Diamonds: Convenience Store



D.NEA, which began by selling its lab-grown diamonds online, has jumped into the brick-and-mortar business by setting up a boutique in Greenville, S.C.

CEO Eric Franklin says Greenville is the only retail location D.NEA is interested in. “We decided to open the retail space because we have a lot of customers that want to see the diamonds in person. It’s more for appointments than for walk-in traffic.” Another company in the lab-grown business, Scio, is also based in Greenville, but Franklin says that’s just “an odd coincidence.”

D.NEA, which uses high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) production presses in Europe, produces mostly blue and yellow diamonds, but can manufacture up to 0.75 ct. colorless stones. Franklin says D.NEA hopes to make 1 ct. colorless stones in the near future, but can’t be specific about dates. He does, however, claim that D.NEA is “currently the biggest producer of synthetic diamonds for ­jewelry purposes. We have kind of flown under the radar and are letting our stones speak for themselves.”

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