Famous Jewelry In The Movies, Vol. 6: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
This movie may be the movie that has had the most impact on the jewelry industry of any yet. Yes, Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a close second, but from what we can tell, GPB was chocked full of sparkle power. How could it be anything but when you have Marilyn Monroe uttering phrases like, “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend,” and “Talk to me, Harry Winston, tell me about it,” among others? It’s said that diamonds weren’t necessarily equated as a must for an engagement ring until 1) this movie came out and 2) DeBeers’ advertising agency rep, Frances Gerety, with N. W. Ayer out of Philadelphia, coined the phrase, “A diamond is forever,” in a morning strategy meeting in 1947.
Ironically, at first, the phrase was poo-pooed by not only all of the men in the men in the room (almost all of the folks in the room were men) but also by Gerety herself. DeBeers had hired the agency in 1938 to make Americans fall in love with the idea of diamond engagement rings. It worked, albeit almost 10 years down the road. And the phrase is still as powerful today, seventy years later, as it was back then.
But on to what we’re really here for – to learn about the jewels in the film. For starters, as Marilyn is dancing around in her pink satin strapless gown, with men literally falling at her feet, she’s wearing one heck of a necklace (actually, she’s wearing a couple but there’s one that’s truly notable) – possibly the oldest piece of fine jewelry ever worn in a movie: The Moon of Baroda is a 24.04ct pear-shaped, yellow, canary diamond necklace, with an interesting story of its own, one that stretches for centuries before landing in Hollywood.
Most of the rest of the jewels in the movie, while appearing to be vintage (by today’s standards) and real, were in fact costume, but quite lovely. If only we knew where they were today, along with that amazing 24ct pear. We’ve posted some of the various scenes (photo credit: Twentieth Century Fox) that co-started lots of sparkly pieces. Which scene is your favorite?