One of the twentieth centuries most powerful and successful marketing slogans is a worldwide phenomena—and one that has made diamonds synonymous with love, devotion and expense. The origins of this slogan “diamonds are forever” is likely as intriguing as America’s fascination with diamonds. Yet many people don’t realize that if it had not been for one company—perhaps even one person—the face of the diamond industry and its history would have been very different.
Brilliant Marketing Meets De Beers & Diamonds Are Forever
Although diamonds aren’t nearly are rare as the majority of people believe, they are without question the hardest of all gemstones. Diamonds are forever because of their unique qualities. Yet how did they become the symbol of wealth, power, love and devotion? The answer lies in the first meeting between Harry Oppenheimer (son of the founder of De Beers Consolidated Mines, Ltd.) and N.W. Ayer & Son, a prominent U.S. advertising agency. After their first meeting in 1938, N.W. Ayer began his extensive research and found that the most critical ways to influence the purchase of diamonds was to first create emotional and romantic feelings tied to diamonds. The brilliant marketing, advertising and public relations campaigns further enhanced the notion that diamonds would be forever associated with love, strength, luxury and emotion. Ayer used jewelers, lecturers, celebrities, magazines, entertainment and even had movie scripts and scenes changed to show the stars wearing, shopping and yearning for diamonds. All in all, the end goal was to create an eternal desire for diamonds.
In three short years, the trend of declining diamond sales had been reversed and diamond sales were up over 50%. With Ayer’s incredible achievements for De Beers, he was on a roll. Yet even with this success, the world’s most famous slogan had yet to be developed.
How the World’s Most Famous Slogan Was Created (Diamonds are Forever)
After unsuccessfully trying to create a slogan for De Beers which would perfectly express of the qualities of a diamond mingled with romance, there was finally a stroke of genius in 1947. One of Ayer’s young copyrighters, Frances Gerety, was working late one night to the point of exhaustion. Finally in desperation, she put her head down on the table and pleaded for help. Just before she left work that night she scribbled the words “a diamond is forever” on a piece of paper and the rest is history. This may have had a simple start, but the result was America’s most famous advertising slogan and today over 90% of American’s recognize it.
Why a Diamonds are Forever (Literally)
Frances Gerety, creator of this famous slogan may or may not have known about chemistry. In fact, most people have asked themselves why diamonds are forever–only knowing that they are the hardest substance known to man. But many of us don’t know exactly why they are forever. The answer lies in the unique chemical structure of a diamond. Everything on the earth is made up of atoms and hardness depends on how closely the atoms are held together. Diamonds have incredibly strong bonds because they are made up of carbon. Being the smallest of the atoms that can be bonded, carbon fits in more tightly together with other atoms, making a hard and compressed substance. And best of all, once these atoms have been compressed at high enough temperatures to make a diamond, they are literally stuck there forever. Therefore, the phrase “diamonds are forever” is more than just a catchy marketing slogan. It’s because diamonds quite literally are, forever.
Photos Courtesy of www.bbc.co.uk, www.debeers.com
6 thoughts on “Diamonds are Forever: the Story Behind the Slogan”
This statement was made up by my Mother Orene Waller in 1947 when a promotional for diamond slogans was advertised to win a free diamond. My mother submitted and won, but my dad worked at Enjay (Exxon) oil in Baytown Texas and could not take her to down town Houston to win her diamond that she was suppose to get for her slogan. My mom was very intelligent and creative and I have no reason to believe this was not true. Personally I think the other woman stole the slogan when no one claimed to receive the prize. Check your records and see if this is true. I do think that my mom should get the creative status for the slogan that for years she listened to on TV (never got credit for it nor the free diamond).
That is a really interesting story about your mother! We are certainly interested in learning more and about this. Please let us know if you find any more info.
The Diamond Authority Team
Go get em. I wonder if there could be any restitution!
diamonds are forever because they are not to be sold,what it means is buy them keep them in your closet forever,because if you go in the market to sell them you will definitely be shocked.
It was the one armed man you find that man
“Dimonds are forever’ plays on the possessive instinct of a women’s assets, and to ensure that diamonds never enter the re sale market. This idea enhances the emotional value of the otherwise useless piece of stone while protecting the business interest of the company.