The De Beers Group has announced the launch of a new company called Lightbox Jewelry, which will begin marketing a new brand of laboratory-grown diamond fashion jewellery in September.
The Group’s new brand, ‘Lightbox’, will offer consumers high-quality, fashion jewellery designed at what it believes to be lower price points than what is currently available in the lab-grown diamonds jewellery market.
Lightbox lab-grown diamonds will retail from US$200 (£151) for a quarter-carat stone to US$800 (£604) for a one-carat stone.
“Lightbox will transform the lab-grown diamond sector by offering consumers a lab-grown product they have told us they want but aren’t getting: affordable fashion jewellery that may not be forever, but is perfect for right now,” shares De Beers Group chief executive officer, Bruce Cleaver. “Our extensive research tells us this is how consumers regard lab-grown diamonds – as a fun, pretty product that shouldn’t cost that much – so we see an opportunity here that’s been missed by lab-grown diamond producers. Lab-grown diamonds are a product of technology, and as we’ve seen with synthetic sapphires, rubies and emeralds, as the technology advances, products become more affordable. After decades of R&D investment, we’re able to offer consumers a better price today. While it will be a small business compared with our core diamond business, we think the Lightbox brand will resonate with consumers and provide a new, complementary commercial opportunity for De Beers Group.”
Lightbox Jewelry general manager, Steve Coe, adds: “Lightbox Jewelry offers consumers something new: sparkle and colours, at a very accessible price. In addition to a deep understanding of what consumers want, Lightbox brings innovation and a commitment to transparency to the lab-grown diamond sector. We’ve learned from our research that there is a lot of confusion about lab-grown diamonds – what they are, how they differ from diamonds, and how they are valued. Lightbox will be clear with consumers about what lab-grown diamonds are and will offer straightforward pricing that is consistent with the true cost of production.
This is the first time De Beers has launched lab-grown diamond jewellery, and initially Lightbox will only be available to US-based consumers through a dedicated e-commerce website, and with retail partnerships which will be announced in due course.
A subsidiary of De Beers Group, Lightbox will be the only jewellery brand to source lab-grown diamonds from De Beers Group’s Element Six business, a world leader in lab-grown diamond technology for more than 50 years. Any Lightbox lab-grown diamonds of 0.2 carats or above will carry a permanent Lightbox logo inside the stone. Invisible to the naked eye but easily identified under magnification, the logo will clearly identify the stone as lab-grown and also serve as a mark of quality and assurance that it was produced by Element Six.
To support Lightbox, De Beers Group is investing a total of US$94 million (£70m) over four years in a new Element Six production facility near Portland, Oregon, adding to Element Six’s existing UK-based facilities. Once fully operational, the plant will be capable of producing upwards of 500,000 rough carats of lab-grown diamonds a year.