Lightbox Jewelry, the De Beers–owned lab-grown diamond brand known for its $800-a-carat price scheme, will for the first time sell loose diamonds.
Up until now, Lightbox has required customers to buy its diamonds with mountings.
The loose diamonds will be available in 1 ct. (for $800), 1.5 ct. ($1,200), 1.75 ct. ($1,400), and 2 ct. ($1,600) sizes. While Lightbox has traditionally used its $800-a-carat pricing scheme for both solitaire and total-weight stones, the loose stones will all be solitaires.
The stones will be sold in Lightbox’s standard colors—white, pink, and blue—and in its standard quality range (G-J, VS clarity, very good cut), as well as in its better-quality Finest range (D-F, VVS clarity, excellent cut). Finest diamonds sell for $1,500 a carat.
Lightbox CEO Steve Coe says the change was sparked by consumer demand.
“A number of our customers have asked for it,” he says. “They want the possibility to put our lab-grown stones in their personalized jewelry designs. We think that is a great opportunity for lab-grown diamonds, because of their low price point, for consumers to use them and experiment with their own designs.”
In addition, Lightbox has found that individual jewelry designs tend to be “polarizing.”
“Aside from the classic solitaire designs, for every design there’s a consumer who likes it and others who hate it,” Coe says. “It’s hard to find a piece that everyone likes. This gives consumers the freedom to use their chosen design.”
Unlike most of its competitors, Lightbox does not sell bridal jewelry, even though that category makes up the majority of the lab-grown market. Now that Lightbox diamonds are being sold as loose stones, it’s possible that customers will scoop them up for use in bridal jewelry, Coe admits.
“That’s certainly not the focus,” Coe says. “Consumers are free to do what they want with the diamonds. I imagine some customers with more modest budgets [might use them for bridal], but to be realistic, those consumers were never going to buy natural diamonds in the first place. If their budget is $5,000 to $10,000 for a natural diamond ring, I don’t think they’re going to be distracted by an $800 ring.”
Lightbox’s loose diamonds will be sold online and at Reeds Jewelers. After the new year, Lightbox hopes to sell them at additional brick-and-mortar retailers.
Coe admits Lightbox’s prices will undercut many other sellers on the market, many of which had (until now) the advantage of also offering loose diamonds.
“Our pricing is $800 a carat, which we believe to be a fair and reasonable price,” he says. “We price our product to give ourselves appropriate margin. We believe our price is sustainable in the long-term and gives value to the consumer. If other manufacturers’ prices are higher than ours, they need to justify why they are higher.”
CORRECTION: Coe said that the diamonds are being sold at a “fair” price, rather than a “free” price.
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