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When my first marriage faded into oblivion, the engagement ring that I had worn with such joy and love was banished to my jewelry box.

A few years later, older and much wiser, I resurrected the ring and a jeweler friend replaced it to reflect my newfound independence and style. But in those days, the sight of those diamonds in my right hand was simply a painful reminder of my failure in marriage.

Now it seems like I was ahead of my time.

The bling ring on the right is the ultimate status symbol for women who no longer feel like they have anything to prove.

Women earn more, marry later, and have more disposable income than ever, leaving them with plenty of room for a bit of complacency. And it goes without saying that the newest status symbol should encompass the ultimate status symbol, diamonds.

In fact, the trend has become such a major force that it has been given its own (if mediocre) terminology: “auto shopping.”

According to Greg Distefano, spokesperson for the Diamond Information Center at J. Walter Thompson, “The auto shop market is now a $ 3.75 billion business in the United States. Rings are the largest type in this market. They represent two of every five pieces of jewelry bought by oneself. “

Eager to get in on the action, DeBeers, the world’s largest diamond producer, has produced a series of commercials to tap into the hearts and wallets of this huge, previously overlooked demographic of consumers.

“Your left hand is your heart. Your right hand is your voice,” sing his recent print ads. “Your left hand says ‘Yes, I do.’ Your right hand says ‘I did what?’ Your left hand knows the answers. Your right hand asks the questions. Your left hand rocks the cradle, your right hand rules the world. Women of the world, raise your right hand. “

With a market of more than 43 million single women in the United States, Ruta Fox, a former copywriter, created the “Ah Ring” in December 2000. “Since I was single, I called it The Ah Ring and decided” Ah. ” it would symbolize being A, available and H, happy. I thought that since married women have wedding rings and engaged women have engagement rings, single women should have a diamond ring that they can buy and call their own, “Ruta says.

The Ah Ring was an instant hit, generating more than $ 1 million in sales in its first year, and featured in Oprah Winfrey’s “O” magazine.

Never a group to ignore the latest concern for complacency, celebrities have jumped on the bandwagon and taken the diamond accessory trend to a whole new level. At this year’s Oscars, 5,000 carats of diamonds walked the red carpet. Showcasing diamond embellishments from jewelry design luminaries like Fred Leighton and Harry Winston, single celebrities Renee Zellweger, Cameron Diaz and Halle Berry outshined the strobes.

So what are the top selling trends in right hand bling rings?

Mondera.com, a leading online jeweler, suggests that colored diamonds are a popular choice, with pink, canary yellow and blue diamonds being the top sellers. The resurgence of brown diamonds, renowned and now cleverly marketed as cognac and champagne diamonds, is also selling well.

Contemporary settings such as the elegant bezel setting and pavĂ© are popular with singles who want to avoid the look of the classic round solitaire diamond. And for those who aspire to the cool sophistication of Audrey Hepburn, Tiffany’s new Lucida setting is the ultimate in bling ring elegance.

But for those daring singles who would have to give up three months of rent to pay for a diamond, there are plenty of great alternatives.

Despite all the sparkle without the stinger, cubic zircons are made with such precision these days that usually only a jeweler’s loupe can tell the difference. From the sublime to the outrageous, the affordability of cubic zircons means you can have a different ring to match your outfit and mood.

“Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” may well have become the recently revived mantra for the modern woman of the 21st century, but if you still need an excuse to go out and make yourself some jewelry, I like to remember L’s maxim. ‘Or real. – “Because I’m worth it!”

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