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Synthetic diamond wholesale prices down 60% – De Beers

01 march 2019

De Beers said wholesale prices for synthetic diamonds eased by up to 60% since the group commenced selling the laboratory-grown stones for jewellery last September.
Reuters quoted De Beers chief executive Bruce Cleaver as saying that margins for the sector were projected to continue falling as improved technology increases the quality and volume.
"The margins that were out there are not sustainable," he said. "I like to compare it to a flat screen TV. The first ones were very expensive and the quality was poor." 

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                       Image credit: Lightbox


De Beers’ Lightbox brand was expected to sell 20,000 ct by the end of 2019, although the group invested in a synthetic diamond factory in the US state of Oregon, which had the capacity of producing more than half a million rough carats a year when fully operational next year.
De Beers’ objective when it set up Lightbox was to differentiate diamonds grown in a laboratory from the natural stones.
Cleaver said synthetic diamonds were not eroding the price of natural stones.
"It's a perfectly legitimate business. It's just a different business," he said of laboratory-grown diamonds.

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished