Diamonds: De Beers’ Forevermark Launch; Christie’s $4.2 Million Sale

Now and Forevermark

The long-awaited Forevermark—the new laser-inscribed diamond brand from the De Beers Group—has finally arrived stateside. Representing less than 1 percent of all graded diamonds, a Forevermark promotes stones—available only in a range of preapproved cuts, colors, and qualities—that have been brought from mine to market through a secure supply chain. But beyond the ability to offer assurances of integrity, what do retailers stand to gain by signing up for De Beers’ bold new venture?

There’s an exact answer to that question, according to Charles Stanley, president of Forevermark US: about 10 percent in margin. He contends that in-­market experience from Asia points to a 10 percent to 15 percent premium that is more than achievable in the United States. “It gives [consumers] a clear choice and takes away the angst involved in a major investment.”

Stanley points to three reasons why De Beers can reliably command the markup: history, technology, and access. Having spent years and multimillions of dollars building its name through advertising, the company continues to influence this generation of diamond buyers through its sophisticated publicity machine. But there’s substance here, too. New proprietary technology at the Forevermark lab is designed to make the industry a safer place for buyers.

Aiming for a fourth-quarter 2011 launch, the Forevermark product strategy remains focused on the core categories: bridal, solitaire, and classic. In textbook De Beers fashion, design-neutral products will be promoted in national advertising, underscoring the real coup for retailers chosen to partake. —Randi Molofsky

Christie’s Coup

Courtesy of Christie’s
This oval-cut, E-color knuckle-duster of 46.51 cts. sold for $4.2 million at Christie’s.

An oval-cut, E-color 46.51 ct. diamond sold for $4.2 million to an anonymous bidder at the Important Jewels sale at Christie’s New York on June 14. (The stone’s presale estimate: $2.5 million to $3 million.) The entire auction achieved $11,727,625 and was 94 percent sold by lot and 98 percent by value. —Rob Bates

For cutting-edge diamond news