Lab-grown diamond manufacturer Diamond Foundry announced yesterday that it’s added two more fine jewelry designers to its stable of collaborators—which includes marquee brands such as Jennifer Fisher, Nak Armstrong, and Pamela Love.
The brand grew and supplied the lab-created diamonds for new collections by Los Angeles–based Grace Lee and New York City–based Shahla Karimi.
The elegant Grace Lee x Diamond Foundry collection includes pear-, marquis-, emerald-, and baguette-cut diamonds in 14k yellow gold. The collection’s dramatic drop diamond earrings, classic baguette- and pear-cut diamond rings and old world diamond–topped straight pins feel delicate and trendsetting.
The Shahla Karimi x Diamond Foundry collection is more bold—and centers on pieces that feature high-carat diamonds in pear, oval, trillion, and emerald shapes.
Both collections are chic and wearable—but also notably expensive for lab-grown jewelry lines. Styles collectively range from $990 to $23,380.
For example, a single 0.03 ct. pear-cut diamond stud from the Grace Lee x Diamond Foundry collection in a lightweight 14k gold setting goes for $1,180. And a gold ring from Karimi’s range with two diamonds totaling 1.41 cts. is priced at $6,700.
The strategy is risky, considering that educated fine jewelry buyers have come to expect lab-created diamond styles to cost less—even significantly less—than jewelry with mined diamonds.
That expectation can be traced directly to the debut of De Beers’ lab-grown diamond Lightbox brand, which infamously sells diamonds for a strict $800 per ct. Lightbox retails a pair of 0.25 ct. colorless diamond studs for $400—see JCK news director Rob Bates’ article on how the line could disrupt the category. (Time will tell whether that expectation can be tempered by leading lab-grown diamond companies, including Diamond Foundry.)
But then, the Lightbox’s consumer is likely a very different breed than devotees of designers such as Grace Lee and Shahla Karimi.
With its solitaire pendant necklaces and square-cut diamond studs, the De Beers brand is targeting the entry-level diamond buyer. Conversely, Lee and Karimi already have avid fans and collectors, who may view their great-looking lab collaboration as just another covetable collection worthy of their investment.
Top: Grace Lee x Diamond Foundry earrings, $10,855 (all images courtesy of Diamond Foundry)