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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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Diamonds and Emotions

Diamonds and Emotions

(p.105) 4 Diamonds and Emotions
Clarity, Cut, and Culture

Susan Falls

NYU Press

This chapter presents stories from informants that reveal how diamonds work as icons or indexes. These stories indicate that people's interpretation of diamonds is often deliberately, intentionally opposed to marketing. The informants claimed that although other people are duped or brainwashed by advertising, they are “smarter than that,” asserting that they operate independently of larger discursive structures. They also regularly expressed—in more or less direct terms— that they are aware of and are consciously working against the marketing that seeks to put ideas in their heads. The chapter notes that diamonds can serve as symbols, icons, and index all at the same time, the potential result of which is a rich set of possibly conflicting meanings. Using a combination of interpretive strategies can produce a set of countervailing, cacophonic sentiments or emotions, such as “love” and “shame” associated with the same diamond.

Keywords:   diamond, symbol, icon, index, marketing, advertising, emotions, sentiments

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