Credit: Tiffany & Co.
Tiffany & Co launches engagement rings for men
Luxury jewelry brand Tiffany & Co. is selling men's engagement rings for the first time in its 184-year history.
Amid reports of growing demand for fine jewelry among male shoppers, the new designs mark a major departure for the American jeweler, which is known for its classic solitaire engagement rings for women.
Available at Tiffany's flagship New York store from this month, the range is named the Charles Tiffany Setting after the company's founder, Charles Lewis Tiffany.
The design was inspired by classic signets and comes in either a titanium or platinum setting. The thickset rings feature angular beveled edges and a sparkling center diamond up to five carats in size.
The brand said in a press release the line "honors the jeweler's long-standing legacy in love and inclusivity, paving the way for new traditions."
Tiffany & Co. began selling diamond engagement rings in 1886 with the introduction of the Tiffany Setting, which remains one of its best known styles to date. Engagement jewelry forms a crucial part of the business, making up 26% of the company's revenue last year, according to Business of Fashion.
With same-sex marriages recognized in almost 30 countries, jewelers like Brilliant Earth have begun offering gender-neutral engagement ring designs in recent months. Other independent jewelers, such as Stephen Einhorn, offer lines specifically aimed at LGBTQ couples.
In its 2019 Wedding Report, fashion search platform Lyst said there had been a surge of interest in men's engagement rings on its site, with search volume jumping 66% from 2018 to 2019. As well as proving popular among LGBTQ couples, male engagement rings have also been popularized by celebrities including Ed Sheeran, who wore an engagement ring designed by his then-fiancée Cherry Seaborn, and Michael Bublé, who was given a simple engagement band by his former wife Luisana Lopilato.
Designer Narcisa Pheres, whose eponymous fine jewelry line has been worn by celebrities including Rihanna and Beyoncé, said that she found the idea of women proposing to men "quite romantic." While she doesn't currently sell male engagement rings, she recently launched a gender-fluid necklace line and has previously adapted her designs for men -- most notably a ring for Joe Jonas to wear to the 2019 Met Gala.
"With all this feminism and women empowerment talk, why can't we propose as well?" she said over email. "And since Tiffany (& Co) was the brand that pushed the diamond engagement ring to start with, it's the perfect time for the brand to reinvent itself and adapt to the 21st-century consumer."
Pheres also noted that the broader jewelry market has been "changing and adapting to new trends and standards" in the past five years, with stars like Harry Styles championing unisex jewelry and inspiring others to follow suit.
"You see on the red carpet men wearing huge Baroque-style brooches or big diamond rings, necklaces (and so on)," she said. "The biggest influence obviously (has) been (the) music industry, pop art and lots of the young celebrities or influencers wearing more and more fine jewelry in public.
"Gender fluidity is a social trend, not just for jewelry, (and) we will see much more of it."