In her song “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It),” Beyoncé tells male listeners how to maintain happy relationships: put engagement rings on the hands of longtime girlfriends. Hubby Jay-Z may want to consider writing the sequel song for men, especially considering this week’s news reports touting the man-gagement ring as the next big thing.
Reasons for the purchases range from celebrity culture à la Jennifer Hudson’s Neil Lane ring gifted to fiancé David Otunga (see photo) to jewelry manufacturers trying to launch a trend.
At least some fine jewelers are reporting inquiries and even sales.
Brad Gross of H. L. Gross Brothers told ABC News that he doesn’t think the idea is simply a “marketing ploy by jewelers to sell more merchandise,” as the interviewer suggests, and John Cordova of California-based Robbins Brothers told Details that he fields as many as 25 inquiries a week about men’s engagement bands.
Meanwhile, Jeff Wickersham, co-owner of Wickersham Jewelry in Rothschild, Wis., told JCK yesterday that he first learned about engagement rings for men at the Retail Jewelers Organization show in August, where a rep for Scott Kay introduced him to the idea. Sales haven’t yet caught on at his store, located in central Wisconsin, but he maintains that he’s prepared anyway. “We have a couple of lines that can be used for [man-gagement rings], but we don’t come out and say they can be used for it [in signage],” he says. That may change soon enough. “After our Christmas season, we’ll look into the idea further,” Wickersham adds.
Are man-gagement rings a thing to watch for in 2010? Retailers, designers, and consumers, please weigh in by way of the comment function.
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