In a phone conversation today, a friend asked me why men don't wear engagement rings. She tended to think the one-sided exchange would let people know the woman wasn't available, while the man would be free to mess around. I let her know that while engagement rings for men are fairly new here in the U.S., in many cultures grooms-to-be have proudly worn betrothal rings to let others know they are taken.
For instance, in Ireland, men often propose with a gimmel ring. These triple interlocking rings separate, and one part is worn by the woman, a second part is worn by the man, and the third part of the ring is kept by the best man for safekeeping until the wedding ceremony when the groom slips it on his bride’s finger.
In some South American countries including Brazil and Argentina, both the bride- and groom-to-be wear engagement rings. In Argentina, the man and woman exchange silver engagement bands which they wear on their left hand. Then, during the wedding ceremony, gold rings are placed on their right hands. In Brazil, they wear gold bands on their right hands, and move them to their left hands after exchanging marriage vows. A similar tradition is practiced by some men from Germany Sweden and Finland.
|More ornate designs are gaining in popularity.|
In today's Western culture, engagement rings for men are growing in popularity and are often referred to as a mangagement ring. These mangagement rings traditionally look much like a plain wedding band made from precious metals, however more ornate designs are gaining in popularity. Depending on ring choice, once the couple is married, the man can either wear his mangagement ring as a wedding band, or he can stack it with his new wedding bands, much like a woman wears a marriage set.