Johnny Depp debuted a tiny sparkling diamond ring at a Beijing promotion stop for his film, “Transcendence.” When asked whether it implied an engagement to his 27-year-old actress-girlfriend Amber Heard, he replied, “The fact that I’m wearing a chick’s ring on my finger is probably a dead giveaway. Not very subtle.”
The Atlantic wrote about “The Rise of the Man-gagement Ring” back in February, citing a study by the XO Group Inc. that stated five-percent of men are now wearing these rings to solidify their status. The concept is just the same as it applies to the opposite gender: a sparkler worn on the ring finger that comes with the promise to wed. The concept also shares the origins of the women’s version, the brainchild of the marketing department of a jeweler. According to the article, the mangagement ring emerged in the ‘20s when department stores attempted to advertise a man’s left hand ring with “ultra-macho names: the Pilot, the Stag, the Master.” However, the concept, too well-associated with female ownership, failed and faded out of retailers as quickly as it was introduced.
It wasn’t until recent years that the concept was revived, attributing lower pricepoints, celebrity gestures (Michael Buble wears a ring given to him by his fiance as a traditional Latin custom), and the legalization of gay marriage. They note, the man’s left hand ring also correlates to the stabilization of gender equality in relationships and a 2013 study found that “about 67 percent of the men polled are ‘open’ to wearing an engagement ring.” The reason mangagement rings haven’t caught on is because they “aren’t pushed enough,” said the editor-in-chief of real life magazine Engagement 101.
Depp’s phrasing of a “chick’s ring” by a man who openly embraces the wearing of eyeliner doesn’t really do the concept any favors for coming back into fashion or shaking its gender-specific assocations, but it doesn’t mean the idea doesn’t have legs. Details also wrote about the return of the male engagement ring in 2009 and interviewed an expert from engagement ring emporium Robbins Brothers who claimed they receive “20 to 25 inquiries a week from women who want to propose.” Jezebel responded to the Atlantic’s piece and gave eight thoroughly convincing reasons— including lower pricepoints and all the ones mentioned above — why the mangagement ring should become a societal norm.
So we want to know: What do you think? Would you wear or give a mangagement ring? Let’s talk about it in the comments below.Rachel Raczka can be reached at email@example.com and tweeted @rachelraczka.