Traditionally, jewelry stores were the haunts of women looking for ideas to give their significant others for a special occasion, or men looking to fulfill the desires of the woman they love.

Not so, anymore. Today, women are favoring “right-hand” rings, which were developed to symbolize a woman’s identity as an individual.

“Wedding rings, worn on the left ring finger, have always symbolized the union of two people,” said Paula Mutzig of Meigs Jewelry. “Right-hand rings are more about ‘you’ - your personality and accomplishments.”

DeBeers makes an entire line of right-hand rings, which are recognizable from other brands.

“DeBeers always has one diamond a little bigger than the rest in the setting,” said Mutzig. “I suppose it’s to symbolize how you stand out in a crowd.”

Vintage styles are the most popular type of right-hand ring, said Mutzig.

Jan Nolan, of Nolan’s Jewelry, said one of the best-selling trends in jewelry in her shop is the eternity circle diamond pendant.

“We sold tons of them [pendants] at Christmas,” said Nolan. “Although the pendants have been out for more than a year, they’ve really gained popularity over the past three to six months.”

The circle pendant Nolan refers to was made popular by Oprah Winfrey.

Nolan also sells a number of right-hand rings.

“The mystic fire topaz are one of the most popular stones for the right-hand rings,” said Nolan. “Of course, you can never go wrong with diamonds.”

Women purchase the rings for themselves, but men have also been known to buy a right-hand ring for a special lady.

Many women will remember the charm bracelets they had as young girls. The sometimes bulky, sweater-pulling bangles have recently been replaced with a slimmer, sleeker design: the Italian charm bracelet.

“We carry the Nomination Italian charm bracelet line,” said Mutzig. “It’s the original designer in the market, created in 1987.”

The Nomination Composable bracelet operates much like a stretch watch band, with spring-loaded links. Each link provides the wearer an opportunity to personalize the bracelet with individual charms that lie flat, rather than dangle.

“My 11-year-old son used to wear have tons of those rubber-band bracelets with sayings on them,” said Mutzig. “He’d wear them all the way up his arm. But we got one of these for him, and personalized it with his name, a charm for baseball and one for hockey, and other things he’s interested in, and now it’s what he likes to wear.”

Charms come with letters and just about every symbol imaginable, as well as birthstone charms and even some that dangle, slightly.

“The bracelets seem to cross all age lines and both men and women like them,” said Mutzig. “I’ve had grandmothers buy them as well as young girls.”

Unlike the old-style charm bracelets, Nomination bracelets are virtually indestructible, said Mutzig.

The base bracelet with no charms is $6; charms begin at $17 each and go up from there, depending on how “personalized” the wearer wants to get.

“One of our other employees has a son who also has a Nomination bracelet,” said Mutzig. “He calls them ‘friendship’ bracelets.”

Although they haven’t caught on much in this area, another new trend in jewelry is the Single Ring, according to the Associated Press.

The Single Ring, or Singleringen, is the brainchild of Johan Wahlback, a Swedish entrepreneur. Wahlback was reading an article about Lance Armstrong’s “LiveStrong” bracelets and was looking for a new venture.

“I thought to myself, what could I sell that’s small and functional? Jewelry, a ring. I wanted to see if I could come up with something for both men and women,” Wahlback told the AP.

Wahlback, a single man quite happy with his status, thought other single people might want to flaunt their single status as well. He brainstormed with his partner Asa Revland, also single, and found a jeweler to design the ring. The band is silver with a turquoise glass fiber, with a semicircle cut in the turquoise to show something - or someone - is missing.

“I’ve heard of the rings, but I have yet to see them offered for retailers,” said Nolan. “Maybe it’s just too new still to have caught on.”

According to the AP, the Singleringen sells for approximately $50, and the best chance of finding one is online at www.singleringen.com.

Wahlback told the AP he’s sold nearly 11,500 of the rings, mostly overseas in Scandinavia, Brazil and Japan. The ring is manufactured in Sweden and was just introduced in the U.S. in October.

“Girls in the U.S. like the idea,” Wahlback said. “They think it’s very ‘Sex in the City.’ They like to show off their single status.”

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