Special Edition: De Beers Enters Synthetics with Widespread Impact

From Abe Mor Diamonds, Diamond District keeps diamond traders in tune with our rapidly shifting industry.

At the end of last month, we saw the biggest news to hit our industry in years: De Beers is entering the synthetics market, and taking a surprising approach that will profoundly impact all corners of the diamond industry. Luckily for traditional diamond retailers, those outcomes are favorable. Not so for those with skin in the synthetics game.

The Approach

  • The company will open a $100 million production facility in Oregon, where it will produce 500,000 carats of lab-grown diamonds annually. (Miami Herald)
  • Drastically reduced prices will undercut competitors by roughly 75%. (New York Times)
  • The synthetic stones will be branded under a new fashion—not bridal—jewelry line.
  • They’re ditching the “environmental pitch,” acknowledging that there’s nothing “green” about lab-grown diamonds due to the high pressure, and thus energy, requirements.

The Impact

Regular readers of Diamond District know that we’ve long anticipated the popularization of synthetics within the low-end market. This surprising approach by De Beers accelerates that phenomenon, finally putting synthetics where they belong: among fashion jewelry. The mounting competition to natural diamonds will reverse course, benefiting retailers and wholesalers—including De Beers—alike.

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Of course, your friends at Abe Mor will keep a close eye on this activity as it unfolds. In the meantime, I welcome your thoughts and questions.