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De Beers' first synthetic diamond brand, Lightbox Jewelry will launch later this year
De Beers' first synthetic diamond brand, Lightbox Jewelry will launch later this year

Local jewellers respond to De Beers’ synthetic diamonds

Australian retailers and gemmologists have weighed in on De Beers’ first synthetic diamond collection.
 

A month on from De Beers’ announcement that it will launch a synthetic diamond fashion jewellery collection, industry professionals have had time to reflect on the ramifications that Lightbox Jewelry will have on the synthetic category.

Speaking with ABC News, Bill Sechos of Gem Studies Laboratory in Australia said he felt the brand’s launch would appeal to millennials, however the rise of synthetics could pose a threat to suppliers of natural diamonds.

“I guess it will be an attractive thing for a lot of people to have who couldn't afford a natural diamond in a setting. Millennials are more interested in price point, the fact is they still like diamonds, but they aren't overly worried about whether it’s a natural diamond or a synthetic diamond,” he said in the interview.


“Millennials have a close affinity to natural diamonds, just under 50 per cent of natural diamonds today are bought by the millennial generation.”
Nimesh Patel, De Beers CFO

[However] there's always that risk because if somebody has the means and the willingness to do so, they could actually make a diamond anonymous and pass it on [as natural] without anyone knowing the difference.”

De Beers CFO Nimesh Patel disagreed with Sechos’ assessment that synthetic diamonds are taking preference over natural gemstones amongst younger consumers.

“Millennials have a close affinity to natural diamonds. Just under 50 per cent of natural diamonds today are bought by the millennial generation,” he said.

However, Katrina Marchioni, manager of Trewarne Jewellery, said De Beers had changed its tune in regards to synthetic diamonds in order to cater to its younger consumer demographic.

“I think De Beers has seen this as a direct threat to their main business which is, of course, mining diamonds and selling them. So they've drawn a very clear line in the sand,” she said.

“At the moment the lower end is selling very low quality natural diamonds, so they don't sparkle terribly much and they don't look great on. Whereas if we replace those with synthetics then the lower end market is going to get a much nicer product.”

However, Marchioni said her store would not stock synthetic diamonds in the foreseeable future.

“The diamonds we sell are really special, and we wouldn't even look at synthetic diamonds,” she said.

More Reading
De Beers enters synthetic market with new collection
De Beers reports increased earnings
De Beers announces diamond traceability platform
De Beers to close diamond mine
 

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Friday, 14 December, 2018 10:41am
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