Cheryl Cole spends weeks planning her X Factor outfits in minute detail, from the designer shoes to go with her dress to the shade of varnish on her perfectly manicured nails.
But this week a vital part of her wardrobe was missing – the diamond sparkler on her left hand.
The £160,000 ring, which her footballer husband Ashley Cole bought her to replace her wedding ring, only reappeared in public in September after nine months in her drawer.
Its latest disappearance can only be viewed as significant.
It is almost a year since single mother Aimee Walton claimed she had slept with Ashley, 28, after a drunken night out. Cheryl, 26, has fought hard to overcome the bitter hurt she felt on learning of his infidelity. But the truth is that their relationship never recovered, and that they have drifted out of love.
That is not to say the pair have not gone through the motions to keep their marriage alive. Chelsea star Ashley has spent more than £250,000 on jewellery trying to win her forgiveness, including the new ring to replace the £150,000 rock he placed on her finger at their lavish North London wedding in 2006.
Every week, appearing the devoted husband, he has also been sending a bouquet of flowers to Cheryl’s X Factor dressing room. In return, she gave him a personalised team strip after they had a football pitch built at their house and a £14,000 miniature Hummer to drive around the garden, as well as designer clothes and signed first editions.