The common perception is that the diamond is a must for engagement rings. In fact, most women – and men – consider it to be an insult if their beloved even considers engagement rings without a diamond. This phenomenon of the obsession with diamond engagement rings started in the 1400s but only became a serious consumer issue in the 1940s with the advertising campaign run by De Beers and Ayers, which quite possibly brainwashed people into thinking that engagement rings must contain diamonds and that diamonds are of the utmost importance. Is this true? A look at the facts seems to show this is the case.
De Beers and Ayers were out to make engagement rings and especially diamond engagement rings the quintessential way for a man to prove his love for a woman. In addition, they wanted to make all other versions of engagement rings taboo. De Beers gave away diamond jewelry to stars, which created the association between diamonds and celebrities. De Beers also paid various studios in Hollywood to have scenes which featured engagement rings set with diamonds. In addition, they coined the phrase “A Diamond is forever”. In this way, the perception in the media – which is a powerful and influential source of information – became that engagement rings must contain diamonds, lest men not be perceived as being truly in love with their spouses or significant others. These steps reflect what is necessary for a strong advertising campaign. However, De Beers used and exploited the media in a manner that resembles brainwashing.
People will believe what they see, read and hear if they are told it enough times. De Beers and Ayers had an understanding of this and they used it to their advantage. First, engagement rings set with diamonds were marketed as the only symbol of love, not just as something that is ideal. Second, movies – one of the main forms of entertainment in the US post WWII – featured these engagement rings and since people like to imitate their heroes, who often were those in movies, they bought into the perception that diamonds must be set in engagement rings. Thus we can ask: did De Beers and Ayers subject the entire United States (and later Germany, Brazil and Japan) to brainwashing? The answer is no.
Brainwashing involves unethical practices. While De Beers was ultimately after money and it is quite cruel to market a symbol of love just to make money, there is nothing unethical about marketing and advertising. In addition, De Beers did not use means such as electric shocking and isolation tactics to convince people to buy their diamond engagement rings. Consequently, it seems absurd to even think that diamonds on an engagement ring would be a form of brainwashing. However, it is possible that in Japan, brainwashing was used because De Beers used even more aggressive advertising techniques to get the Japanese to abandon their customs and adopt engagement rings along with diamonds as the symbol of love. Regardless of whether De Beers brainwashed or not, one must express wonder at how the concept of the diamond – and by extension diamond engagement rings – became linked to each other.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cloie Zankman has great deal of experience in the diamond jewlery and gemstone jewelry industry.Find out everything you need to know about gold jewelry, diamond engagement rings, and wedding rings though additional articles written by Cloie.
Written by diamondjwlrystr
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tags: Brainwashed, Rings, Wedding