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Clarity, Cut, and CultureThe Many Meanings of Diamonds$
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Susan Falls

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781479810666

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479810666.001.0001

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A Diamond is Forever

A Diamond is Forever

(p.77) 3 A Diamond is Forever
Clarity, Cut, and Culture

Susan Falls

NYU Press

This chapter investigates diamonds as symbols and explores the mechanics of diamond advertising. Consumption studies are important as they have successfully explored the symbolic potential of commodities, especially in terms of (re)producing ideology, in which people use commodities to construct national, racial, or ethnic identities. Meanwhile, persuasive deconstructions of advertisements clarify how social categories or ideologies are maintained through marketing. Diamonds in general symbolize status and romance but at the same time they also possess ideas, associations, and memories of their owner. They are situated within a person's awareness of ads and symbolic meanings, but are also reflective of his or her own life and worldview. The chapter pays attention to De Beers' 1947 advertising slogan “A Diamond is Forever” which launched them as a global leader in diamond retail. Within three years of the agency using it, an estimated 80 percent of engagements included the exchange of a diamond.

Keywords:   diamonds, symbols, diamond advertising, consumption, commodities, marketing, De Beers, A Diamond is Forever, engagement

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