To meet its customers where they are in terms of interest in lab-grown diamonds and moissanite jewelry, Steven Stone Ltd. recently debuted a separate boutique jewelry company it is calling The Stone Lab to give its clients well-crafted and ethically sourced jewelry with these stones.
The Stone Lab’s mission is to give Steven Stone customers unique jewelry pieces that use recycled metals, focus on traditional techniques and craftsmanship, and respectfully highlight moissanite, lab-grown diamonds, and other lab-grown gemstones, says company creative director Maxwell Stone.
The decision to label and market this area of its business as The Stone Lab came about because newer generations want to shop differently than others, Stone says. The Stone Lab is an online business and only does virtual appointments.
“Lab-grown diamonds cater to more of the Gen Y audience, offering a more affordable, ethical, and sustainable alternative to natural diamonds,” Stone says. “We know that for millennials, corporate social responsibility is high up on the agenda, and they are firm with their ethical principles. This, combined with the exponential growth in popularity of lab-grown diamonds, gave us an obvious business proposition for The Stone Lab.”
JCK chatted with Stone about The Stone Lab and what it means to the London-based company, which has two workshops in central London and Manchester.
How do you approach lab-grown in terms of educating consumers versus natural diamonds?
We’re keen to make sure that our clients have all of the information they need to make an informed decision when it comes to buying jewelry. As well as having a live chat function on-site, there are loads of education pages, including one specifically around what lab-grown diamonds are. We explain that lab-grown jewelry has a significantly smaller carbon footprint and … lab-grown diamonds have the same physical and chemical properties to mined diamonds and look identical to the eye. Overall, they are more accessible and cost-effective than natural diamonds of comparable size and quality.
Why make sure this was a specialty area? In other words, why differentiate it from your overall branding?
The Stone Lab is a destination for those who know they want to go for lab-grown diamonds or moissanite when it comes to choosing their next piece of jewelry. Although Steven Stone does offer lab-grown and moissanite jewelry, The Stone Lab offering is much broader. As for engagement rings, you can select your setting, choose your metal, choose your stone size and stone quality. This simple formula allows you to create a unique engagement ring that is a reflection of your loved one. Establishing a new brand with this simple-minded proposition was the key objective [and] to make our prospective audience clear on the offering.
What do you want your clients to understand about lab-grown or moissanite as they consider which to buy? Why was craftsmanship so important to you?
Craftsmanship has been key to us right from the beginning of Steven Stone in 1937. With decades of experience, our goldsmiths have a real passion for jewelry and rigorous checks are made to make sure each and every piece is perfect before delivery to our clients. It’s not every day that you give or receive such a special piece of jewelry, so it needs to impress.
The key thing to remember is that lab-grown diamonds visually and chemically are identical to natural diamonds, the only difference being their origin. If you’re looking for a more affordable alternative to lab diamonds appropriate for everyday wear, then moissanite is a great option. Ultimately, the final choice comes down to personal preference and what you are comfortable spending.
Top: With a new logo and identity, Steven Stone created a specialty brand for its lab-grown diamond and moissanite portion of its business, known as The Stone Lab (photos courtesy of Steven Stone).
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