The world's largest diamond company has gone synthetic
De Beers is making lab-grown jewels
“There is a real opportunity in lab-grown diamonds to develop something that is fun, that is fashionable, and that is for the playful or casual occasion,” CFO Nimesh Patel said. “We see moving into lab-grown diamonds as being very complementary to our core business.”
Natural diamonds are mined from ancient carbon that is buried deep beneath the Earth's surface, which is then transformed into the precious stone with extreme heat and pressure. Synthetic diamonds are cultured in a lab to have the exact same chemical composition and appearance—but at more than half the price.
De Beers has created a sister company called Lightbox Jewelry that will retail the man-made gems. Most pieces range from $200 to $800, compared to the natural stones that can cost more than 10 times that amount.
These man-made diamonds may represent the beginning of a much more affordable future.
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