As consumers’ acceptance of lab-created diamonds expands, jewelry brands specializing in bridal designs that exclusively use lab-grown diamonds are emerging quickly.
Love Earth, a new fine jewelry brand based in the Boston suburbs, manufactures and wholesales lab-grown diamond jewelry, with a focus on engagement rings and wedding bands.
The brand was founded by Daniel Schneider, one of a handful of industry vets who’ve recently decamped to the lab-grown diamond business. Schneider previously held the position of director at Stuller and was CEO of Gregg Ruth/KGK Group.
Its tagline, “An Inspired Choice” sums up its marketing pitch: “Today there is a social, ecological, and sustainable choice in selecting your diamond jewelry,” reads its website.
Couple, a new wedding jewelry direct-to-consumer brand that exclusively uses lab-grown diamonds, launched online last week, offering several engagement ring styles featuring 1, 1.5, and 2 ct. round diamonds (all G color and VS2 clarity).
The New York City–based startup “aims to simplify the engagement ring buying process by offering one exceptional quality of diamond and a curated selection of timeless ring designs,” reads a company statement.
The brand is promoting the statistic that its gives customers “30 percent more diamond for the same price as mined equivalents.” But the collection’s prices appear to be commensurate (or near commensurate) with those of mined-diamond bridal collections.
A classic 1 ct. Couple solitaire ring with a pure-metal 14k white gold band costs $5,499, while a straightforward halo ring in 14k yellow gold with a 1 ct. center stone goes for $6,299.
For comparison, Anna Sheffield engagement rings with 0.75 ct. mined white diamond center stones hover between $5,000 and $6,000. A Tacori engagement ring shank, without the center stone, can be had for well under $2,000 (and De Beers’ Lightbox is selling pendants with 1 ct. lab-grown colorless diamonds for $900).
In the same statement, Couple shared that cofounder Jeff Brenner conceptualized the company “as a result of his own frustrating, firsthand experience navigating the engagement ring market in 2017. It was when he joined forces with Couple cofounder Alan Shuster that the duo saw firsthand the opaque nuances of [his words] the mined diamond cartel, and committed themselves to offering an ethical, transparent solution to engagement ring shopping.”
The argument that lab-grown diamonds are a more ethical or transparent alternative to mined diamonds seems sound on the surface, and in some ways it is. After all, diamonds grown in labs don’t make huge holes in the ground. But diamond mining, when it’s done responsibly, provides jobs and creates individual opportunities in places that are often short on both.
That debate rages on in the industry and has been written about extensively by JCK news director Rob Bates.
Top: The Pavé ring by Couple starts at $4,995 (photo courtesy of Couple)
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