For the first time in its 184-year existence, luxury jewellery company Tiffany & Co. is offering men’s engagement rings.
The latest designs are a significant departure for the American jeweler, which is known for its classic solitaire engagement rings for women, and come amid reports of growing demand for fine jewelry among male shoppers.
The Charles Tiffany Setting, named after the company’s founder, Charles Lewis Tiffany, will be available at Tiffany’s flagship New York store starting this month.
The style is based on classic signets and is available in titanium or platinum. The thickset rings have angular bevelled edges and a sparkling core diamond that can weigh up to five carats.
The line “honours the jeweler’s long-standing heritage of love and inclusivity, paving the way for new traditions,” according to a press release from the company.
With the introduction of the Tiffany Setting in 1886, Tiffany & Co. started selling diamond engagement rings, which is still one of the company’s most well-known designs today. According to Business of Fashion, engagement jewelry is a critical part of the business, accounting for 26% of sales last year.
A New Trend has Emerged
With same-sex marriages now legal in nearly 30 countries, jewelers such as Brilliant Earth have recently started selling gender-neutral engagement ring designs. Other independent jewelers, such as Stephen Einhorn, specialize in LGBTQ couples’ jewelry.
According to Lyst’s 2019 Wedding Report, there has been a surge in interest in men’s engagement rings on its web, with search volume increasing 66 percent from 2018 to 2019. Male engagement rings have been popularised by celebrities such as 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, in addition to being popular among LGBTQ couples.
The thought of women proposing to men is “very romantic,” according to designer Narcisa Pheres, whose eponymous fine jewelry collection has been worn by celebrities such as Rihanna and Beyoncé. Though she doesn’t currently sell male engagement rings, she has previously adapted her designs for men, most notably a ring for Joe Jonas to wear to the 2019 Met Gala.
“With all this discussion about feminism and women’s empowerment, why can’t we propose?” she asked via email. “And, given that Tiffany (& Co) pioneered the diamond engagement ring, now is the ideal time for the brand to reinvent itself and adapt to the 21st-century market.”
In the last five years, the wider jewellery industry has been “changing and adjusting to new patterns and norms,” according to Pheres, with celebrities such as Harry Styles championing unisex jewellery and encouraging others to do the same.
“You see men wearing massive Baroque-style brooches or large diamond rings, necklaces (and so on) on the red carpet,” she said. “Of course, the music industry, pop art, and a slew of young celebrities and influencers wearing more and more fine jewellery in public have had the most effect.” Gender fluidity is a social trend, not just in jewellery, and we’ll be seeing a lot more of it in the future.”