A Woman's Best Friend

Gaye Doud wasn't waiting for a gift from her guy. With a wedding ring on her left hand, she wanted a diamond ring on her right.

"This is the one," she says, showing off her selection.

She chose it, she says, "because it's me."

And as CBS News Correspondent Anthony Mason reports, she not only picked it, she's paying for it.

"My husband does buy me things, but it's nice to be able to go out and do it myself," says Doud.

Doud is part of a growing trend. And now the diamond industry is trying to exploit it.

"There was just no name for it," says Amanda Patterson of the Diamond Information Center. "It didn't necessarily have a catch phrase."

So De Beers, the company that brought you "A Diamond Is Forever," has come up with one, launching a multi-million dollar ad campaign for the "right hand ring."

"Your left hand says 'we,' your right hand says 'me,'" says Patterson.

Fashion models strutting the runways in New York are even being fitted with hot rocks on their right hands.

De Beers, the South African-based conglomerate which supplies some 60 percent of the world's rough diamonds, knows how to appeal to its audience.

"They came up with this idea after the war that "diamonds are a girl's best friend," says jewelry historian Joyce Jonas.

It worked, of course, and diamond engagement rings have become a $4 billion business. But now De Beers is trying to divorce women from the idea that you need a man to buy the diamond.

"I think it's a terrific idea," says Annette Spann-Lewis.

"I think it shows confidence, independence and the ability to make a decision," says another woman.

Doud says it makes a statement.

And what does it say?

"It says I've arrived," says Doud.

But no matter how you cut it, says Jonas, "It's just another form of selling the diamond.

"They really don't care where you wear it, just buy it."

By adding a little marketing sparkle, the diamond industry is trying to turn a fashion trend into a cultural tradition.
  • Jaime Holguin

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