In a rather surprise move, world’s leading crystal and crystal jewelry Austria-based company Swarovski ventured into Lab-grown diamonds. Present in over 170 countries with a turnover of USD 3.3 billion, Swarovski till now traditionally dealt in simulants. The renowned company’s venture into Lab-grown diamonds comes through its new brand ‘Diama’.
As per Swarovski, ‘Diama’ is a combination of ‘Dia’ and ‘Ama’, which means Diamond and Love respectively. This lab grown diamond jewelry brand will be set in 18k gold and at least for now all the diamonds weigh less than 1 carat. Swarovski will not deal in solitaries or diamond studs and will be focusing more on the design element of the Lab-grown diamond jewelry brand. According to the company, the Diama jewelry will be priced around 20% less than similar Earth-mined diamonds. Diama line currently includes rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings and is available at 4 physical stores in US and with some online retailers too.
The Lab-grown diamonds used in the Diama line are termed Swarovski Created Diamonds but the supply source of the same is still not clear. According to a report, Swarovski was in negotiation with De Beers’ group company – Element Six, but for unknown reasons the talks fell through and Swarovski may be sourcing Lab-grown diamonds from Chinese growers.
Nevertheless, the fact that Element Six, a leading Lab-grown diamond producer, sat at the table with Swarovski comes as a startling revelation considering that De Beers had always maintained that the synthetic diamonds produced by Element Six will be used only for industrial and scientific applications and not for gems and jewelry usage. A few weeks ago, ‘De Beers warned that diamond mines may run out in 25 years’. Couple this with the fact that De Beers recently officially entered the 2nd hand diamonds buyback business and it becomes clear that De Beers itself is sure of Earth-mined diamonds running out sooner than one can anticipate.
With Earth-mined diamonds getting harder and costlier to extract, the best choice available for mined diamonds producers including De Beers is Lab-grown diamonds. De Beers perhaps realized this way back and as per the long held suspicion, Element Six’s ultimate game plan was to eventually enter the gems and jewelry segment. De Beers values Element Six dearly in its portfolio, is substantiated by its recent patent infringement claims against IIa Technologies, another leading Lab-grown diamond producer.
Millennials care about environment and ethical products and hence many of today’s new-age consumers shy away from buying unsustainable products including Earth-mined diamonds even if they try to portray emotions of love and romance. Someone rightly said this – “Stones don’t have emotions. People do.” Lab-grown diamonds becoming part of everyday life is inevitable and Swarovski has realized this pretty much early in the game to garner the early-mover advantages.