After online sleuths from a Chinese jewelry publication tied lab-grown diamond jewelry brand Cama to Chow Tai Fook, the retail giant reluctantly admitted it had started the brand as a “research project.”
“Chow Tai Fook fully supports the natural diamond industry as always and sells only natural diamonds,” a Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group spokesperson told JCK. “From time to time, the group conducts research projects on emerging industry trends or technology to ensure the group stays ahead of the curve.”
When asked if Cama was one of those projects, the spokesperson replied, “Your understanding is correct.”
Cama briefly sold lab-grown diamond jewelry on Alibaba’s Tmall platform. But after it was publicly linked to Chow Tai Fook, the brand disappeared from the retail site, says Stanley Wong, a Hong Kong–based consultant to the jewelry industry who is trying to bring lab-grown diamonds to Asia.
Wong sent JCK a screenshot of the Cama store that he found on WeChat, which showed the brand mostly selling lab-grown diamond jewelry as fashion. The listing does display at least two rings with solitaire center stones, but they are not described as engagement rings.
“There is basically no end consumer market for [lab-grown diamonds in] most of Asia,” Wong says. But he adds that “that time will come.”