One hundred thirty year old diamond giant De Beers, which has spent its entire existence producing and promoting the lure of naturally mined diamonds, has launched a line of “fashion jewelry” with lab-grown diamonds called Lightbox Jewelry. The move is certainly in response to the fact that many Millennials have reservations about diamonds regarding their high cost to the wallet, the earth and even human toll. To avoid consumer confusion, the diamond-famous De Beers brand name will not be linked to advertising activity for Lightbox Jewelry, its wholly owned subsidiary.
“Lightbox plans to address some of the consumer confusion we’ve seen in our research by being completely clear with consumers about what lab-grown diamonds are,” notes Lightbox Head of Marketing Sally Morrison.
“We’re entering this sector because we see an opportunity to provide consumers with what they tell us they want when it comes to lab-grown diamonds – color and sparkle in fashion jewelry at accessible prices. This is an opportunity that’s been missed by existing lab-grown diamond producers, as all of our research indicated that consumers see lab-grown diamonds as fun, fashion products that shouldn’t cost that much. By giving consumers something new at transparent and accessible prices, we believe Lightbox will transform the market for lab-grown diamonds.”
Lightbox jewelry is designed to be a fun fashion accessory, notes Morrison, with accessible pricing. Jewelry will be offered in silver, and silver with 10 karat gold plating.
While the existential debate continues as to whether lab-grown diamonds are “real” diamonds, there’s no disputing that their properties are virtually identical at a fraction of the price. Lightbox lab-grown diamonds are priced at $800 per carat, in pink, blue or white (by contrast, a naturally sourced blue diamond is extremely rare and expensive). According to the Diamond Registry, the price range for a 1 carat diamond is between $3,080 and $26,950 per carat.
Currently, Lightbox will not be wholesaling the lab-grown stones to designers, but it does have plans to wholesale the jewelry down the road beyond selling direct on its website.