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A Diamond Is Forever…But It Wasn’t Always

June 3, 2013

by Amber Zhai

Diamond Engagement Ring

photo by Tela Chhe | Flickr.com

The first request a woman’s friends make upon the announcement of her engagement is always the unfailing, “Let me see the ring!” It’s common knowledge now that engagement is synonymous with a ring, and many aspiring brides don’t even consider themselves engaged without a rock on their finger.

Yet, there was a time when an expensive ring wasn’t a compulsory facet of a marriage. However unfathomable the notion, in 1938, engagement rings were regarded by women and men alike as a complete waste of money, a luxury for the ultra-wealthy. In fact, the popularity of diamonds was on a downward trend during that time, mostly due to the Depression.

The Campaign for Immortality

That was the year that De Beers, the well-known company with a monopoly on the diamond trade, contacted the advertising agency N.W. Ayer and set out on a series of ad campaigns that aimed to—and succeeded in—changing the perception of diamonds from excessive to essential. The cornerstone of their strategy: equating diamonds to love. In one of their advertising strategy plans, the agency sought to “strengthen the tradition of the diamond engagement ring—to make it a psychological necessity…”

Their strategy yielded almost immediate results. By 1941, diamond sales had already increased by 55% in the United States.

Then in 1947, N.W. Ayer’s copywriter Frances Gerety came up with the slogan that would revolutionize the public perception of diamonds and become De Beers’ permanent brand slogan: “A Diamond is Forever.”

This concept of eternity perfectly encompassed both the qualities of the diamond itself and the idea of love and marriage lasting forever. The slogan was first scrawled at the bottom of a picture of two young lovers on their honeymoon, and it has appeared on every De Beers engagement ad since 1948.

In 1999, Advertising Age named the “A Diamond is Forever” campaign the most effective campaign of the century. Indeed, the slogan not only transcended its brand and product, it literally changed Western culture. According to the Jewelry Industry Research Institute, 75 percent of brides in the U.S. now wear a diamond engagement ring.

Cash In on the Value of Your Diamonds

Although you may not want to keep all of your diamonds forever, their value really does last! Send in your unwanted diamond jewelry and loose diamonds to Cash for Diamonds USA and get top dollar in return. The process is easy—just fill out the request form on CashforDiamondsUSA.com, get your free FedEx shipping label to send in your diamonds, and we’ll send you a check within 24 hours.

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