The Light Stuff: De Beers Goes Carefully Into Lab-Grown Diamonds

In a move that jolted the diamond market, De Beers—the company that invented the modern diamond industry—has released a line of lab-grown diamonds, called Lightbox Jewelry. Lightbox features white, pink, and blue stones grown by Element Six, the De Beers–owned synthetic diamond manufacturer, which up to now has grown them solely for industrial purposes. De Beers is investing $94 million in a new production facility in Gresham, Ore., that will eventually produce as much as 500,000 cts. of lab-grown diamonds a year. That translates to 200,000 cts. of polished. The stones will be polished by a third party, a non-sightholder in India. The jewelry will be sold only mounted, not as loose, and initially only as earrings and pendant necklaces. All the lab-grown stones will sell for $800 per carat, in 0.25 ct., 0.5 ct., and 1 ct. sizes (some of the pieces are solitaires, others are tota

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