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92-debeers1Diamonds are forever—whether those who wear them are married, divorced or single. And they remain a girl's best friend—whether she is living with someone or alone.


Fifty years ago, chances were far greater that a woman over 30 would be living with someone, even if unhappily. So De Beers could gear all its ad campaigns to making sure that diamonds were the gift of choice to mark every significant occasion in the life of a couple.


My how times have changed!


In 1972, 72% of the U. S. population was married. By 1990, it was 62% and by 2002, it was only 59%. But it's just not that more marriages are crumbling. Nearly a quarter—24%—of America's present adult population has never been married at all. And in 2000, 48% of all householders were unmarried. Whether by choice or not, the single life is at an all-time high.


This reality poses an incredible dilemma for the De Beers diamond monopoly. The company, which has spent 50 years making the diamond the supreme token of love, has to contend with the increasing odds against love lasting. If divorce rates continue to climb, and the disinclination to marry strengthens, the diamond is going to have to serve also as the supreme token of self-love.


This ugly fact of life is one of the motivations for De Beers decision to launch a right-hand ring campaign in 2001. If the left hand is the hand on which to place the sacramental and sentimental diamond, the right hand is the one on which to place the self-indulgent, personal status diamond. Expect De Beers to do all in its considerable power to capture the disposable income of the single woman as diamonds become as much a way to celebrate independence as the blissful state of a union.



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