Diamonds from Ages Ago

It is true that diamonds are the most constant form of carbon. They are created under intense circumstances, about 190km under the Earth layer and is then moved to the earth’s surface by means of magma that is pushed and moved through volcanic eruptions. Yes, they are very attractive but part of what makes them fashionable is that they are rare.

Throughout history, many different peoples loved diamonds for many reasons. In fact, the name ‘Diamond’ was given to the stone by the ancient Greeks. It is from the Greek word ‘Adamas’ which means unbeatable. The Greeks so love this stone that they said it was the tears of the Gods. The Romans believed that diamonds are what is left from a shooting star when it finally hits the earth.
In both cultures, they believed that diamonds hold the passion of the relationship. This could probably be one of the reasons for it being a popular engagement stone.

Modern Popularity of the Diamond

But surely the big diamond hype of our age does not come from the ancient Greeks and Romans. What created the diamond craze in our day and age?

In 1888 a huge diamond mine was discovered in South Africa. The British businessmen who ran the mine knew that if they did not find a way to control the diamond integration into society, the prices would drop and they would not sit on a fortune. Even though they had an incredible amount of diamonds they had to create the illusion that diamonds were rare and that they were the stone to measure your life by.

They developed a South African based cartel, then called The De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd (today simply called DeBeers). This cartel took control and meticulously handled all aspects of the diamond trade, including the supply and demand. This went well for many years, but then the great depression hit and Harry Oppenheimer – the then head of DeBeers – conceived of the best marketing idea in history. Even to this day, it is considered to be the best marketing strategy that ever happened in the world.

Diamonds, The Measure of Success

By 1938, Oppenheimer hired New York-based ad agency N.W. Ayer, to take over the marketing of diamonds in a dead market that was America. Their most famous slogan ran “A diamond is forever” and carries on saying that a forever diamond promises endless love. This clever slogan prevents the resell of diamonds so that the market won’t get flooded. Further, they dressed celebrities and Hollywood stars in diamonds.

The bigger the diamond the greater the love. The bigger the diamond, also the greater the price. So, the bigger the diamond, the more financially secure the buyer. And just like that diamonds became an idea of success. Ayer did not focus their ad campaign on the diamond itself but on the idea of all areas of success and diamonds just happen to be part of that idea. It became the symbol of success and people were now willing to pay any price to put a large diamond on their ladies’ hand.

Square cut or pear shape, these rocks don’t lose their shape. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.