By Lenore Fedow
lenore.fedow@nationaljeweler.com
Lightbox is ramping up its production capabilities, opening a new lab-grown diamond manufacturing facility.
Gresham, Ore.—Lightbox, the De Beers-owned lab-grown diamond brand, is cutting the ribbon on its $94 million manufacturing lab just outside of Portland, Oregon.

As production ramps up, 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 in a press release announcing the opening.

“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 two-story white building resembles the facets of a diamond.

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The space includes a production floor, mechanical and electrical support spaces, labs, offices, and conference rooms.

The facility will employ 60 full-time engineers, technicians, and administrative personnel.


On the first floor sits a central command station, situated to oversee the lab-grown diamond production space, as well as meeting spaces and a dining area.

The second floor houses office space, with an overlook down to the ground floor.

Both floors will have a view of custom art installations, inspired by the lab-grown diamond fabrication process, Lightbox said.

The brand held a virtual opening of the new facility Thursday to give a closer look at the space.

The presentation opened with a greeting from Adam O’Grady, general manager of the Lightbox lab, who spoke about the company’s journey and why it chose Gresham, Oregon to be the site of the new facility.

“It provides us with access to a very high-quality renewable electrical infrastructure, which is capable of meeting both our immediate power requirements but was also future-proof for growth.”

O’Grady praised the Portland metro area and noted that many employees are from the surrounding area.

Coe answered a few questions sent in by attendees.

On the topic of larger diamonds, Coe said it was possible Lightbox may supply stones over 1-carat in size.

“It’s still a little too early to confirm, but I can say, watch this space,” he said.

“I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a few 2-carat stones appearing in some of our jewelry during 2021.”

De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver spoke next, lamenting that the Lightbox lab opening was unable to happen in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cleaver clarified Lightbox’s space in the De Beers portfolio.

“De Beers is a natural diamond business and will always be a natural diamond business,” he said, but highlighted the lab’s ability to scale its lab-grown diamond capabilities.

The company recently announced a partnership with jewelry e-tailer giant Blue Nile, launching an exclusive collection of fashion jewelry on its site earlier this week.

SEE: Inside the New Lightbox Facility




TAGS:   Lab-Grown
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