Man-gagement has a ring to it

Leticia Hatch and Thomas Commerford show off their bling.
Leticia Hatch and Thomas Commerford show off their bling. Peter Holt

AFTER months of quiet researching, you're ready to ask.

You can discuss the difference between the six prong or four prong rings, the pros and cons of going for white gold or platinum.

Princess cut? Assher or cushion?

But in the deepest and most secured labyrinths of your mind there is still a rumbling of concern. What if he says no?

Such fears have created an apparently new word in the dictionary for those betting on betrothal.

The "man-gagement ring".

This follows the confounding precedent where a bag became a manbag, eyeliner on guys became guyliner and a man in leggings - god forbid - is wearing meggings. has heralded this new frontier in matrimonial foreplay as something of a revolution.

Strong women tired of the "will he, won't he" back and forths are apparently zipping out and taking the first step.

A rise in same-sex civil unions means men are ready to endure that nasty crick in their knee to call dibs on the gent of their dreams.

It is also said fashionable men simply would like a ring to match that of their future bride's.

Former Sunshine Coast couple Leticia Hatch, 23 and Thomas Commerford, 25, got engaged while on a holiday to Hamilton Island and Leticia knew she was ready.

It was their four-year-seven-month anniversary.

Now living in Mackay, Ms Hatch had an easier time than some would expect.

Struggling to find a ring to fit the hands of her diesel fitter boyfriend.

She struck gold when a jeweller finally unveiled one large enough.

"We celebrate monthly anniversaries, we always have," Ms Hatch said.

"I had a photo book ordered so it was all our photos since we were together and I gave that to him as a present.

"I was awake from about 5am, he didn't get up until about 7 - I was like 'Hurry up and wake', I was so nervous.

"He went through all the photos and in the back there was a story on how we met and all the things we have done together.

"I pulled out the ring and I said, 'Will you marry me?'.

"He said, 'Really?'.

"And I started bawling my eyes out."

Although he said yes to her rather than to just the ring, he was looking down his finger at a two-tone ring with a square diamond in the centre.

On the Coast, despite heralding trumpets from Essential Groom, demand for man-gagement rings is rare bordering on non-existent.

Celebrant Bill Scurry has created almost more marriages than booze and babies combined, after 30 years of pronouncing people man and wife.

He does not recall any man wearing a man-gagement ring.

Even after a meeting with the wedding industry's power brokers, Mr Scurry said there was no talk of such a trend.

"That was definitely not brought up there," Mr Scurry said.

Coast jewellers would, of course, be delighted to see men rushing in to show their love through diamond rings, but if man-gagement rings are the next big thing, it is starting from a tiny base.

ORO Diamonds and Gold owner Craig Jackson said it was more likely than ever before, but was still not a regular sale.

Diamonds of Distinction owner Peter Drane said while men were not rushing to buy engagement rings for themselves, they were more likely to be a little finicky about their wedding jewellery.

"Men are becoming a lot more fussy about the wedding ring for themselves," he said.

"They're interested in buying a more elaborate wedding ring. They're looking for patterns and textures and diamonds and coloured diamonds. Once upon a time it would just be a gold band."

But Mr Drane said in 21 years behind the counter, a woman had never bought an engagement ring for her groom-to-be.

Topics:  dating engagement love marriage

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