De Beers doesn’t feel its new Lightbox lab-grown diamond line will hurt the market for the inexpensive diamonds commonly used in fashion jewelry, CEO Bruce Cleaver (pictured) tells JCK.
“I have heard that talk, largely out of India,” Cleaver says. “My view is, a large percentage of small goods go into all sorts of products, like watches. I don’t really see a one carat blue or pink really competing with melee. I see it competing with moissanite and lower-value ruby and emerald. So I don’t think there is a cannibalization there.”
Of course, Lightbox, which will sell its first jewelry pieces online in September, will offer whites as well, but Cleaver believes consumers will gravitate to the blues and pinks.
“Fashion is color, so we are focused on color,” he says. “When we did research we found that is what consumers want.”
He expects the company will eventually add other colors to the line, like greens and yellows.
“We can make anything, frankly,” he says.
Meanwhile, he expects De Beers will continue to engage with the trade about its plans for Lightbox, pointing to recent talks it gave in India and Belgium, and continuing discussions with stakeholder governments.
“So far the reaction has been a little better than I thought,” he says. “It takes a bit of explaining, but my feeling is that you can’t over-engage on this. We have spent a lot of time engaging and hope to spend more time.”