He said YES! – TIiffany’s first men’s engagement rings

Tiffany’s had already made history with the launch of its first iconic solitaire diamond engagement ring for women in 1886 – is the company striking again with a new marital tradition? 

A new collection was announced on April 30th and launched on the 3rd of May. We are, of course, talking about The Charles Tiffany Setting, tributing to the six-prong creator and founder, Charles Lewis Tiffany. The rings hold either a round brilliant or emerald cut diamond that may measure up to 5 carats in a bezel-style setting inspired by the ladies Tiffany Setting’s band. 

Prices have not yet been revealed for the new designs, set to become available at the end of the month, but emerald-cut women’s engagement rings run from $2,900 to $113,500.

According to Tiffany’s diamond traceability commitment, each diamond will be accompanied by a full craftmanship certification, including details regarding the diamond’s exact origin, cut, grade, polish, and quality.

The first rings for men were very simple, usually in precious metal or titanium, mostly with small adorning diamonds. Today we are leaving the conservative 1920s trends, and men are much more open to ‘blingier’ options, as a recent study polled put, with 67% of men who defined themselves open to wearing men’s engagement rings.

Firstly, to understand the value of this new creation, we need to take a trip down memory lane, back to when Charles Lewis Tiffany conceived his first solitaire as a symbol of everlasting love, a six-prongs lifting a round shaped diamond above a slender gold band, a departure from the classical engagement rings with the stone close to the band, as well as the unadorned metal which let the diamond’s beauty and its light be the unchallenged as the centre of the attention. The ring was an instant success and a timeless classic. 

For more than a century, the company has been a market leader in satisfying any woman’s deepest dreams on the perfect engagement ring; why settling for that? Tiffany is joining a new market, representing the same-sex and gender-fluid couples of all the world. 

The collection surely is an appreciated proof of society’s changes; a man can finally say yes with Tiffany’s rock directly thought for him.

The aspiration is to offer products in support of love and inclusivity while “paving the way for new traditions to celebrate our unique love stories and honour our most cherished commitments to one another” and to put it relationship coach Jaime Bronstein’s words, the ritual becomes less about property ownership and more about “mutual commitment” and “both people showing they belong to each other”. “Men have typically not worn them, while women show outwardly that they are taken. It’s almost like men still have this grace period of freedom.” 

Jewellery designer Narcisa Pheres reckons it’s a step in the right direction, telling CNN she found the idea of women proposing to men “quite romantic.”

“With all this feminism and women empowerment talk, why can’t we propose as well?” Pheres said, “and since Tiffany 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.”

Men jewellery is surely going through a rise of interest. Tiffany’s first jewellery collection for men was launched in 2019, and other luxury labels as Louis Vuitton and Dior have conceived lines for men recently. The 2019 line, meant to diversify Tiffany’s traditional customer base, was conceived as a line of goods, including accessories like cocktail shakers, ice tongs and beer mugs with men in mind. “Men all over the world are wearing jewellery and more accessories as part of a wardrobe,” said Reed Krakoff, ex-chief artistic director, in an interview with The Associated Press. “You started to see it on the runways, in social media.”

This market was seen growing in the past years, increasing more than  66%, with a big increase in couples commissioning engagement rings for men and many brands like Boucheron dedicating entire collections to gender-neutral diamond jewellery designs. 

Following the legalization of same-sex marriage in the UK in 2014, the formerly niche market has seen a boom. In addition to this, heterosexual male celebrities, including Ed Sheeran and Michael Bublé, have also opted to wear an engagement ring. Pinterest also revealed that it had seen a 280% increase in people pinning images of male engagement rings for inspiration.

We are all rooting for Tiffany’s on this one, even though the LVMH group, which acquired the company for $15.8 billion, reported an excellent start if the year, with a growth of about 35% in the first quarter of 2021, compared to 2020, quoting CEO Bernard Arnault, “[…] it’s an icon. The brand that symbolizes love. We will make it shine even more and make it the most desirable jewellery brand” and as he furtherly explained “The brand’s potential is enormous and integrating it is very important for us. It really is our number one priority […] It’s a challenge, and we think we will have to dedicate all of our resources to it.”.

Either you like the collection or not, one thing must be acknowledged, diamonds aren’t just a girl’s best friend, and Tiffany’s diamonds can finally suit everyone’s great day!

Author: Benedetta Julia Burston

Sources: (CPP Luxury, NY Post, Robbre Port, Pedestrian, Engagement Ring Bible)

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