‘Couple’ – A new online ring company debuts
Co-founded by Jeff Brenner and Alan Shuster, ‘Couple’ is a new engagement ring brand, which uses Lab-grown diamonds, and sells online cutting out traditional middleman. Two years ago when Jeff Brenner was looking for an engagement ring, he was quite disappointed with the traditional jewelers, designers and other channels as he “found the whole market incredibly complex and unnecessarily overwhelming”. He believed that there is a space to provide better Customer Experience in the industry and came up with ‘Couple’, which offers high quality Lab-grown diamonds – Excellent cut, G color and VS2 clarity.
Couple sources its stones from a US-based Lab-grown diamond producer and their hand-crafted rings comes in 4 styles and start from USD 5,299 per carat. There is an option of personal engraving and the company offers 60 days return or resizing policy, with a lifetime warranty on rings that comes in precious metals.
Gemvara now offers Lab-grown diamonds
In addition to Mined diamonds and colored gemstones, Gemvara – an e-commerce site for customer jewelry is now offering Lab-grown diamonds. Owned by Richline group, Gemvara is giving option to consumers to use Lab-grown diamonds as center piece or even accent stones through its ringbuilder – called ‘Gembuilder’, which is in ‘private test’ with a large retailer probably one of the bigger players owned by its parent Berkshire Hathaway – 210-store chain Helzberg Diamonds, 92-store chain Ben Bridge Jeweler or Borsheims.
After expanding the program to a limited beta test later this year, Gembuilder will be rolled-out to a wider audience by 2020. This is Richline’s second initiative of offering Lab-grown diamonds after ‘Grown With Love’ brand was launched at J.C. Penney and Macy’s last year. While Richline sources some of the Lab-grown diamonds from WD Lab Grown Diamonds, source for Gemvara/ Gembuilder hasn’t been disclosed yet.
Signet’s James Allen starts selling Lab-grown diamonds
One of the biggest diamond and bridal jewelry online retailer in US – James Allen has started selling Lab-grown diamonds on its platform. After being acquired by Signet in September 2017, James Allen is the first entity in the Signet group to offer Lab-grown diamonds. Signet’s e-tailer apparatus – James Allen is currently ‘testing’ the response of consumers to Lab-grown diamonds, and if all goes well other entities in the Signet group may also look at offering Lab-grown diamonds. This does not come as a surprise, as Signet CEO Gina Drosos last year had said that they will consider selling Lab-grown diamonds if demand is justified.
However for this ‘test’, James Allen is not going to have budgets to promote Lab-grown diamonds and they will remain as an option to consumers in addition to Mined diamonds. But unlike players like De Beers’ Lightbox, James Allen is offering Lab-grown diamonds as a bridal option rather than a fashion one, and will be accompanied by independent laboratory reports. Prices for the same will start from few hundred dollars for smaller stones and going up to USD 48,000 for an 4.49 carat emerald-cut diamond. James Allen will be selling Lab-grown diamonds with high color and clarities only.
Savvy + Sand features on Sky News
London-based award winning jeweller – Savvy + Sand, who offers Lab-grown diamonds, was recently invited by Sky News UK to share their thoughts on the sector. Sandeep Babber – Director, Savvy + Sand, shared his views on how the Lab-grown diamond market is growing and what makes the space intriguing.
Spence Diamonds basks in Lab-grown diamonds
A four decades old Canadian traditional jewelry retail chain – Spence Diamonds, has embarked in the new future of the industry – Lab-grown diamonds. While some retailers like Tiffany are still wary of Lab-grown diamonds, Spence Diamonds adopted Lab-grown diamonds in 2016 itself, after being bought out by Lion Capital in 2015.
With seven retail stores in Canada and five in US, Spence Diamonds found that given a choice, 80% of their customers chose Lab-grown diamonds over Mined diamonds in Canada, and the figure is approaching 90% for their US customers.
But apart from options of both category of diamonds, Spence is focusing on Customer Experience, where by removing the typical model of jewelry in glass shelves shown by sales associates, it lets customers directly try on jewelry design prototypes themselves. Spence offers custom-made and handcrafted jewelry and follows an inventory-light model. It also focuses on objective consumer education. Recently, the company appointed Veeral Rathod – a successful fashion industry entrepreneur, as its CEO, to further disrupt the industry and take the company way forward in future.
“Lab-growns are increasingly becoming the the stone of choice for millennials who want value, sustainability and ethical production methods” says Veeral.
Kingston Jewellers looking for wholesale partner to expand their Lab-grown diamond line
UK-based Kingston Jeweller, which launched its Lab-grown diamond line – Nova Lab Diamond few months back witnessed an unprecedented sales response from its store and website, which far exceeded its expectations. With more confidence, the company wants to expand its Lab-grown jewelry brand to next level and is looking for a wholesale partner who understands the UK market and has a customer base to market to. The company will be launching a dedicated B2C and B2B website to offer the Lab-grown diamond range to consumers and retailers across UK. Kinston sources its Lab-grown diamonds from Madestones.
Kingston said “We forecast[ed] in early 2018 that Lab diamonds would change the industry without disrupting the sales of certificated mined diamonds… and with our research it’s not just the 25-35 age group that are the key market but 45-60 year olds looking for value and made in the UK.”