Society, jewellery and tradition

February – the month of love, and this year it’s extra special. Not only is there Valentine’s Day (if you’re interested in why we celebrate February 14th, then take a look at our blog on Valentine’s Day ), but it’s also a leap year. So, if you’re a woman who would love to propose, this is your only chance for the next four years!

Of course, that’s not true. Over recent years, there has been a massive shift in both roles and attitudes and a recent survey found that 70% of men would love it if a woman proposed first. Maybe even more surprisingly is a massive 67% of men admit they would like to wear an engagement ring!

So, we thought this month we would take a look at the Leap Year tradition and why more and more men are enjoying a bit of engagement bling.

Bachelor’s Day – a leap in tradition

2020 is a leap year, so according to Irish tradition a woman can  take matters into her own hands and propose marriage to her partner. But where does this tradition come from?

Well, it starts back in the 5th century when St. Brigid of Kildare complained to St. Patrick that women had to wait far too long for men to propose. St. Patrick supposedly decreed that women would be allowed to propose, but only on this one day in February during a leap year.

The tradition was then taken to Scotland, and in 1288, a law was passed that allowed a woman to propose marriage to the man of their dreams in a leap year. The law also stated that any man who turned down the proposal on this day would have to pay a fine. This ranged from a simple kiss to a silk dress!

If you are planning on popping the question, then we have a very special offer on at the moment. Simply quote JWAWED and you’ll get 20% off the order of two wedding bands. Now, that’s a great reason to propose!

Yes, men do wear engagement rings

Traditionally, engagement rings were given to women as a sign that she was owned by a man and should not be courted by anyone else.

But over time, as women began to have a free choice about whom they wanted to marry, the engagement ring came to symbolise love and commitment. And many couples started to ask the question – if the bride-to-be has to show her commitment, why shouldn’t the groom display his commitment as well?

The legalisation of same-sex marriage in many countries and gender roles becoming more fluid has seen an increase in the demand of engagement rings for men.

And when you see male celebrities wearing an engagement ring, you know it’s something that’s not going away! Michael Bublé was seen wearing a platinum band on his ring finger after getting engaged. At one of his concerts he commented  “The boy also wears the engagement ring. That’s what she tells me anyway.” His now wife, Luisiana Lopilato,  is from Argentina where it’s tradition for both men and women to wear engagement rings.

And David Otunga, the professional boxer wears a stunning five-carat diamond ring,  featuring square-cut diamonds in columns around the band and round brilliant stones along the top and bottom. It was given to him by Jennifer Hudson when she proposed to him, 7 months after he proposed to her!

The reality is society is evolving, as are people’s attitudes. And let’s face it, getting engaged is such a momentous special occasion,  who wouldn’t want to celebrate it by wearing a fabulous ring.

Come and see our stock of stunning jewellery

If you’re looking for an engagement ring or want to try on some of our extensive sample range of wedding bands, why not visit us in our store in Amersham Old Town, Buckinghamshire.