Photograph of a woman wearing a diamond ring on her right hand
July 9, 2015

The Story of the Right-Hand Diamond


We love browsing the diamond ring counter at Birks. The stones just call out, don’t they? “Look at me,” they say. “Look how pretty I am!” And we do.

There was a time not too long ago when diamond rings were falling out of fashion. In fact, the world’s biggest diamond manufacturer was looking at a major shortfall in sales. And the reason was so obvious: fewer people were getting married so men were buying fewer diamond rings.

They brought this dilemma to their advertising agency in New York City and asked them to solve it by getting more people to get married. After months of fruitless ideas, the agency was ready to throw in the towel. Nothing was working and the numbers continued to slide.

Then, at the fifty-ninth minute of the eleventh hour, a junior strategist (he may have even been an intern) at the agency had what the ad industry refers to as a “nugget”: the right-hand diamond  a ring women could give themselves from themselves.

Overnight, it went supernova.

Single women flocked to the jewellery store to find the stones of their dreams and wore them proudly on their right hands. And when they raised their fist in the air (literally or metaphorically) and asserted their independence, there was a big ol’ rock on the end of it. Boom.

Best of all, when women compared their rocks with each other, they did it in a healthy way  no feigned excitement from the girl who doesn’t think her time will come. Everyone was happy for everyone else.

Today, right-hand diamond rings have their own style: many incorporate a birthstone as part of their designs, and the diamonds themselves are often tinted. Engagement rights can have clarity  it’s all about the funky on the right side.

Check out the right-hand diamond selection at Birks, accessible from the concourse level.