a symbol of oneness and unity.

More recently in 1926, the New Jersey department store L. Bamberger & Co (now known as Macy’s) started an unsuccessful marketing campaign to encourage men to start wearing engagement rings. The campaign featured advertisements in local newspapers promoting the products, which were given macho names like the Stag, Pilot and Master in a bid to appeal to their male audience.

Unfortunately, the idea of a male engagement ring failed to catch on. At the time, the engagement ring was too far entwined with femininity, and men tended to wear little jewellery anyways.

You can find out more about the history of engagement rings  from the Ancient Egyptians to now in our guide.

Can men wear engagement rings?

Thankfully, times and attitudes have changed. Rather than being a symbol of ownership of a partner, engagement rings today represent love and a commitment to each other. Men can absolutely wear an engagement ring and many men across both heterosexual and same-sex couples now do.

Man proposing to man

Cultures where men wear engagement rings

There are some countries around the world where men’s engagement rings are more common than others, including:

  1. Chile
  2. Brazil
  3. Argentina
  4. Sweden
  5. Norway
  6. Denmark


In some countries, such as Chile and Argentina, the tradition of men wearing engagement rings dates back decades. Modern grooms continue the tradition and wear the engagement ring as a symbol of their culture’s heritage.

Male celebrities who wear engagement rings

Some famous men have also chosen to wear an engagement ring. With their high-profile status, their doing so has influenced many other men to do the same.

Celebrities include:

Ed Sheeran

When Ed Sheeran was spotted at the Brits wearing a silver ring on his left ring finger, many assumed that he had tied the knot with then-fiancee Cherry Seaborn. However, Ed confirmed that the ring was actually an engagement ring, adding:

“I never saw why men didn’t wear engagement rings, it’s the same commitment either way. Cherry made it for me herself out of silver clay and I really like it.”

Michael Bublé

When Michael Bublé became engaged to Argentine actress Luisana Loreley Lopilato de la Torre, he was later seen wearing a ring. At a concert, he confirmed he was wearing the ring as it was customary in Argentina, reflecting his fiancee’s culture.

Johnny Depp

After the original ring Johnny Depp proposed to Amber Heard with was too large for her finger, Depp started wearing the large diamond ring on his own ring finger, confirming to reporters at a press conference that the ‘chick’s ring’ was a sign of his impending marriage.

Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen was seen wearing a plain Tiffany’s engagement ring from fiancee Brett Rossi on his left hand, shortly after Johnny Depp was spotted wearing his diamond engagement ring.

David Otunga

After David Otunga proposed to her, Jennifer Hudson decided to return the favour, shelling out an estimated $15,000 on a men’s engagement ring for him. After proposing, Jennifer explained:

“David is a little different. He wanted to have an engagement ring, too. “[He would say,] ‘You have a ring, but how are they going to know I’m taken?’”

“So I had a ring made and then I gave it to him as his birthday gift on his birthday. And the way that I gave it to him was like, ‘Now will you marry me!’ So I kind of proposed to him too,”

Michael Turchin

‘NSYNC star Lance Bass proposed to his fiance Michael Turchin originally in September 2013. On the one-year anniversary of the proposal, Lance popped the question again, presenting Michael with a gold engagement ring with inset black diamonds. He’s a lucky guy to receive not one but two engagement rings!

Tom Daley & Dustin Lance Black

It seems it was a joint proposal for Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black. Posting on Instagram, Tom added the caption “#HeSaidYES and then #ISaidYES” along with a photo of two matching silver men’s engagement rings with diamond detail.

Do women buy men engagement rings?

It’s totally up to you! Some women want to return the favour and use a male engagement ring to show their partner how much they love them and are committed to them.

If you’re unsure about whether your partner would wear one, you could always ask them or drop some subtle hints to gauge their reaction. If you want it to be a surprise, discreetly mentioning the male celebrities we’ve listed above is a great conversation starter that could help you get the answers you need.

Woman proposing to man

Which finger do men wear an engagement ring on?

Most men will wear their engagement ring on their ring finger, commonly on their left hand but it can also be worn on their right hand too. As male engagement rings are a relatively new tradition, you can ultimately decide whether to stick to the ring finger or wear it on another finger entirely.

Some men may wear their engagement ring on a chain around their neck instead. This is especially common if your partner has a manual job where it would be dangerous to wear a ring on a finger.

Styles of men’s engagement rings

While engagement rings for women tend to feature larger, sparkling diamonds, men’s engagement rings tend to be plainer. Plain bands are a popular choice, acting as a simple sign of their commitment to their other half.

However, you can also get men’s engagement rings with diamonds. Again, these tend to be smaller diamonds set within the band of the ring itself. It is possible to get rings with a larger stone for added sparkle, although they are less common so you may need to use a bespoke engagement ring design service to get exactly what you’re looking for.

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