Diamond giant De Beers claims that wholesale prices for lab-grown diamonds have fallen by up to 60% since it began selling synthetic stones for jewellery in September.
This is according to the Group’s chief executive officer, Bruce Cleaver, who predicts margins for the sector will continue to fall as improved technology increases the quality and volume of lab-grown diamonds.
Talking to Reuters, Cleaver compares the lab-grown diamond business to selling TVs.
“The margins that were out there are not sustainable,” Cleaver told Reuters in an interview. “I like to compare it to a flat screen TV. The first ones were very expensive and the quality was poor.”
De Beers launched its lab-grown diamond brand Lightbox Jewellery in September, and described the movement into this market as a success in its latest financial report.
When the Group launched Lightbox, it vowed to make lab-grown diamond jewellery more affordable.
Lab-grown diamond producers have questions De Beers’ lab-grown pricing strategy, accusing the brand of selling below cost.