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."