De Beers, the largest miner of diamond in the world, for many years has announced plans to start selling diamonds scientifically made in laboratories. The move is the exact opposite of what the company initially stood for. De Beers has initially indicated that it would never sale lab-made diamonds. The company has now made a U-turn and will start selling lad-made diamonds for around $800 a carat. This is according to a memo sent to customers.
De Beers, which was founded by Cecil Rhodes, and is funded by the Rothschild family, is known to mine billion-year-old diamonds in the Canadian Arctic and Africa. The company, which is known for coining the phrase “a diamond is forever,” has launched a range of cheaper diamonds made within three weeks by scientist in a process similar to that of 3D printing.
The new method is much affordable than the natural one
The company has announced that the new initiative will be undertaken by its subsidiary called Lightbox Jewelry and will be rolled out starting September this year. The move, according to De Beers is more affordable as compared to natural diamonds.
In a statement, Bruce Cleaver, the CEO of De Beers Group said that Lightbox is expected to cause a revolution in the lab-made diamond sector by offering diamonds made in the labs to customers. He added that many customers are asking for much affordable jewelry which, although may not be long lasting, but very perfect in the short-run.
De Beers is well experienced in making lab diamonds
Despite the fact that De Beers has never sold artificial lab-made diamonds, it has the expertise and know-how to make them. Its Element Six unit is one of the leading producers of synthetic diamonds in the world. Synthetic diamonds are mainly used for industrial purposes. In addition, the unit is known for production of gem-quality diamonds, which are used to differentiate between natural and man-made stones. They are used to confirm to customers that the stones they are buying are genuine.
Although artificial lab-made stones account for just a small fraction of the multi-billion diamond global market, there is growing demand as many customers shift to much cheaper diamonds. Many of these customers have been buying the much cheaper diamonds from Walmart.
The new move represents a big shift in strategy and comes in the wake of new revelations that U.S. Millennials as well as young consumers are seeking cheaper, man-made diamonds as opposed to the natural ones which are a bit expensive.