s. asked, in a comment: "Is it vulgar to wear big diamonds on a day to day basis? I always cringe when I see massive "ice" at 10AM in the local Starbucks - I was raised that honkin' jewels are to be worn only for evening occasions - but maybe this is just an antiquated notion on my part. Or maybe I'm cringing because many of these women seem vulgar in countless ways, and the bling is in fact the least offensive of their crimes."
I've seen that too.The diamond rings worn for day seem to have grown bigger; what's the cause of carat creep?
When I was a tween, a my sister's friends who received a half-carat engagement ring got "Ooooh" reactions.
By the time I graduated from university, the 1ct ring ruled. There will still plenty under that, but a full carat was the hand-grabber ring.
Decades passed, young women watched Sex and the City, read about JLo's double-digit carats, and the ERs got even bigger.
One woman told me her brothers had a little chat with her fiancé and told him, "Go big or go home." She showed up at work waving a nearly 3ct boulder, and earned the nickname Nugget Girl.
The women with under 1ct ERs got upgrade fever. One told me, "I don't want to have to replace the diamond again." In anticipation of "diamond shrink"- when the ring that once thrilled now looks bitty- jewelers offered a deal: buy the modest ring now, and trade-in for purchase value when you upgrade to a bigger stone.
Vulgar is in the eye of the beholder. One definition of vulgar is "Lacking in cultivation, perception, or taste; ostentatious or excessive in expenditure or display." A five-carat skating rink is going to get you noticed as you hoist your caramel frappachino. I live in a big city,so wonder about the wisdom of wearing the ring on the street or in the subway.
Not everyone is captivated by size. Jennifer, deeply a ladyperson, deterred her fiancé from buying a rock, and chose a vintage three-stone ring, a modest but very fine emerald flanked by two diamonds. Her guy could have taken his pick of Tiffany's finest, but Jennifer knew elegance is not measured by carat weight.
Some people can pull off bigger diamonds in daylight. My GF Iris, married to a true Mr. Big, is one. Iris wears only a plain gold wedding band on her hands, no necklace or bracelet... but if you look closely under her chin-length bob you will see a pair of D flawless 2ct studs, worn by day with her sober Armani suit.
How big to wear by day? (Not a dilemma I'll ever face.) It's a matter of taste, personal style and what message you want to send to the world. Genevieve Dariaux, in her charming book, "A Guide to Elegance" (written in the early '60s) advises women not to wear furs and big jewels by day, lest they look like a mistress, and telegraph to the world their louche status.
But Rihanna can buy her own bling, merci, and rocks this daytime travel ensemble of denim, diamonds and fur.
Though we don't have to think, as RiRi may, "What size diamonds shall I wear today?", there is still plenty of pressure to bling out. The beleaguered diamond industry bellows that size of stone equates to depth of love, and Beyoncé sings, "If you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it"- and hers is the size of a small country.
So, s., this is not an exactly an answer, but a reflection on why some women want, and therefore wear, diamonds bigger than a Venti lid.