U.S. retail sales rose last month in spite of the rising Delta variant and supply chain constraints.
Lightbox is Headed to Blue Nile
The De Beers-owned lab-grown diamond brand is also cutting the ribbon on a new production facility just outside of Portland, Oregon.
The De Beers-owned lab-grown diamond brand is partnering with jewelry e-tailer heavyweight Blue Nile on a new collection.
It will be the first time in Blue Nile’s 21-year history it has sold lab-grown diamonds.
“We’ve been watching the lab-grown diamond market for some time,” said Blue Nile CEO Sean Kell in a statement to National Jeweler, noting that both natural and lab-grown diamonds have a place in the market.
“Our belief is natural diamonds will continue to be the product of choice to represent engagement and significant consumer commitments and milestones,” said Kell, adding that lab-grown diamonds, due to their “brilliant colors and accessible price point,” are a perfect fit for fashion jewelry.
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Parent company De Beers operates under a similar sentiment, reserving natural diamonds for momentous occasions, while promoting Lightbox’s lab-grown diamonds as a fun, cost-effective alternative for self-purchasers or not-quite-milestone occasions.
The collection will feature earrings, pendants, bracelets, and rings, available in 14-karat white and yellow gold with white, pink, and blue lab-grown diamonds.
SEE: The Lightbox x Blue Nile Collection
Available exclusively on Blue Nile’s website, the pieces range in price from $600 to $1,750.
“Since lab-grown diamonds are a rising trend, launching a collection in partnership with the brand that knows lab-grown best, Lightbox, is a natural progression for Blue Nile,” said Kell.
The collaboration follows Blue Nile’s recently announced brick-and-mortar expansion, which includes plans to open 50 new locations in the top 50 metro-area markets in the U.S. over the next three years.
Lightbox is undergoing its own expansion, expanding its wholesale distribution network to 28 additional stores owned by 10 different jewelers, just a year after its initial move into brick-and-mortar stores.
The brand is upping its manufacturing capabilities as well, opening a $94 million lab just outside of Portland, Oregon.
The new, 60,000-square-foot facility will produce 200,000 carats of lab-grown diamonds annually.
“The opening of this facility is a true milestone for the company,” Lightbox CEO Steve Coe said.
“Manufacturing lab-grown diamonds in the U.S. was a goal from the beginning, and we are so proud to have achieved it with this state-of-the-art laboratory in a region that has become a hub for advanced industries.”
Designed by Chicago-based architecture firm Sheehan Nagle Hartray, the white building resembles the facets of a diamond.
The two-story building, featuring a production floor and office space, will hold 60 full-time engineers, technicians, and administrative personnel.
Lightbox will hold a virtual opening of the new facility Thursday to give a closer look into the space.
It showcases the brand’s signature motifs in new ways.
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