De Beers’ Lab-grown diamond brand – Lightbox expands to Canada
Making a U-turn to decades of policy of never selling Lab-grown diamonds in the gems and jewelry segment, De Beers had last year launched Lightbox – doing just the opposite. Though the gameplan of doing so was always there, it’s strategy was simple – If you can’t beat them, join them. After launching its own brand of Lab-grown diamond jewelry – Lightbox, which was available only in US till now, De Beers has expanded the offering outside US, in Canada.
According to a media report, Steve Coe – CEO, Lightbox Jewellery said “Since we first announced Lightbox, we’ve had strong interest from Canadian consumers. Thirteen percent of consumers who signed up for our emails are in Canada. We see it as a significant market”
However, apart from Canada, the company does not intend to expand to other international markets till a new Lightbox Lab-grown diamond manufacturing facility opens up, which is scheduled to operate from first quarter of 2020 and is expected to grow 500,000 carats of rough Lab-grown diamonds annually.
Indian Lab-grown diamond exports to US to capture 2 percent of market
While US is the world’s largest consumer of precious stones and metals, India is a world leader in diamond processing – cutting and polishing of diamonds and exports $ 14 billion value of gems and jewelry to US alone. While this figure is largely in context of mined diamonds and other precious stones and metals like gold, how are Lab-grown diamonds faring? Well, Indian exports of Lab-grown diamond jewelry to US are expected to capture 2 percent of overall exports of gems and jewelry to US.
Speaking on sidelines of International Lab Grown Diamond and Jeweller Expo, Shashikant Shah – Chairman, The Lab Grown Diamond and Jewellery Promotion Council said “In the United States, consumers are aggressively opting to buy lab-grown diamond jewellery to save money and divert their investible surplus funds to other asset classes. Indian exporters have recorded an increase in orders from the United States for the ensuing festive season including Christmas, New Year and Women’s Day…”
Lab-grown diamonds are gradually making their way into jewelry manufacturing industry in India. Indian Lab-grown diamond jewelry manufacturers primarily import rough Lab-grown diamonds from US for large stones and from China for smaller sizes, for further cutting and polishing process. Apart from US, India also exports Lab-grown diamonds to France, Italy and Australia. In small quantities, it also does to some other European and Asian countries.
Apart from source of origin, there is no difference between mined diamonds and Lab-grown diamonds and the latter are processed and dealt with in the same manner as the traditional diamond pipeline. India thus seems to also capturing its leadership position of diamond processing for Lab-grown diamonds as well.
However, current import duty of 7.5 percent and 18 percent GST for diamond processing machines for Lab-grown diamonds may act as a barrier for India to become a dominant Lab-grown diamond processing hub.