Traditional Diamond Companies Struggle as Lab-Grown Alternatives See Prices Slashed

Lightbox, a lab-grown diamond brand owned by De Beers, has permanently reduced its prices for its standard range of lab-grown diamonds, with prices now starting at $500 per carat, down from $800. 

The decision follows months of testing and research into the lab-grown diamond jewelry sector. Lightbox now offers three price points based on the color and quality of the stones, with the highest quality stones priced at $900 from $1,500 per carat.

The move reflects the lower costs of producing lab-grown diamonds and the growing distinction between lab-grown and natural diamonds in the market.

Meanwhile, Pandora (CPH: PNDORA), the world’s largest jewelry maker by production volume, reported strong first-quarter sales, largely due to an 87% year-over-year increase in sales of lab-grown diamonds. The company’s success has been attributed to its expansion of lab-grown diamond collections, which has driven demand across all Pandora products, particularly in the United States. 

In contrast, companies specializing in natural diamonds, such as De Beers’ main business and Signet Jewelers, are struggling with a price slump caused by weakening demand and oversupply. 

De Beers’ parent company Anglo American (LON: AAL) wrote down the value of the business to $1.6 billion in February. The Wall Street Journal also recently reported that the company was considering selling the business to rival BHP (ASX: BHP). De Beers, the leader in diamond production, has long been synonymous with the precious stone. 

The growing popularity of lab-grown diamonds, which now account for 20% of global diamond jewelry sales, has led to a shift in consumer preferences. While natural diamonds still dominate the market, the rapid growth in lab-grown diamond sales, which reached nearly $12 billion in 2022, suggests that consumers are increasingly drawn to these more affordable and ethically sourced alternatives.

Information for this story was found via Fortune, Forbes, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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