New laboratory diamonds from Lightbox, trademark of De Beers. But what if it’s a strange idea? ♦
Are synthetic diamonds, from a chemical point of view indistinguishable from natural ones, the future of jewelry? Opinions are divided. However, it is possible to reflect on what is happening. As we have already reported on gioiellis.com, the largest diamond trading company, De Beers, has decided to sell laboratory-created diamonds, that is synthetic. Thanks to a very substantial investment he therefore started producing and marketing non-natural stones.
The result is called Lightbox, a brand that in some countries, like Great Britain and the United States, has begun to make its way on the jewelry market. The diamonds are very similar to the natural ones, they are offered with different cuts (the last proposal is of cushion-cut stones) and also in color. And while a natural pink diamond could cost thousands to millions of dollars, Lightbox’s synthetic diamonds are sold for a few hundred euros. A bracelet with a pink diamond, for example, is sold in the US for 600 euros. More generally, these diamonds are sold for $ 800 per carat. An incredibly low price even for artificial diamond standards. Also because the stones are often mounted on silver and not on gold, to keep the price low.
With the premise that no one will ever be able to distinguish a natural diamond from an artificial one, except with a complicated gemological laboratory test, it is not surprising that Lightbox can succeed.
But is it a success even for those who sell jewelry? According to an analysis by the USA monthly Forbes, it could be a sensational own-goal. Especially if the artificial diamonds like those of Lightbox will be sold in jewelry and not only on online sites. According to De Beers, Lightboxes at low prices turn to the fashion accessories sector and not to the jewelery world. The data quoted by the American newspaper, however, cast doubt on this statement.
In October, De Beers announced a decline in diamond sales of 39% compared to the quarter, and 44% compared to a year ago. The company has indicated the uncertain global economy and tensions in Hong Kong as a cause. Yet brands like Bulgari have not encountered the same problems. On the contrary, the jewelry of the LVMH group sold more. In short, selling diamonds created in the laboratory may have been an unbrilliant move.