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DIAMONDS: About-face at De Beers means it will sell synthetic gems


De Beers Group shocked the diamond industry on May 29 with the revelation that it will, indeed, start selling laboratory grown, synthetic diamonds. This is an about-face the company that previously said it would never sell anything but natural diamonds.

The news comes along with the announcement that De Beers is creating a new fashion jewelry brand, Lightbox, to market the lab-grown gems. Synthetic diamonds will sell for US$200 for a 0.25-carat stone or US$800 for a full carat. All Lighthouse stones will carry a permanent Lightbox logo, visible under magnification, inside the stone for clear identification. Initially pink, blue and white gems will be available to U.S. consumers through the Lightbox e-commerce site.

“In addition to a deep understanding of what consumers want, Lightbox brings innovation and a commitment to transparency to the lab-grown diamond sector,” said Steve Coe, general manager, Lightbox Jewelry. “We’ve learned from our research that there is a lot of confusion about lab-grown diamonds – what they are, how they differ from diamonds, and how they are valued. Lightbox will be clear with consumers about what lab-grown diamonds are and will offer straightforward pricing that is consistent with the true cost of production.”

In the words of De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver, customers will be getting “affordable fashion jewelry that may not be forever, but is perfect for right now.”

Try the new website at www.LightboxJewelry.com.


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