Pandora is bringing its lab-created diamond line to its U.S. stores, with fashion jewelry that will retail from $350 to $1,950—though its U.S. introduction has (again) caused some controversy.
The new collection’s price points represent a slight step up from what the company usually sells, admits Luciano Rodembusch, Pandora’s president for North America—though a few of its non-diamond items do retail for close to $2,000.
All the diamonds will be G-J color, around VS quality, and top out at 1 carat in size. Whereas Pandora’s charm collection is known for its wide variety of options, its lab diamond collection is more limited, Rodembusch says.
“We are trying to simplify the choices,” he says. “It’s a unique collection with a simple design.”
When the collection debuted last year in the United Kingdom, it was called Pandora Brilliance. The collection’s new name is Brilliance, though the overall category name is now Diamonds by Pandora. It will be backed up by both television advertising and an extensive promotional campaign.
“We want everyone to know that Pandora has diamonds, and it has lab-grown diamonds,” Rodembusch says. “We believe that we can expand the overall diamond market by making diamonds affordable. Affordability is super-important to Pandora clients.”
As is now standard with lab-grown diamonds, the new brand name, Diamonds by Pandora, has raised nomenclature issues.
The Natural Diamond Council (NDC) put out a statement that said, in its view, the name Diamonds by Pandora does not comply with the Federal Trade Commission’s Guides for the Jewelry Industry, which caution companies “not to use the name of any precious stone, including diamonds, to describe a simulated or lab-created stone, unless the name is immediately proceeded by a clear and conspicuous disclosure that the product is not a mined stone.”
The NDC said it “would recommend that Pandora reconsider using this description/brand name to avoid incurring costs in the likely event that they are required to properly disclose their diamonds as being man-made.”
Pandora responded that “all of our consumer communications will clearly disclose that Diamonds by Pandora is a collection of lab-created diamond jewelry.”
Pandora’s statement announcing its U.S. launch also brings up some of the points that sparked trade blowback to its 2021 announcement, including its declaration that it “will no longer use mined diamonds,” a product that it rarely sold.
It also mentions that its diamonds are grown in the United States with renewable energy and have a carbon footprint of only 8.17 kg CO2e per carat—which it claims is 5% of that of a mined diamond. The collection also uses recycled gold and silver. (The sustainability of recycled metals has also been disputed.)
Despite this, Rodembusch says “our major focus is going to talk about us, our use of recycled metals and renewable energy,” rather than comparing the company’s products to others’.
Ironically, sources have told JCK that at least some of Pandora’s diamonds are produced by Element Six, which is owned by diamond miner De Beers.
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