Diamonds / Industry / Technology

Steve Coe Stepping Down As Lightbox CEO


Steve Coe, the former Element Six executive who has headed De Beers’ lab-grown diamond brand Lightbox since its inception, has resigned as the division’s CEO, De Beers confirmed to JCK.

“After successfully building Lightbox from the initial concept into an established business, Steve has decided to step down as Lightbox CEO and will leave the business at the end of July,” says spokesperson David Johnson.

The company plans to announce a new CEO for Lightbox in “due course,” Johnson says.

Coe has headed the Lightbox project since 2017, when it was in “stealth mode.” The brand debuted in 2018.

Before joining Lightbox, Coe spent 21 years at De Beers’ industrial diamond division, Element Six, eventually rising to executive director, commercial and marketing.

Coe could not be reached for comment.

At a June 10 presentation at JCK Las Vegas, Lightbox technical program manager Angelo Frangeskou said that Lightbox’s new factory in Gresham, Ore., grows diamonds with the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) method using an average 400 kilowatt-hours of energy per carat.

“By the end of the year, we’ll be [using] 100% renewable {energy],” he said. “We’re working with [a third party] on certifying our carbon-neutrality.”

The brand now sells its product in 75 countries and is in 125 stores globally, said Lightbox commercial director Nick Smart.

In response to a question, Smart said that the company isn’t planning to lower its current price of $800 a carat.

“This is a technological product,” he said. “We are on a technological price curve. We are very comfortable with where we are. I can’t rule out what’s going to be developed in terms of the technology.”

Despite the current shortage of small goods (melee), which has been exacerbated by U.S. sanctions against Russia, Smart said that Lightbox was unlikely to go into that business.

“[The economics of] CVD favors larger stones,” he said.

Photo courtesy of Lightbox Jewelry

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By: Rob Bates

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