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Diamond Foundry Lauds De Beers Synthetics Bid

Lab-grown producer says miner’s entry into sector is key to the product’s acceptance.
Jun 3, 2018 8:43 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... De Beers’ entry into the lab-grown market represents a shift in consumers’ perception of synthetic stones, according to Diamond Foundry.

The miner’s introduction of a new line of lab-grown stones for jewelry is key for the acceptance of synthetics in the industry, the California-based producer said. The lack of any large diamond miner’s support for lab-grown stones had caused conflict and uncertainty in the industry, according to the company, which has received financial backing from Leonardo DiCaprio.

“After decades of discounting the reality and viability of aboveground diamonds, De Beers is saying today that consumer demand has shifted and man-made diamonds are here to stay,” the company said last week.

Diamond Foundry presented data that, it claimed, showed consumers held positive views about lab-grown diamonds. Nearly 70% of respondents to a recent survey by MVI Marketing said they would consider buying lab-grown diamonds, Diamond Foundry said, citing news reports.

In contrast, a survey by the Diamond Producers Association (DPA), which carries out category marketing on behalf of diamond miners, found that 68% of US consumers didn’t consider lab-grown diamonds to be “real.” Consumers see lab-grown diamonds as a fun option but not something they would buy for an engagement or other major life event, according to De Beers, which last week unveiled its Lightbox Jewelry brand of low-priced lab-grown diamonds to meet that demand.

“It is clear from the Lightbox positioning that they will market synthetic diamonds for what they are — low-cost, pretty stones — and not for what they are not: real diamonds — rare, precious and inherently valuable,” said DPA CEO Jean-Marc Lieberherr.

India’s Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council echoed that approach in a statement last week.

“[The] introduction of lab-created diamond jewelry by Lightbox will position synthetics appropriately — [as] ‘non-precious accessories,’ which is a small and distinct market,” the trade organization said. “Branded synthetic diamonds have been used in non-precious jewelry by brands such as Swarovski and are sold as a non-precious fashion product.”

Image: Diamond Foundry
Tags: Business Insider, De Beers, Diamond Foundry, Diamond Producers Association, Dpa, Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Counci, Jean-Marc Lieberherr, lab-grown, Leonardo DiCaprio, Lightbox Jewelry, MVI Marketing, Rapaport News, Synthetics
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