A left hand of celebrity sometimes can make breaking news. e.g. “Sandra Bullock Not Wearing Wedding Ring,” as one recent tabloid headline said.
However, nowadays the symbolism of a gold band may not be so clear-cut. Thanks to modern brilliant jewelry marketers, there’s a ring for every relationship status you’d like to broadcast to the world, be it “available and happy” or “divorced, available, and happy,” reports the New York Times.
When 44-year-old Wanda’s Dibben divorce was nearly final three years ago, who lives outside Kansas City, Mo., asked a jeweler, George Rousis, to transform her wedding ring into a divorce ring.
Ms. Dibben, who had been married 13 years, said she had been “very attached” to her wedding ring and hoped that reconfiguring it could “be kind of a buffer into my independence again and help facilitate healing.”
Her jeweler severed the gold band and refashioned it into a ring with a gap, across which strands of silver are stitched. For Ms. Dibben, those strands represent her son, Trevor, now 14, “because although the bonds have been broken, the stitches still keep that unity together,” she said.
There are also other rings that are worn on the ring finger but signify something else. Single and looking? No worries. Websites like MySingleRing.com offer you a silver band that promises to deliver the message, “I am an intelligent, empowered individual and available to meet the same.”
Harold Thompson, who has been divorced twice, is a founder of the D Jewelry Company, which sells divorce rings online. Its tag line: “Building self-esteem one person at a time.”
His rings, which resemble traditional wedding bands except for a gap in the center, sell for $200 to $500. They have a “dual purpose,” according to the company’s Web site, not only as “attractive jewelry,” but also as “a healing tool for broken hearts.”
Never married? No worries too. The Ah Ring, which stands for “available and happy,” is a $350 band with diamonds that is meant to be worn on the pinky. The ring’s meaning is hard to discern, because it looks like a silver band sprinkled with diamonds.
The website says that while the Ah Ring was “originally created for confident and joyful single women,” others can wear it because the “Ah” can also stand for “attached and happy.”
Della Beaver, who lives outside Philadelphia and manages operations for a medical referral service, bought herself an Ah Ring for her 50th birthday last June. She has never been married.
“Usually men buy you diamonds, and I was like, ‘Why can’t I just buy my own diamond?’ ” Ms. Beaver said. “So the ring was liberating for me, because I don’t need others to tell me that I’m beautiful, I’m sexy, I’m intelligent, I’m fabulous just as I am.”
Women are not the only buyers in this category. Tim Gould, the president of My Single Ring, said that of the nearly 1,000 rings he has sold since starting the online business last year — at $40 each — about 30 percent have been to men.
Meanwhile, the resale market for used engagement and wedding rings is booming, with popular online auction Web sites like IDoNowIDont.com, which Josh Opperman helped found after his fiancée broke off their engagement, and ExBoyfriendJewelry.com (tag line: “You don’t want it. He can’t have it back.”).
For those who prefer not to part with them, however, the Wedding Ring Coffin is a casket-shaped box for decommissioned rings.
According to Jill Testa, the founder of the company that sells them, the personalized engraved messages that customers have ordered for the coffins include, “He broke my heart but I broke the bank” and “The end of an error!” [Divorced Jewelry Company and Wedding Ring Coffin via NY Times]