Lightbox Jewelry is now offering bigger versions of its standard $800-a-carat lab-grown diamonds, as well as better-quality stones for $1,500 a carat.
The new product will appear on the company’s site beginning in October and be rolled out to its brick-and-mortar retailers starting early next year.
The new offerings represent a shift for the De Beers–owned brand, which has traditionally kept its offerings below $1,000. These new offerings bring its highest price point to $2,000.
The larger Lightbox diamonds will follow the brand’s standard $800-a-carat pricing model, but their size will be capped at 2 cts., rather than 1 ct., like in the past. That means the newly available 2 ct. diamonds—which are G through J color, VS clarity, and very good cut—will sell for $1,600, while 1.5 ct. diamonds will sell for $1,200 and 1.75 ct. stones will sell for $1,400.
The brand is also adding a new collection, Finest, which will offer D through F color, VVS clarity, excellent cut diamonds for $1,500 a carat. The Finest stones will initially only be available in 1 ct. sizes, but the line will extend to include 0.5 ct. sizes next year. Buyers of that line—and that line only—can also choose an 18k gold mounting, for $500.
Lightbox grows the Finest diamonds with the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) method, then boosts their color with a high-pressure high-temperature (HPHT) “refinement process”—which some call a treatment (though Lightbox doesn’t).
Lightbox doesn’t include grading reports with its diamonds, but the gems are “subjected to extensive quality control checks at our cutting and polishing manufacturing facility to confirm that they meet the relevant quality standards,” says Lightbox president Steve Coe. “A Lightbox Tech Spec sheet is issued with each item of jewelry we sell, confirming the stone quality.”
Both the bigger and better-quality diamonds will be available in the traditional Lightbox colors: blue, pink, and white. While colored diamonds aren’t graded on the standard GIA D–Z grading scale, Coe says the HPHT blast gives them a “more saturated” color.
The new items sell for “well-below what is currently offered in the market,” the brand said. With the colorless diamonds, probably the biggest price differential can be seen with its standard line. A 2 ct. Lightbox diamond will sell for $1,600, but lab-growns falling on the low end of its specified quality range—J VS2 very good cut—retail online for $2,986 and $4,567.
And while a 1 ct. Lightbox Finest will sell for $1,500, other lab-grown gems at the bottom of the brand’s tech specs—F VVS2, excellent cut—are available online for $1,847 and $2,795. (The online prices are as of time of publication and are subject to change.)
Coe says Lightbox made its move in response to consumer demand for bigger stones, noting its pair of 1 ct. studs have sold well. He adds that Pandora’s recent introduction of a lab-grown line aligns with where Lightbox sees the “long-term opportunity for lab-grown: the ability to sell at an accessible price point.”
Coe tells JCK that overall, Lightbox has been doing well; its 2020 revenue was up 50% over the prior year, and the company expects its 2021 revenue to triple from the year before.
In addition, the brand, previously only available in the United States, is now available in 75 countries, and international sales now comprise 20% of its e-commerce revenue.
Lightbox is also talking more about its environmental impact, a subject it generally avoided in the past. The brand says that it uses an average of 350 kilowatt hours of power to grow each polished carat. One-third of that energy currently comes from renewable sources; the company plans to increase that share to 50% in 2021, and to 100% by the end of 2022.
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