Just caught up on this week’s “to read” pile and loved The NYT’s Style Section article With This Ring I Thee What? which mentions many of the websites and manufacturers with marketing geared primarily to relationship status demographics. You gotta love it.
I wrote about the website, Outofyourlife.com on my instoremag.com blog back in June 2009. It spoke to the reselling of break up rings (and since then, more of these websites have turned up, vowing to offer the best price for when the relationship ends). There are also recently divorced and same sex couple commitment rings.
But since I am single, the promotion that really peaked my attention were those that played to the single and ‘never married’ audience, which are not necessarily one and the same (and have different websites and slogans to prove it.) The rings which, to paraphrase, represent being comfortable, confident, empowered and joyful seem like offshoots of the brilliantly marketed, De Beer’s Right Hand Ring campaign. Leave it to the creators of “A Diamond Is Forever” to come up with an entire marketing strategy on what both single and married women had been wearing for years.
Being both single and never married and having committed to purchasing my own jewelry a long time ago, I have been wearing eternity bands in an artful stack on my right had for the past eighteen or so years. I started with the ultra thin marquis shaped diamond band that my dad gave my mom for some occasion before their divorce. I still had a place in my heart and on my finger for it. Eventually I’d found different shaped narrow platinum and diamond antique rings (a group of seven) that I stacked everyday. My collection evolved into more modern stackables, from talents such as Megan Thorne, Jessica Fields, Studio Waterfall and a host of other designers whose rings I mix together and whose styles would actually make wonderful pieces for all relationships status’.
I was in the midst of writing an article on different methods of meeting men (online, through speed-dating and high priced matchmakers) for a national women’s magazine and my research, included finding and dating them. One of the guys I met at Match.com looked at my bejeweled stack and asked “does your finger represent how many times you’ve been married,” to which I answered,
“Nope, how many time I haven’t.”
He engaged me in more conversation, “so were those all the guys that dumped you?”
“No just the ones I dumped.” I’m sure we could have bantered more, but I definitely needed air. The next phase in the article was to be set up my a Manhattan Matchmaker, who said “you can’t go out in wedding and anniversary bands when you are trying to date. Men get confused. They don’t remember which finger. They will think or are married or engaged. Or worse yet, they will think you have money to buy your own jewelry.”
I didn’t listen to the advice, which I am not convinced isn’t the reason that I am still single, proud and still very much looking, (so, if you do know anyone?!)
It was a real Ah Hah moment for me when I read about the AH ring (a diamond pinky ring geared to those ‘never married’ woman, the AH standing for ‘Available and Happy’ but then included ‘Attached and Happy’ women too as to broaden their market share). Wait a sec, I started wearing an ultra thin diamond band on my left pinky about 10 years ago, when I couldn’t pile any more bands on my right index finger. This one I still wear is from the ‘Mini Mania’ collection of micro pave rings by Sheldon Speyer. The Ah Hah moment struck as “why the heck didn’t I think of this absolutely brilliant marketing while I was not only wearing all these rings, but back in the day when I was designing my own collection of jewelry.
I did go to mysinglering.com, which was mentioned in the NYT’s article and– call me a jewelry snob– these are not rings I’d recommend for fine design sense. Plus, the advertising photos: barbeques and beach parties, okay, I get it…but young women together, one shaving her legs, another with big curlers in her hair gets into the zone of… too much information.
I have noticed that anyone who started these website for single, never married and divorced people have never suggested to wear these rings on your left hand. I do realize (as someone who was advised not to wear rings on dates and also as a person with the power of thought on my side) that this is due to the fact that what’s being advertised is being available.
But, at the age of nine, I was with my grandmother, in a jewelry store and was cautioned by the owner “never wear a ring on your left finger until someone gives you an engagement ring or wedding band or you will never get married.”
“We don’t believe in old wife’s tales,” my grandmother said, We don’t. I immediately put the ring down. I haven’t worn anything on my left ring finger since. Maybe I should throw caution to the wind and start shaking things up. But that would say to the world that I’m taken. “Might not be a bad idea,” my closest friend since high school, a guy, is looking over my shoulder, “men always like a challenge.”
“I’ve dated enough to realize those men can stay away.”
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