Lightbox, De Beers Group’s lab-grown diamond company, has completed work on its new US manufacturing facility.
Worth a reported total of $94 million (£73 million), the lab is in Gresham, Oregon, just outside of Portland.
It started manufacturing this summer as construction on the 60,000-square-foot structure was being completed.
It will continue to ramp up production through 2020 and, once fully operational, will produce approximately 200,000 carats of lab-grown diamonds annually.
This news comes as Lightbox also announces a partnership with online fine jewellery retailer Blue Nile.
An exclusive fashion jewellery collection featuring Lightbox diamonds has launched on the Blue Nile website.
This marks the first time in the online retailer’s 21-year history that it has sold lab-grown diamonds.
“The opening of this facility is a true milestone for the company,” said Steve Coe, Lightbox CEO. “Manufacturing lab-grown diamonds in the US was a goal from the beginning and we are so proud to have achieved it with this state-of-the-art laboratory in a region that has become a hub for advanced industries.
“With this facility and our ground-breaking partnership with Blue Nile, we have an incredible opportunity to grow our business, improve consumer education and further establish Lightbox as the leading lab-grown diamond jewelry brand.”