Diamonds Are Forever by Ian Fleming, First Edition, 1956

Fleming, Ian. Diamonds are Forever. London: Jonathan Cape, 1956. First edition, first printing. Octavo. Rebound in full black calf leather, with diamond stamped boards, gilt tooling, gilt titles, and raised bands to spine, and a spectacular quarter leather clamshell case.

This is the first edition, first printing of Ian Fleming’s fourth James Bond novel, Diamonds are Forever. The book was published by Jonathan Cape in London on March 26, 1956. The book tracks 007 as he infiltrates the deadly world of diamond smuggling, tracking smugglers from Sierra Leone to the United States. Fleming wrote the story at his Goldeneye estate in Jamaica, inspired by a Sunday Times article on diamond smuggling. 

As with the three previous Bond books, the first edition of 12,500 copies sold out quickly. The novel was serialized in The Daily Express newspaper in April 1956 onwards. It was the first novel Fleming sold to the newspaper, a decision that led to an overall rise in the novel’s sales. Book sales were also assisted by the press in November 1956, following the visit of Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden to Fleming's Goldeneye estate to recuperate following the Suez Crisis. In 1971, Diamonds Are Forever was produced for the big screen, starring Sean Connery and Guy Hamilton.

Ian Fleming (1908–1964) was an intelligence officer, journalist, and creator of the fictional British Secret service agent James Bond. Beginning in 1939 he served as a liaison between the Navy and the other secret services, where he was privy to the highest levels of intelligence and became known for his creativity in planning operations, work that inspired his later novels.

After the war, Fleming became a journalist and in 1953 published his first James Bond novel, Casino Royale. It was a success, and Fleming wrote a new book each year until his untimely death in 1964.


A stunning "one off" Bond collectible. The book is in very good condition. First edition, first printing with "First published 1956" on copyright page, "Boofy" on page 134 and "Beverley Hills" on page 206. Pages have light foxing on the first few pages, but are clean throughout the rest of the book. 

Octavo printing. Rebound in full black calf leather with diamond stamps to boards, a silver embossed diamond at center of the front board, gilt tooling, gilt titles, and raised bands to spines, and new endpapers. 

The book is housed in a matching quarter calf leather and black cloth clamshell case. Clamshell’s spine has raised bands, gilt tooling, and gilt titles. The front of the clamshell features an inlaid print of the original Diamonds are Forever dust jacket art. The interior of the clamshell has an embossed facsimile Ian Fleming signature stamp. 

Book Dimensions: 7 3/4" H x 5 3/8" W x 1 1/4" D

With Clamshell: 9" H x 6 1/2" W x 1 7/8" D

Related Items