How De Beers sees its new synthetics business

| June 21st, 2018

How De Beers sees its new synthetics business
"How De Beers sees its new synthetics business"

CEO Bruce Cleaver on why the company’s lab-grown diamonds won’t get a color or clarity grade, and why customers would tolerate losing them in the sea.

De Beers is launching a jewelry line featuring laboratory-grown diamonds — a venture that, according to CEO Bruce Cleaver, could eventually bring in revenue of up to $200 million per year.

That figure might be small compared with the miner’s $6 billion natural-diamond business, but Cleaver and his team are entering the synthetics retail sector because they see an opportunity to make a profit.

The new company De Beers is establishing, Lightbox Jewelry, will sell fashion jewelry containing lab-grown stones at affordable prices — $200 for a 0.25-carat stone, $800 for a carat. This reflects feedback from consumers, who like the idea of synthetic diamonds as a fun piece for casual occasions, but don’t think they’re worth the amounts they’d spend on a natural stone for an engagement ring or to mark the birth of a child or a major anniversary.

They see diamonds as meaningful, in a way that lab-grown diamonds aren’t — emotionally, financially,” Cleaver said. “For them, the issue with lab-grown diamonds is they’re too expensive for what [consumers] think they are, but they’re getting confused by the current offering, which seems to sort of try to argue that they’re the same thing.”

In an interview with Rapaport News, Cleaver explains what’s behind the strategy, why the stones won’t get a color or clarity grade, and why customers would tolerate losing these products in the sea.

“For them, the issue with lab-grown diamonds is they’re too expensive for what [consumers] think they are, but they’re getting confused by the current offering, which seems to sort of try to argue that they’re the same thing.”

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Source Rapaport

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