This spring, Tiffany & Co. will debut the Charles Tiffany Setting, its first-ever collection of engagement rings for men.
In a statement, the retailer said that the new line, named for founder Charles Lewis Tiffany, represents a “modern and bold departure” from the traditional wedding band. The line also doesn’t much resemble the standard Tiffany-set female-oriented engagement ring.
“Recalling a signet silhouette, the platinum and titanium designs revise a classic men’s style with powerful contours, a contemporary profile, and feature a striking center diamond,” the company said in the same statement.
The complete collection, which will be available for round brilliant and emerald-cut diamonds up to 5 cts., can be seen here.
Tiffany, which was purchased by LVMH in January, has put an added emphasis on men’s jewelry in recent years. In December 2019, it opened its first men’s pop-up shop.
There have been many attempts to introduce what some (though notably, not Tiffany) have dubbed “man-gagement rings” over the years. Most haven’t been successful.
Vicki Howard, a marriage historian and author of Brides, Inc.: American Weddings and the Business of Tradition, said that, when researching her book, she examined back issues of JCK and found the industry trying to popularize the idea of male engagement rings in the 1920s.
“The ads used words like he-man and had names like the Stag to fight the idea that rings are for women,” she says. “But the culture didn’t support the unstated equality [in] a mutual exchange in engagement rings.”
On the other hand, the push toward men’s wedding rings—which were relatively rare prior to World War II—did catch fire after the war ended. Because so many women worked while the men in their lives were overseas fighting, “there was more acceptance of men and women being in an equal type of relationship,” Howard says, which ultimately helped the notion of both sexes getting wedding rings.
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