The rich are not impervious to economic ruin, obviously. But where others downgrade to bicycles, they merely suffer a dent in their Lexuses. Their money has far from vanished, but the past two years just hasn't been the right time to indulge in new things they don't need. Perhaps much of that comes from shame. The shame of having, the shame of wanting, the shame of wanting to have — and knowing that they can. But where there's money, those feelings can't last. And why should they? It's been two years since the recession turned Madison into a gloomy wasteland of luxurious clothes not being bought, as the wealthy decided to buy just one instead of two, or something on sale instead of something full price. But the time has come for them to feel comfortable buying diamonds for themselves again, and talking about it in national newspapers like The Wall Street Journal.
Ariane Sommer, 33, a model and author from Los Angeles, bought herself a $3,000 diamond ring at the pricey Italian jeweler Damiani in December.
"I am not only going to treat my friends and family, but I'm also going to treat myself," she said, adding she hadn't bought herself anything special in more than two years.