The Null Device

A Diamond is Forever

An interesting article from 1982 about how the multinational diamond-trading monopoly De Beers manufactured the public desire for diamonds, singlehandedly creating the association between diamonds and romance, and manipulating human courtship rituals to move the right sizes of stones, and create an illusion of security which doesn't actually exist:
DeBeers devised the "eternity ring," made up of as many as twenty-five tiny Soviet diamonds, which could be sold to an entirely new market of older married women. The advertising campaign was based on the theme of recaptured love. Again, sentiments were born out of necessity: older American women received a ring of miniature diamonds because of the needs of a South African corporation to accommodate the Soviet Union.
The moment a significant portion of the public begins selling diamonds from this inventory, the price of diamonds cannot be sustained. For the diamond invention to survive, the public must be inhibited from ever parting with its diamonds. In developing a strategy for De Beers in 1953, N. W. Ayer said: "In our opinion old diamonds are in 'safe hands' only when widely dispersed and held by individuals as cherished possessions valued far above their market price." As far as De Beers and N. W. Ayer were concerned, "safe hands" belonged to those women psychologically conditioned never to sell their diamonds.

(via The Fix)

There are 1 comments on "A Diamond is Forever":

Posted by: bzackey Wed Aug 14 18:40:32 2002

De Beers is an illegal monopoly here in the United States, so they're prohibited from advertising their services. Silhouette man gives some iced-out gift of love to his silhouette sweetheart while the violins reach a crescendo, and the words "A Diamond Is Forever" are displayed on the screen. No specific product or store location is mentioned, and it doesn't even say who the people should get their diamonds from. De Beers only advertises the concept of owning a diamond, knowing full well that any stone you might happen to buy is more than likely to come from them.