bling | ˈbliŋ
A general term for flashy jewelry, often worn as an indication of affluence
With regards to jewelry, the term bling refers to flashy jewelry pieces, often with large precious stones and made of precious metals including gold and platinum, that are worn to signify the affluence and wealth of the individual wearing them. Using the term bling to denote these expensive pieces of jewelry became popular and part of mainstream vernacular in the late 1990s. The term bling became so commonly used in the early 2000s that it was added to the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary in 2002 and the Merriam-Webster Dictionary in 2006. Jewelry that is considered bling is typically large and overstated. Examples of bling, which have traditionally been worn by rappers and hip-hop artists, include large diamond cross necklaces. As bling grew in popularity, it then became more mainstream, with upper-income individuals wearing flashy, shiny, dramatic pieces of jewelry including necklaces, earrings, and rings. Bling commonly includes large carat-weight diamonds that are high in clarity.