News flow out of the diamond industry in 2018 has been dominated by the progression of lab-created diamond production, distribution and pricing dynamics. Numerous new players have entered the space, production capabilities have improved and supply has been scaled. This year alone, the price differential of a generic 1-carat lab-created diamond has fallen by almost 50% relative to the price a comparable natural diamond (the discount in late-November of 42% has risen from 29% in January).
In late-May, industry bellwether De Beers crossed the Rubicon, announcing the company would be entering the lab-created diamond jewelry space through a subsidiary called Lightbox. The move implies a nuanced strategy with a general aim at differentiating consumer perception of lab-created and natural diamonds.
In late September the product became available to consumers exclusively through the company’s website with the notable item a 1-carat solitaire pendant offered for $800 plus a nominal setting fee. At the time of launch an equivalent-quality 1-carat generic lab-created diamond was selling for around $3,700.
(By Paul Zimnisky)