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Is De Beers making a mistake?

Miss_LK

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 2, 2018
Messages
70
Just curious, but do you think that de beers is making a mistake by trying to minimize the instances in which their stones are being used in engagement jewelry?

Like would the people that want to use Lightbox stones really decide to buy natural instead? Wouldn't those same people just choose to buy lab grown elsewhere? Or even just choose a different stone altogether?

I understand they are trying to market lab diamonds as something resembling costume jewelry, but I am curious about others perspectives about their decision to do this. it seems like a poor business decision in my opinion. I think lab diamonds will continue to become more and more affordable, and there are plenty of companies out there that will be happy to provide good quality lab diamonds to interested consumers.
 

AprilBaby

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 17, 2008
Messages
10,641
My friend works at a jeweler and we are in an affluent area. They are selling more MMD for erings now than mined. DeBeets is losing those sales.
 

mrsthirdcharms

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Messages
83
I believe they’re making a mistake. But I am one LB customer who purchased a piece of their “fashion“ jewelry for the diamond, in order to reset it into a ring. There are those who argue that the diamonds they sell in this line are not “ring quality”, whatever that means. I disagree, especially considering the inferior quality of the vast majority of jewelry grade diamonds for sale in chain stores, online, and on offer from other retailers. You can drive yourself crazy searching for the perfect diamond, and look for imperfections under magnification that you’re never going to see with your eyes.

These stones that LB is selling are real diamonds, and they’re good quality. Beauty and value are subjective things at the end of the day, especially when you’re talking about Veblen goods like diamonds. That’s the real reason why they won’t offer bridal jewelry. They’re desperate to maintain their grand illusion created by the most successful marketing scheme of all time. Now the lines are getting blurred, and this is introducing real competition into the market long controlled by cartel-like tactics.
 

vintageloves

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 30, 2013
Messages
392
De Beers has already gone back on things they were never-ever going to do. The big one is conceding that there was a market for lab at all.

Lightbox was never-ever going to carry diamonds over 1 carat but now they have. They were only going to be in silver settings but now gold settings are coming for necklaces and bracelets. The original marketing featured teen girls and small stones and items described as "something you wouldn't get upset if you lost it at the beach." You can see the change to larger stones, older models being used in their promotions, and more white stones as opposed to the previous tilt to the colored ones.

It's only a matter of time. I would expect it to be an offshoot brand just for bridal. But De Beers brand lab engagement rings are coming. Guaranteed.
 

mrsthirdcharms

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Messages
83
You guys make really good points! Besides from the simple ring designs on offer and the solitaires, I find most of their designs unappealing. They might do a 180 and start a budget bridal line, once they figure out the inevitability of the demand. Other vendors will rush to fill the void.
 

Miss_LK

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 2, 2018
Messages
70
I believe they’re making a mistake. But I am one LB customer who purchased a piece of their “fashion“ jewelry for the diamond, in order to reset it into a ring. There are those who argue that the diamonds they sell in this line are not “ring quality”, whatever that means. I disagree, especially considering the inferior quality of the vast majority of jewelry grade diamonds for sale in chain stores, online, and on offer from other retailers. You can drive yourself crazy searching for the perfect diamond, and look for imperfections under magnification that you’re never going to see with your eyes.

These stones that LB is selling are real diamonds, and they’re good quality. Beauty and value are subjective things at the end of the day, especially when you’re talking about Veblen goods like diamonds. That’s the real reason why they won’t offer bridal jewelry. They’re desperate to maintain their grand illusion created by the most successful marketing scheme of all time. Now the lines are getting blurred, and this is introducing real competition into the market long controlled by cartel-like tactics.
I agree with your sentiment on the quality. I figure the lb stones are probably just as nice, if not nicer, than many of the diamonds being sold in chain stores. It really is a shame that they won't just go ahead and recognize that the direction that the market is heading in is towards a larger popularity of mmd's in jewelry of all sorts. They have an opportunity to get ahead of the curve and offer them at amazing prices. I understand they don't want to hurt their mined diamond marker, but that market is already shifting.

I recently read an article that reported that the agreement that de beers has with its buyers is up, and a new one will be established. A different kind of agreement. The buyers won't be obligated to just buy all the rough, sight unseen, that de beers decides to sell to them. Or that's the jist of it anyway. There's more to it than that.

The mined diamond marker will always exist, but I believe that mmd's will have a large market. It's only a matter of time.
 

Miss_LK

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 2, 2018
Messages
70
I think De Beers is in a position to change their direction really fast if they think it's necessary. Wherever the market with MMDs and mined diamonds goes I am convinced DeBeers will be part of it.
You're right. I just wonder when they'll make the shift.
 

Miss_LK

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 2, 2018
Messages
70
De Beers has already gone back on things they were never-ever going to do. The big one is conceding that there was a market for lab at all.

Lightbox was never-ever going to carry diamonds over 1 carat but now they have. They were only going to be in silver settings but now gold settings are coming for necklaces and bracelets. The original marketing featured teen girls and small stones and items described as "something you wouldn't get upset if you lost it at the beach." You can see the change to larger stones, older models being used in their promotions, and more white stones as opposed to the previous tilt to the colored ones.

It's only a matter of time. I would expect it to be an offshoot brand just for bridal. But De Beers brand lab engagement rings are coming. Guaranteed.
You're right. It's coming. Maybe when the facility in Oregon is up and running.
 

Miss_LK

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 2, 2018
Messages
70
You guys make really good points! Besides from the simple ring designs on offer and the solitaires, I find most of their designs unappealing. They might do a 180 and start a budget bridal line, once they figure out the inevitability of the demand. Other vendors will rush to fill the void.
Ugh. I hate to imagine what the first of their budget bridal line will look like. Lol.
 

AprilBaby

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 17, 2008
Messages
10,641
Honestly, I'm surprised that mmd's are sold more than mined at any Jewelers, but I think it's really neat!
Price is a big factor for young couples and they want the 2 ct now rather than later.
 

AprilBaby

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 17, 2008
Messages
10,641
You're right. It's coming. Maybe when the facility in Oregon is up and running.
Mia Donna has a show room in Portland. I wonder if they are a cover for DeBeers?
 

Miss_LK

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 2, 2018
Messages
70
Mia Donna has a show room in Portland. I wonder if they are a cover for DeBeers?
I don't know anything about that. No idea if the 2 companies are affiliated. However, the facility I'm speaking of is a mmd production facility that's been built. It's mostly complete. It's set to open and be producing mmd's at some point this year.
 

whitewave

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
9,639
I had to stop commenting on the IG because I was going to get blocked lol. They are marketing to millennials and their ads show 20somethings wearing 3k worth of lightbox jewelry. I asked them how is a Starbucks manager supposed to afford that and their market is the mothers of these women.

I also told them their rings are stupid, lol.
 

whitewave

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
9,639
Also, some friends and I wondered if they are deliberately making stupid jewelry so it’s designed to fail and then they can announce that they tried MMD and they were a flop.
 
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MeowMeow

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 27, 2009
Messages
947
Also, some friends and I wondered if they are deliberately making stupid jewelry so it’s designed to fail and then they can announce that they tried MMD and they were a flop.
That could be. I didn't care for their ring offerings that much either. But even if they claim it's a flop for them someone else smarter might try and squeeze in. I'm already surprised and interested to see man made diamonds being requested as much as I have seen so far.
 

Miss_LK

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 2, 2018
Messages
70
Also, some friends and I wondered if they are deliberately making stupid jewelry so it’s designed to fail and then they can announce that they tried MMD and they were a flop.
Perhaps, but the lab market is growing, and they really can't stop it at this point, imo. I think you're right that they are forgetting that that the generations before the millennials might be interested in affordable mmd's, but I also think that millennials are going to really help the mmd market to grow. Millennials are spending more and more on experiences and more practical things. Some young women would probably prefer a new high end phone every year for the next five years over a $5k mined diamond.

Either way, de beers can't stop it. If that's their goal, then they are going to need to shift gears, and I'm sure they will eventually.

That could be. I didn't care for their ring offerings that much either. But even if they claim it's a flop for them someone else smarter might try and squeeze in. I'm already surprised and interested to see man made diamonds being requested as much as I have seen so far.
I agree. Someone will squeeze in. Hopefully someone who is ready to truly COMPETE for customers through the prices of their stones. De beers is in the perfect position to do this right now. But within the next few years, more and more companies will be fighting for their part of the affordable mmd market.
 

MRBXXXFVVS1

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Messages
449
I wouldn't be surprised if De Beers launched another flanker brand for lab diamond engagement rings.

I was a huge fan of Lightbox and its marketing campaign of lab diamonds for $800 a carat, until I went to see the diamonds in person this week. In my humble opinion, the diamonds had decent scintillation and fire, however something felt off. It definitely felt like fashion jewelry and the stones looked like CZs to me. They didn't have the depth and character of earth mined stones aesthetically. The stones that were in the store were all 0.5ct or smaller, so I'm curious what their larger stones are like. I thought I was going to love Lightbox diamonds, but I think I just might prefer earth mined even if it costs significantly more.
 

vintageloves

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 30, 2013
Messages
392
If Lightbox is a plant to ruin the lab diamond industry, it's done a poor job of it. In 18 months, the demand for lab has not gone down and the prices have not cratered to the $800/ct price point. And if set up to fail, it is odd that they are expanding into bracelets and rings and offering new styles. I wonder when the sabotage begins, because right now it just looks like a lot of people happy to own affordable diamonds and having a good time.
 

mrsthirdcharms

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Messages
83
I had to stop commenting on the IG because I was going to get blocked lol. They are marketing to millennials and their ads show 20somethings wearing 3k worth of lightbox jewelry. I asked them how is a Starbucks manager supposed to afford that and their market is the mothers of these women.

I also told them their rings are stupid, lol.
I wrote a review on their pierced round one carat pendant, complaining about the fact that they didn’t offer any round stones in settings that could be re-mounted; after all, we buy the stones, we should be able to do what we want with them- and the rounds of that size had holes drilled into them to discourage resetting. They wrote me back, with a lot of legal disclaimers in the boilerplate of the email, stating that they will be offering one carat rounds next year, and they will be set in gold as well as silver prong settings. So they’re listening. I wonder how the cut quality will be. I hope it stays consistent, or improves. I also hope they start offering 1.25, 1.5....maybe cut some OEC’s while they’re at it.
 

whitewave

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
9,639
If Lightbox is a plant to ruin the lab diamond industry, it's done a poor job of it. In 18 months, the demand for lab has not gone down and the prices have not cratered to the $800/ct price point. And if set up to fail, it is odd that they are expanding into bracelets and rings and offering new styles. I wonder when the sabotage begins, because right now it just looks like a lot of people happy to own affordable diamonds and having a good time.
Yet I only know of two people here who have lightbox stones and they had a blow out clearance sale a few months ago. So we could probably use some financials to discuss how it’s selling.
 

mrsthirdcharms

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Messages
83
Here’s a link to DeBeers preliminary financial results for 2018

 

Miss_LK

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 2, 2018
Messages
70
Here’s a link to DeBeers preliminary financial results for 2018

Would an analysis of this actually give us information on the success, or lack thereof, of Lightbox? I kind of skimmed through it, but since it was for the year of 2018, I don't think Lightbox greatly impacted their revenue. Although they probably spent quite a bit on Lightbox. It'll be interesting to see how the year 2019 stacks up. I do know that I recently saw an article stating that they had seen an increase of sales or revenue. Idr exactly what it said. I'll go find it and post it for anyone that's interested.
 

Miss_LK

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 2, 2018
Messages
70

I don't believe this reflects on how Lightbox is doing.

Edited the link. I accidentally posted an invalid one.
 

vintageloves

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 30, 2013
Messages
392
Yet I only know of two people here who have lightbox stones and they had a blow out clearance sale a few months ago. So we could probably use some financials to discuss how it’s selling.
By "here" do you mean pricescope? Because there are definitely more than two of us who own Lightbox. I definitely would be curious to see the financials as well.
 
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