De Beers Legitimizes Lab-grown Diamonds: From ‘Fun Jewelry’ to Lightbox’s Engagement Rings

From its inception, Lightbox was intended as a fashion jewelry brand. Their entire marketing strategy was based on the statement that lab-grown diamonds should only be used in “inexpensive fun jewelry”. The company was a way for De Beers to have their cake and eat it too. They made profit on lab-grown diamonds and simultaneously did their best to differentiate the category from the mined ones. With increased demand and public awareness, it seems like the brand policy is taking a turn.

15 engagement ring styles suddenly appeared available for purchase on Lightbox’s website. Along with the launch of the collection, the jewelry pieces will be actively promoted in New York, Dallas, and Atlanta areas. “We are running a small in-market test of consumer preferences in the lab-grown diamond engagement ring segment … that will last for around three months” a statement from De Beers said.

According to the interview that Lightbox CEO Antoine Borde gave during this year’s JCK show, Lightbox has been getting quite a lot of consumers’ requests to introduce bridal jewelry. However, not everybody in the industry was happy about the news. There are still jewelry brands and mining companies who are adamant about maintaining their business only within the limit of mined stones.

Still, De Beers is currently undergoing a lot of structural changes, and it seems that Element Six and Lightbox are eager to make additional profit despite their old claims. Diamond analyst Edahn Golan suggested in a recent statement that lab-grown diamonds could reach 50% of all U.S. loose diamond sales for diamond engagement rings by volume within a year. The man-made diamond engagement rings share went from 9.4% in 2019 to 35.7% this year. Consumers see lab-grown diamonds as the right material for engagement rings. And as new technological advancements allow for new and unique lab-created stones to appear, such as the recent first multicolored lab diamond, the bridal aspect of the man-made diamond category will continue to stay strong. Lightbox only reaffirms this belief with their launch.