De Beers Has Announced It Will Start Selling Lab Diamonds
De Beers' synthetic diamonds will not be graded, because "they do not deserve to be."
De Beers has made a branding 180 by announcing the launch of their upcoming man-made jewellery line, Lightbox. The De Beers name, long associated with exclusivity and dominance in the diamond market, is going against the grain, presumably to combat the rise of lab-made stones.
“Lab grown are not special, they’re not real, they’re not unique. You can make exactly the same one again and again,” said Bruce Cleaver, chief executive of De Beers in an interview with Bloomberg. The new offering will target a younger customer base that may be hesitant to splurge on higher-ticket items. The brand will also be selling at a significantly lower price point than its lab-made competitors. Regularly, a man-made one carat diamond usually runs for about $4,000 USD, while De Beers is planning on selling theirs for $800 USD.
Another way De Beers is differing from the synthetic diamond market? They will not be grading the diamonds at all. “We don’t think they deserve to be graded. They’re all the same,” said Cleaver.
Lab diamonds are not to be confused with costume jewellery. Diamonds made in a laboratory are still technically diamonds. Instead of harvesting the jewels from their natural source, scientists recreate the environments in which they are naturally created. This results in an actual diamond, but without the mining process, which subsequently means a lower market price. However, the synthetic diamonds are so similar to natural ones that scientists need a special machine to tell them apart.
Lightbox will be marketed specifically in the United States. Retailers are yet to be announced.