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If last year was the holiday to buy your wife a practical gift like a crock pot or a blender, then this is the year to buy her jewelry.

Santa spent much of last year handing out small appliances, but this year Americans are putting jewelry on their wish lists, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation.

The number of people asking for some “bling” is 23 percent, up 13 percent from a year ago, according to the report.

“We believe that people will be and are buying more jewelry this year than last season,” said Brenna Neal, chief marketing officer, jewelry, Sears Holdings.

“With a slightly steadier financial position versus the last two years, consumers are looking for places to splurge while staying in budget.”

High-end jewelry store Solomon Brothers Fine Jewelry in Atlanta, Georgia, feels the same pulse.

“Our retail sales are up the last two months over 2009 sales of the similar period and we look forward to a stellar season,” said Ivan Solomon, president and CEO of Solomon Brothers.

While 61 percent of shoppers in the National Retail Federation survey said the economy will affect their spending plans this year, the increased desire for jewelry may very well be a signal of a return to discretionary spending.

“A bump in jewelry sales is a positive sign for retailers that consumer confidence is rising and that the tide could be changing,” said Ellen Davis, a spokesperson with the federation.