The diamond lab war breaks out: De Beers cuts prices by 60%, the other producers accuse it of unfair competition ♦ ︎
When prices fall, buyers are happy, but those who sell are not happy. Not only that, they will be not happy even those who have bought down the product that is now sold at a lower cost. What if it’s about diamonds? It’s the same thing.
The news concerns the laboratory diamonds, synthetic, which are the disruptive phenomenon in the world of jewelry. The CEO of De Beers, Bruce Cleaver, told Reuters that the wholesale prices of diamonds developed in the laboratory have decreased by up to 60% since his company started selling synthetic stones for jewelry, that is, from September.
The manager compares the price of diamonds with that of flat-screen televisions: at the beginning they were very expensive, today they have prices for everyone.
Is this really the story of synthetic diamonds? Sold until recently with a price only slightly lower than natural stones, synthetic diamonds were driven by the marketing of producers as ethical products. To produce synthetic diamonds you do not need to dig mountains, move land, mobilize populations of the third world. But it could be argued that to produce synthetic diamonds a river of electricity is needed, which is not created from nothing, but from power plants that consume oil, coal or uranium. And that the work of miner is dangerous and tiring, but it is always better than nothing for some populations.
Any case, De Beers launched his Lightbox jewelry brand in September, with artificially produced diamonds, and described the decision as a success in his latest financial report. Other producers of synthetic diamonds, however, have questioned the strategy developed by De Beers, accusing the brand of selling below cost. In short, the lab diamond war seems to have just begun. Federico Graglia