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De Beers’ Lightbox Debuts Sales of Loose Stones

Oct 19, 2021 9:03 AM   By Joshua Freedman
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Lightbox, De Beers’ lab-grown diamond brand, will begin selling loose stones in an effort to make its products more customizable.

The new offering enables consumers to buy individual lab-grown diamonds at the company’s standard price of $800 per carat, Lightbox said Tuesday. Initially, it will focus on round brilliant and princess cuts, with other shapes set to debut in early 2022. The stones are available in a range of carat weights, qualities and colors.

“From the beginning, we have had enquiries from consumers who see our lab-grown diamonds — with their unbeatable price, great quality and range of color — as an opportunity to explore their creativity, making something that is unique to them,” said Lightbox CEO Steve Coe. “We are thrilled to launch this exciting new concept that offers a simple and accessible way to create fun and affordable, custom-designed lab-grown diamond fashion jewelry using our colorful array of stones.”

Lightbox will list the lab-grown diamonds on its own retail website, with consumers able to select and buy stones, browse some examples of custom designs, and read through a list of vetted jewelers known for their expertise in bespoke pieces, the company explained. Each stone will carry Lightbox’s quality inscription, which is visible through a 10x loupe.

The stones will also be available at Reeds Jewelers, a nationwide US chain that already stocks Lightbox, according to a report by Women’s Wear Daily (WWD).

The move is Lightbox’s latest shift away from its original practice of selling only ungraded, mounted fashion jewelry, prompting speculation about the direction in which the miner plans to take the business.

In August, the company introduced larger lab-grown diamonds — up to 2 carats — at the same price of $800 per carat. It also debuted a higher-end range called Finest, which features stones with D to F color, VVS clarity and “excellent” cut, and prices at $1,500 per carat.

“Selling loose diamonds to consumers is a relatively small business, so my prediction is their next step will be selling loose diamond wholesale in large quantities,” commented Chris Zoettl, general manager of German jewelry retailer Designer Diamonds.

“From a Lightbox perspective, we are really agnostic on if we sell the stones set in jewelry or loose,” WWD quoted Coe as saying. “We will have to wait and see how consumers respond to [the loose stones], but within five years I’d expect it to be a significant proportion of what we sell.”

Image: An example of a custom design using a Lightbox loose stone. (Lightbox)
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Tags: Chris Zoettl, De Beers, Designer Diamonds, Joshua Freedman, lab-grown, lab-grown diamonds, Lightbox, Reeds Jewelers, Steve Coe, Synthetic diamonds, Synthetics
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