Truly Bad Films

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Diamonds are Just Semi-Precious Stones

In a 1982 article from the Atlantic, Edward Jay Epstein traces the De Beers company's single-handed advertising campaign to "teach" my mother's generation to expect a diamond engagement ring.
Both women and men had to be made to perceive diamonds not as marketable precious stones but as an inseparable part of courtship and married life. To stabilize the market, De Beers had to endow these stones with a sentiment that would inhibit the public from ever reselling them. The illusion had to be created that diamonds were forever -- "forever" in the sense that they should never be resold.
De Beers even orchestrated the tradition of springing engagement rings on gals. DeBeers feared that if women were consulted before a diamond purchase, the couple would buy something more practical with the money.

Interesting cultural info in the first few pages, but the last half of the article is so outdated that it isn't worth reading.


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