When Tiffany announced in early May 2021 that it was going to sell men's diamond engagement rings for the first time in its 184-year history, it caused a stir. That's because, as America's long-time authority on jewelry etiquette, Tiffany had never bet on big diamonds for its men's jewelry.
This decision reflects a changing era. Men are embracing jewelry that sends messages, and the unisex style trend will continue, especially because of same-sex unions. And after all, regardless of sexual orientation, shouldn't men have an equal chance of enjoying beautiful jewelryx?
Tiffany's platinum and diamond rings
We can't really talk about a new trend. Men from royalty, maharajahs and powerful people have worn large diamonds and jewelry over the centuries. King Louis XIV was known to cover himself in diamonds (including the famous Hope Diamond). They were symbols of wealth and power. The Indian maharajahs have never overlooked large diamonds and other precious stones. They were found on men's necklaces, brooches, rings, etc. the opulence of these men's jewels far exceeded those of the women's jewels of their time. And a diamond ring worn on the little finger has always been popular with a certain group of well-heeled gentlemen. It was a popular choice until the 1970s when the look started to go out of fashion.
Diamond rings for men sold at Bonham's
“Interest in diamond rings for men faded in the 80s and 90s when the definition of masculinity narrowed a bit. Men then began to choose simple wedding bands, watches began to replace diamond rings,” explains Caroline Morrisey, head of the jewelry department at Bonham's New York. The house is selling a men's ring from the 1970s with a 1.68 carat emerald-cut diamond. It will be presented at its New York auction on May 19. According to her, the men's diamond ring reflects the simple styles of rings that are trending right now.
Even men who have been hesitant to wear diamond jewelry in the past are taking the plunge with men's rings. Whether it's a wedding band or simply a masculine accessory. "In general, most men can relate to diamonds, as opposed to colored gemstones which tend to be more valued by collectors and connoisseurs," says Graeme Thompson, Head of world of jewelery at Phillips, based in Hong Kong. Over there, it is common to see men wearing diamond and precious stone rings without being surprised.
Asia: another perception of men's jewelry
"In Asia, men's rings are timeless and culturally relevant," says Thompson. “ There is a cultural anchoring of jewellery. Men's rings, set with diamonds, gemstones or both, are worn as a symbol of wealth. The same goes for tie pins and cufflinks.” He notes a growing demand, particularly in the Orient, for men's rings with gemstones, saying that “there is pent-up purchasing power there. We should soon see a post-pandemic boom, according to him.
But Western celebrities are also fueling this new trend in men's jewelery with stones. For example, Trevor Noah, who wore a platinum and diamond Schlumberger Apollo brooch from Tiffany & Co. at the 2021 Grammys. Or Timothée Chalamet, who sported a vintage Cartier brooch at the 2020 Oscars.
The ubiquity of jewelry on men's celebrities can be seen more and more. Particularly on the side of luxury bracelets for men. This encouraged men to wear diamond jewelry and rings. All this suggests that a new era is about to begin when it comes to men's diamond rings.
“The avant-garde man, who has a very strong sense of identity, wants to be valued, wants to send a message to the outside world,” believes Morrisey. “Today, if you see a man wearing a diamond ring, it will arouse positive curiosity. I'm not sure that would have been the case 20 or 30 years ago. »
Some designers, like Shaun Leane, have always created diamond jewelry for men. For them, it is a sort of consecration. "It gives me great pleasure to see that men are daring more, becoming more free in their choice of jewelry and more courageous in expressing their identity," said the British jeweler. He notes that men are starting to invest in engagement rings and more sophisticated jewelry.
David Yurman, another long-time diamond supporter for men
David Yurman has also long believed in the future of diamonds in the world of men's jewellery. It offers a range of stylish men's diamond rings. Some are set with black and cognac diamonds that "have an inherently cool, masculine feel," said Evan Yurman, Creative Director. “Diamonds are fascinating stones, for men and women alike. Consumers are drawn to the idea that these stones are billions of years old and formed in the Earth's core.»
Todd Reed, for his part, expresses the masculine aesthetic with rough diamond rings that look like pebbles fallen over a precipice. These men's rings come in shades of brown, gray and green. " Men are very interested in diamond rings and certainly also want to own a one-of-a-kind piece," says Reed, who recently made a bespoke men's ring with a green diamond.
And the new Charles Lewis Tiffany men's rings feature round or emerald-cut solitaire diamonds up to 4 carats, in a signet style. This is a bold move that shows that Tiffany knows how to adapt to today's changing standards. “ Tiffany and other men's jewelry companies are responding to something happening culturally,” says Lee Siegelson of Siegelson New York. “Over the past 5 years, we have sold and lent men's jewelry for photo shoots like never before. He added, “Men have always been drawn to the inherent beauty and power of diamonds. It's even better if they can wear them now,” concluded.