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The woman that had an influence on Forever

The four-word sentiment that started out in 1947 as just a moment of inspiration is as iconic today as it was then. Marking its 70th anniversary, ‘A Diamond Is Forever’ is one of the most recognisable signature lines of all time.

How diamonds became Forever

Diamond engagement rings have not always been worn as a symbol of love. It was not until the 15th century, amongst royalty and aristocracy, that a diamond ring became the celebrated symbol of commitment, love and marriage.

It was then only in the 19th century, after the Industrial Revolution that diamonds became more accessible to the wider public. However, after the devastation of two world wars, diamonds had lost their sparkle. It would be up to Mary Frances Gerety, who primarily went by ‘Frances’, to bring this back, starting with her employment at the Philadelphia based advertising agency, N.W Ayer in 1943. A female working in a ‘man’s world’, she was hired to write for women’s products only, with De Beers being her main account.

Four years into her career at N.W Ayer, and just like any other working day in 1947, Gerety would go on to change the attitude of females working in the advertising world with her spark of genius. Gerety was working late and had been on a series of journeys to create a signature line for a new De Beers campaign. Finally, still determined and attentive, in a fleeting moment of inspiration Gerety wrote down those four, iconic words, ‘A Diamond Is Forever’.

The next morning, surrounded by her associates, she presented her signature line – a line that was initially met with hesitancy due to its unusual style. However, it was this line that would transform both the diamond and advertising industry. 

The magic of Gerety

Determined and ambitious, Gerety was one of the few women working in advertising, in fact just working in general. The role of many women in the 1940’s and 50’s was one of a home maker; staying at home, looking after the children and running the household. Gerety’s, however, was one of empowerment. 

Gerety worked hard to prove that what she produced was just as good as the work of anyone else's. Paving the way and proving this with the impact that she created with ‘A Diamond Is Forever’. This was voted by Advertising Age the advertising slogan of the 20th century, but its legacy will forever be relevant.

Gerety was the start of change. She helped ignite the evolution of more women working and being respected in the workplace. It was part of the beginning of change for the equality for women in the 1940’s. 

Just like the challenging course that Frances Gerety took for a female in a male dominated world, Forevermark encourages the empowerment of women, with their ongoing work for ‘For Women. Forever’, as well as their partnership alongside De Beers with the United Nations. A partnership that hopes to accelerate the advancement and empowerment of women in diamond producing countries. 

The original Peggy Olson

Gerety’s influence wasn’t just in the advertising world. She has gone on to inspire in music, TV and film. 

Mad Men is a renowned TV series about one of New York's most prestigious ad agencies at the beginning of the 1960s and Gerety was the original Peggy Olson.  Fearless and strong, the character of Peggy Olson became a feminist icon. Like Gerety, she never became distracted from her goals and became the double signifier of change. She represents the change for women in the 1960s and an evolution of representations of women in modern media.

Gerety’s powerful statement also inspired Ian Fleming’s 1956, fourth James Bond novel, ‘Diamonds Are Forever’, and Shirley Bassey’s song for the film in 1971. 

A Diamond Is Forever

Some may see ‘A Diamond Is Forever’ as just four words, but it’s so much more than that. It is the representation of change and power of females in the workplace, and it is the representation of a love that will last a lifetime, as a diamond really is Forever. 


Credits

Cast of Mad Men image: Dan MacMedan/Contour/Getty Images 


Now, Forever

We are believers in Forever. Through the twists and turns, the ups and downs, everyone goes on a different journey towards true love. Every step you take now, is a step towards your Forever.