Lab-Grown Diamond Industry in Surat Faces De Beers Price Challenge

While De Beers' price reduction poses a challenge, Surat has established itself as lab-grown diamond manufacturing hub in the world


SURAT, GUJARAT : Surat, the heart of India’s diamond industry, may have cause for concern. De Beers, the world’s leading diamond company, just announced a permanent price reduction for its Lightbox brand of lab-grown diamond jewelry, potentially squeezing profit margins for Surat’s manufacturers.

Lightbox slashed prices in its “Standard” range by 37.5%, bringing the cost down to $500 per carat for IJ color stones. Previously, the same product line started at $800 per carat. This move follows De Beers’ extensive research into the lab-grown diamond market and testing of lower price points.

The new pricing structure offers three tiers based on color: $500 for IJ, $600 for GH, and $900 for the highest quality DEF stones (previously $1,500). Importantly, all stones come with a guaranteed minimum “very good” cut and VS clarity, with DEF stones boasting an “excellent” cut.

De Beers CEO of Brands, Sandrine Conseiller, explained the move as a way to maintain competitiveness in a rapidly evolving market while upholding Lightbox’s commitment to transparency and sustainable practices. “We are pleased to pass on savings to our customers,” stated Conseiller, highlighting the declining wholesale prices of lab-grown diamonds.

Lightbox has always been a proponent of linear pricing, reflecting the manufacturing cost. Conseiller emphasized the distinct nature of lab-grown diamonds compared to their natural counterparts. “The price difference between natural and lab-grown diamonds at retail is growing fast,” she said. A top-tier Lightbox two-carat diamond now costs roughly 10% of a similar natural diamond, propelling the brand’s focus on “fashion jewelry” with lower price points and innovative designs.

This strategic shift by De Beers could have a significant impact on Surat, which has emerged as a global leader in lab-grown diamond production. Surat’s manufacturers might need to adapt their pricing strategies and potentially focus on higher-quality or niche segments to compete effectively.

The future of lab-grown diamonds remains dynamic. While De Beers’ price reduction poses a challenge, Surat’s established infrastructure and expertise could be crucial in navigating this evolving market. Whether Surat can maintain its dominance will depend on its ability to adapt, innovate, and offer competitive pricing while maintaining quality.