I own a replica of Elizabeth Taylor’s most famous piece of jewelry, a ring gifted to her by then-husband Richard Burton that featured the Krupp diamond, now called the Taylor-Burton diamond. It may come to a surprise to many that the 69.42-carat bauble wasn’t an engagement ring. In fact, Burton, who had showered his wife with a literal treasure trove over their two marriages, never proposed with an engagement ring. Some fellas don’t, and that’s fine, I guess.
I expect one. Ever since I discovered the Backstreet Boys, I have been dreaming of my proposal. And ever since I learned of the lore of the Taylor-Burton diamond, I wanted something just like it for myself—a thin band with an emerald-cut diamond that resembles a giant ice cube. That’s just me: I like things big, bold, and attention-grabbing. It has to make a statement with its size, sleekness, and carats; I’m not really into flourishes or anything ornate. Hopefully, whoever ends up going down one knee will know me well enough to get the ring right. And in the event that I’m the one doing the proposing (unlikely, but never say never), I would hope that I know my man’s taste to get him what he wants.
Basically, the best engagement ring for any man is one that reflects his personal style, his MO. It could be clean, sculptural, and budget-conscious, or wonderfully ornate and wildly expensive. Different strokes for different folks, right? And if you plan on proposing to your loved one sometime soon and need help picking the perfect ring, below are some great options—all of them primed to get him to say, “I do.”
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Thin Geo Ring with Diamond
If your loved one is budget-conscious and his style is minimal, Miansai offers a great selection of options that hit these targets. The brand was founded on the ethos of simplicity, believing that true beauty is found in small details. And its Thin Geo ring—which is made of gold vermeil with a subtle but impactful diamond brilliant in the corner—is a great example of what Miansai does best. Plus, at this amazing price, you’ll have more money to spend on your wedding ceremony.
Jewel in the Crown Pearl Ring
Speaking of stellar prices, Missoma is another brand that offers baubles that won’t break the back. Its pieces range from clean and simple to fanciful. And if your king prefers the latter, he is absolutely going to love this Jewel in the Crown ring. Designed by Harris Reed, a burgeoning creative who aims to break gender stereotypes, this ornate style, made of recycled gold vermeil on recycled sterling silver with pearl cabochons and white cubic zirconia, definitely makes a royal statement.
John Hardy believes that jewelry should feel just as good as it looks. The Bali-based brand creates all its styles by hand, only using reclaimed precious metals that it weaves intricately to stunning effect. As a result of utilizing this technique, pieces often feature a slightly textured surface, but feel so smooth on the skin. Case in point: the Surya Chain Band ring, which is made of 14K gold and features a smokey diamond on a triangular bezel setting. Though small in size, the design truly packs the heat.
Ice Cube 18K White Gold & Diamond Ring
From exuberant florals to a whole menagerie of shiny jewels, Chopard is celebrated for its fantasy-filled collections. Even when it offers styles that follow a more minimal aesthetic, there’s always an element of whimsy. Take this ring—made of 18K white gold with a single brilliant diamond at the center—that’s fashioned into the shape of ice cubes. It’s a flourish that’ll look good on any finger.
Cartier’s famed Love collection, as legend has it, was born from heartbreak. In the ’60s, Aldo Cipullo designed a bracelet after a relationship ended, wanting to capture everlasting love in jewelry form; it features two screws that locks it to the wearer’s wrist. And though the ring—this one made of yellow gold— can be taken off easily, the sentiment of inseparability, as seen on the screw-shaped metalwork, remains. What’s more, it can double as a wedding band.
Mejuri’s Toi et Moi ring is rich in symbolism. Firstly, the bold domed band, made of 14K gold, features two asymmetrical diamonds—one cushion and the other pear-shaped—forever joined together. And if that isn’t enough, the inner part of the band features an etching that reads, “To Me and You.” Like Cartier’s Love ring, it’s a great style for a fella who likes his jewelry to have a deeper meaning.
If he likes pieces that are clean and architectural, but full of charisma, it doesn’t get any better than Bulagri’s aptly-named Marry Me ring. The lustrous platinum band features five brilliant diamonds in square settings. It is sculptural and sophisticated. It is a design that imbues purity and timelessness. And isn’t that what marriage is all about?
Black Diamonds Beveled Edge Band Ring
David Yurman never fails to offer styles that are bold. There’s nothing dainty about its designs; they are sculptural and sizable, evoking a sense of machismo. The brand’s Streamline collection, in particular, leans into this mindset. This ring, for instance, is made of sterling silver with beveled edges, punctuated with rows of pavé black diamonds. Its style for men who like to be in control, an alpha dog, someone who’ll most likely get down on one knee. But beat him to the punch, and propose to him first.
Skyline Diamond Wedding Ring
Does he strive for a zero-waste lifestyle? Does he really care about the environment? A ring from Brilliant Earth is the one for him. The San Francisco-based brand creates pieces from existing metals in a program that’s overseen by both the Responsible Mining Initiative and London Bullion Market Association. It is also very cautious about its carbon footprint, partnering with Carbonfund.org to offset its carbon emissions by contributing to the Tropical Rainforest Conservation in Brazil. And before we forget, the designs are truly up to snuff, especially this one made of 18K white gold with three sets of three pavé brilliant diamonds.
Le Cube Diamant Large 18K White Gold & Diamond Ring
In 1965, after cutting his teeth at Cartier for a decade, Jean Dinh Van opened his own shop, catering to French society. He set himself apart by eschewing the ornate and colorful designs that characterized the fine jewelry industry at the time, instead focusing on modern and minimal silhouettes in a single hue. A great example of his aesthetic is the Le Cube Diamant ring, a style he introduced in the ’70s that continues to be coveted by jewelry lovers today.
Ask any good jewelry editor, and they will tell you that few can compete with Verdura. Founded by Duke Falco di Verdura in 1939, the brand has been worn by the likes of Coco Chanel, Marlene Dietrich, the Duchess of Windsor, and A$AP Rocky. The pieces offered are unique and attention-grabbing. They also appreciate in value over time—especially the Constellation Band Ring, which made its debut in 1944—making them a worthy investment.
The Charles Tiffany Setting Engagement Ring
Tiffany & Co.
Price upon request
When it comes to engagement rings, Tiffany & Co. is the Mac Daddy, the OG, the one that many think of first and foremost. It was 1888 when Charles Tiffany introduced its diamond engagement ring to the world, initially for gals. And as a true leader, it is one of the few labels that have a dedicated section of engagement rings for men, which includes this signet-style platinum ring with a hard-to-miss brilliant diamond at the center. It is both traditional and forward-thinking, flashy and sleek, and any man offered one will definitely say, “I do.”
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