Thinly disguised as “Lightbox Jewelry,” DeBeers, the notorious 100 year-old diamond monopoly and syndicate, for the first time in history, has entered the bridal arena with man-made diamonds. The Boss Has Set the Price for laboratory-grown diamonds, boxing an entire industry into an $800 per carat corner, in efforts to control the market price.
Not only did DeBeers invent the diamond engagement ring, and iconic slogan “A Diamond is Forever,” but to keep selling the dream, it has spent the past several decades suppressing the synthetic diamond industry.
At the same time, De Beers Group quietly invested over US $100 million in a new Element Six production facility near Portland, Oregon, capable of producing millions of rough carats of lab-grown diamonds.
CONTROL OF THE DIAMOND SUPPLY
DeBeers is the most powerful force in the world’s supply of diamonds. “When we say The Syndicate we don’t mean the Mafia, we mean DeBeers,” said Avi C., a diamond dealer from LA. “They have been controlling the game for decades.”
In 2018 DeBeers launched Lightbox Jewelry Laboratory-Grown Diamonds, clearly aiming for the entry level mass fashion diamond market, offering simple selections of lab made diamond essentials targeting women under 30. These women self-purchasing collections featured fun, fashion and color. They were also clearly saying lab-grown diamonds are NOT FOREVER, they are playful and not serious, more for a girlfriend, not the wifey.
Then, DeBeers changed course 180 degrees, announcing they are now selling lab-grown diamond engagement rings, explaining that the bridal initiative was due to overwhelming response from customers wanting Bridal.
Now as more and more players enter the lab-grown arena, it appears that DeBeers and Lightbox had little choice but enter the lab-grown diamond engagement category, the largest diamond category in the world.
The company’s website has launched a limited series of 16 solitaire rings — all priced at $5,000 or less, with the average priced around $2,500. The images featured online are state of the art, with vivid details, showing the facets and fire of every diamond. Also featured is a fresh and diverse group of women modeling the classic Bling!
INDUSTRY ANALYSIS IN LAB-GROWN DIAMONDS
In a recent analysis, famed diamond industry analyst Edahn Golan studied the lab-grown diamond (LGD) market. Golan starts by explaining about the inevitability of the LGD market surpassing the natural market, “As natural diamonds are a finite resource, and over time, their supply will dwindle.” This, he says, will happen, “faster than most of us imagine. With DeBeers making a move such as this, it’s like when a giant takes a step; the whole earth shakes.”
Golan added, “By value, the share of loose lab-grown diamonds doubled from an average of 8.3% in 2020 to 17.3% in 2022. The value share of loose lab-grown diamonds tripled from 7.2% in January 2020 to 22.9% this past February.”