If You Like Him, It's Now OK to Put a Ring on Him

Some women stake claim to fiances by putting ring on it; some men don't mind.

ByABC News
November 5, 2009, 4:59 PM

Nov. 11, 2009 — -- Jennifer Barth and Jarrett Gabel are in love -- and they're on a mission.

They're on the lookout for the perfect engagement ring.

"I think we like something kind of brush metal, something silver and pretty clean and simple," said Gabel.

They drop in on Diane Frassanito at Frassanito Jewelers in Huntington, N.Y.

But this show-and-tell isn't for Barth.

"All the girls want everyone to know that their guy is taken, and there's no better way than to see a ring on his finger," said Frassanito.The ring shopping is for Gabel.

"This is very nice," he said, hefting a ring. "I like this one a lot."

A man wearing an engagement ring: think he's gone a bit loopy?

Well, he is head-over-heels in love.

Gabel popped the question this past New Year's, after picking out a beautiful diamond ring for his college sweetheart, Barth. And it got him thinking.

"It's not fair," he said. "She gets diamonds, I should get at least one."

Laugh all you want. Gabel's not alone.

More and more guys are wearing what some are calling a "man-gagement" ring, from mainstream designers like Scott Kay.

"I think people are really just open to looking for new ways to commemorate their relationship, to celebrate their love and showing it earlier on before the big day," said Elayne Fluker of brides.com.

When it comes to a marriage proposal, the ring has always been the thing. Just ask Beyonce, who had a huge hit last year singing, "If you like it then you should have put a ring on it."

In fact, the tradition of presenting his and hers engagement rings to one's beloved is said to date all the way back to the 15th century. In many European countries, couples exchange matching gold bands before tying the knot. Now, the male engagement ring is starting to take hold here in the United States.

"It's almost not fair, buying an engagement band like this and only wearing it for six months," said Gabel.

We asked Fluker how exclusive a club this "band of brothers" is.

"I would say the men's engagement ring is definitely having its moment," said Fluker. "I don't know if it's a movement yet, but I think it's definitely having its moment."