Poundland is selling £1 engagement rings - and wants women to pop the question this leap year day

Budget high street chain Poundland is selling £1 engagement rings to encourage women to propose to their other halves this leap year day.

The 2020 Poundland 'Man Band' is a simple faux silver band, presented in a blue velvet box. It comes in four styles and finger sizes.

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The ring is being marketed as a "placeholder" with which women can pop the question on 29 February, when tradition dictates that women can reverse roles and propose to their male partners.

The tongue-in-cheek Man Band packaging also encourages potential suitors to "Take the leap and do the asking… Because he might never get around to it!"

The Man Bands will come in four styles and sizes (Photo: Poundland)

The hope is that the placeholder ring will later be replaced by a more upscale ring - provided the partner says yes.

Why are women encouraged to propose on 29 February?

Leap year proposals are an Irish tradition dating back to the 5th century, when an Irish nun called St Bridget supposedly complained to St Patrick that women were waiting too long for their suitors to propose.

As a result, St Patrick struck a deal with the nun, decreeing that on 29 February, which only takes place once every four years, women would be allowed to propose.

Various other traditions have attached themselves to leap year proposals over the years, including one that stipulates that men have to pay a fine if they refuse a leap year proposal. Across the world, this fine has been paid in the form of money, a new gown or gloves for the rejected suitor.

The Man Bands form part of a growing demand for engagement rings for men (Photo: Poundland)

Poundland's 2020 Valentine's Day collection

The Man Band comes in the wake of Poundland's wildly popular 2019 'Bling Rings'. Also marketed as engagement rings, over 20,000 units were sold to eager customers last year.

Alongside the Man Band, the Bling Ring has been re-vamped for Poundland's 2020 Valentine's Day collection, which promises a host of other fun and quirky £1 gifts.

Poundland has an entire Valentine's Day range in-store, with gifts all priced at £1 (Photo: Poundland)

The collection includes party decorations, homeware and romantic gifts alongside the chain's 'signature' adults-only gifts and cards.

The trend for male engagement rings has been rising over the past few years, with an increase in same-sex marriages and leap year proposals responsible for a growing demand.

A number of male celebrities, including Ed Sheeran and Michael Bublé, have been spotted bucking tradition and sporting engagement rings in recent years.