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Major US Retailers Embrace Synthetic Diamonds

J.C. Penney notes growing demand for the category.
Nov 1, 2018 5:48 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... 
Lab-grown diamonds will feature at some of the largest US retailers this holiday season, with J.C. Penney, Macy’s and Jewelry Television (JTV) anticipating strong growth in the category. 

Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary Richline Group will supply a new brand featuring lab-grown diamonds to J.C. Penney, the companies said in a joint statement Tuesday. The bridal collection, called Grown with Love, also appears on Macy’s e-commerce site.

“By bringing Grown with Love into the J.C. Penney fine-jewelry department, we are filling a void in our assortment for lab-grown diamonds,” said Pam Mortensen, J.C. Penney’s senior vice president of merchandising. “These unique diamonds are growing in popularity, and by offering [the consumer] this option for bridal jewelry, we are appealing to a new customer base.”

Synthetic diamonds have come under the spotlight this year after De Beers started selling its Lightbox fashion-jewelry collection, noting that the category was about fun, affordable accessories people wear every day rather than on special occasions. In contrast, Richline is targeting the bridal market in time for “the most popular season for proposals — and shopping,” Mortesen added. The collection includes solitaire and halo engagement rings, wedding bands, and bridal sets, in addition to some non-bridal items such as earrings and necklaces. Its prices range from $500 to $10,000, compared to De Beers’ $800 per carat.

J.C. Penney will house the pieces in its fine-jewelry department alongside displays educating consumers about the differences between lab-grown and natural diamonds, Richline said. The line will also be available on J.C. Penney’s e-commerce site.

Meanwhile, JTV started offering lab-grown diamond jewelry on its 24/7 nationwide broadcast network, as well as through its website, sourcing stones from multiple partners around the world. 

“While demand for traditional mined diamonds will remain steady, we believe demand for lab-grown diamond jewelry will increase exponentially,” JTV CEO Tim Matthews said.

Image: A lab-grown diamond ring from the Grown with Love collection. (Richline/J.C. Penney)
Tags: Berkshire Hathaway, De Beers, ftc, Grown with Love, Independent Gemological Laboratories, J.C. Penney, jcpenney, Jewelry Television, jtv, lab-grown, Lightbox Jewelry, Pam Mortensen, Rapaport News, richline, richline group, Tim Matthews, US Federal Trade Commission
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