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Essay on Avertising of Diamonds and what they are not telling you

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Diamonds have long been a symbol of wealth in western culture. This advertisement for J Farren Price in particular reinforces this association between wealth, status and diamonds. Conveyed by this advertisement is the message that diamonds are a luxury item to be treasured for generations to come. The visual features of this advert appeals to a consumers desire for luxury and status, the ultimate luxury item. The verbal features of this ad reinforces the appeal to luxury with glowing adjectives and also to permanency, that these diamonds will last forever and be treasured. However, there are many gaps and silences in this advertisement, for example the sources of the diamonds - if they are conflict diamonds or not.

This advertisement has been designed and set out to be eye-catching and appealing. The layout of the advert draws the eye first to the large picture at the top of the page of extravagant diamond engagement rings, encrusted with precious stones. This captures the attention of the consumer and appeals to their desire for luxury. The use of engagement rings has double appeal, for men and women. The appeal for women is a fantasy of receiving one of these rings for her engagement. For men it is also a fantasy, being able to present one of these rings as a proposal. Beneath the rings is a paragraph of text, a persuasive body copy to reinforce the luxury appeal of the item. The background colour of the advert is white, this foregrounds the images and text, not distracting the consumer from the product they are selling. The thick green band that is used as a border has been used to clearly define and frame the boundary of the advertisement. All of these features are designed to be eye-catching and make the product appealing to the consumer.

The verbal portion of this advertisement is designed to reinforce the message and appeals of the visual features. The use of the slogan: ‘Treasured today and for generation sot come’ supports the appeal to permanency by this advert, that these products will be treasured as a family heirloom for generations. The slogan also appeals to the desire for luxury; it positions the reader to view the products shown as the most extravagant luxury item, the ultimate symbol of opulence and status. Glowing adjectives are liberally spread throughout the body copy, for example: ‘Timeless pieces of rare beauty and exceptional value’. These glowing descriptions of the product support the message conveyed to the reader that these are items of affluence and luxury. At the foot of the ad there is a line of brand-names for makers of watches and jewellery brands such as Omega, Rolex and Parmaigiani, leading names in luxury watches, the use of these brands authenticate the claim of this ad to luxury, underpinning the message and appeals of the visual elements of this advert.

Gaps and silences in this advert however are numerous. The sources of these diamonds are unknown. It is unclear whether the diamonds sold by this company come from a legitimate source or if they are conflict diamonds. Conflict diamonds are a major humanitarian and political issue in the world today. By definition they are:

‘diamonds that originate from areas controlled by forces or factions opposed to legitimate and internationally recognized governments, and are used to fund military action in opposition to those governments’ ‘[1]. In Sierra Leone alone, conflict diamonds are responsible for slave labour, child soldiers, over 5000 people mutilated and two million refugees[2]. They are also responsible for environmental destruction and they fund violence, they have even been linked to financing Al-Qa’ida[3]. The Response to the issue by the diamond industry is the Kimberly Process[4]. This is a system of certification and warranties that ensure that only ‘clean’ diamonds are sold and that diamonds without certification can be shown as illegitimately mined diamonds. Another silence in the advert is the prices. This is not mentioned so that people whose this ad and cannot afford the diamonds are not deterred by the price, they will still desire them. All of these gaps and silences act to support the messages of the ad; they gloss over the aspects that might deter people, such as huge price tags and their source.

This advert for J Farren Price reinforces the association between wealth, diamonds and luxury. Conveyed by this advert is the message that diamonds are luxury items that will last forever and be a treasured possession. The visual features of this advert appeal to the desire for luxury and status. The verbal features also reinforce the messages and appeals with glowing adjectives and statements. There also is an appeal to permanency made by these elements – these diamonds are eternally valuable and will be treasured down the generation. However, there are many gaps and silences in this advertisement, the prices for example and the sources of the diamonds.    

Reference List

1. Conflict Diamonds, United Nations Department of Public Information, March 21, 2001,

    Accessed 13/18/09  http://www.un.org/peace/africa/Diamond.html

2,Diamonds for Africa Fund, May 31, 2006

http://www.diamondsforafricafund.org/realdiamondfacts/conflict.htm  Accessed 13/08/09

3. Amnesty Magazine,September 2002 issue: Blood Diamonds,  Greg Campbell

http://www.amnestyusa.org/amnestynow/diamonds.html, Accessed 13/08/09

4. World Diamond Council, Kimberly Process Poster.PDF, http://www.worlddiamondcouncil.com/kimberlyposter.pdf   Accessed 13/08/09


http://www.globalwitness.org/media_library_detail.php/336/en/survey_launched_to_question_diamond_industry_on_co Accessed 2/07/09


Accessed 4/08/09


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Accessed 10/08/09


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Accessed 13/08/09

Radio Program, United Nations Radio, New York Thursday, 18th January, 2007

http://www.un.org/av/radio/unandafrica/transcript135.htm, Accessed 13/08/09

Chris Rothwell                10C

[1] Conflict Diamonds, United Nations Department of Public Information, March 21, 2001, accessed 13/18/09

[2]http://www.diamondsforafricafund.org/realdiamondfacts/conflict.htm 13/08/09

[3] Amnesty Magazine,September 2002 issue: Blood Diamonds,  author Greg Campbell

[4]http://www.worlddiamondcouncil.com/kimberlyposter.pdf  13/08/09

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