Richline Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, announced that it is partnering with both JCPenney and Macy’s to introduce its new jewelry brand, Grown With Love, Lab Grown Diamonds this holiday season. As JCK reports, the line will include fashion as well as bridal components. "The Macy’s line will include stones up to 3 cts., while the J.C. Penney line tops off at around 1.5 cts. The center stones in the collection are grown by Washington Diamond Corp.; the melee-size diamonds were produced in China." Prices will range from $500 to $10,000, whereas De Beers' Lightbox laboratory grown fashion jewelry, also recently launched, tops out at around $900 ($800 per carat).
“We believe that Lab Grown Diamonds are appropriate for every important occasion, and can celebrate both bridal and non-bridal events, even self-purchase,” said Lindsey Scarlata Woodruff, Vice President Marketing for Richline Group. All diamonds in the Grown With Love collection are certified by the International Gemological Institute. Richline Group, together with JCPenney and Macy’s, says they are committed to helping educate consumers of their new choice. Richline’s partner retailers will receive dedicated training on the integrity, grading and analysis of these lab grown stones. Ramona Genao-Archibald, Executive Vice President of Sales and Merchandising for Richline Jewelry added, “We are not making the decision for the consumer, we are providing information so that they can make the choice that is best for them.”
Mark Hanna, Richline Group Chief Marketing Officer, also emphasized the focus on education and choice. “Richline is proud to be presenting an educated choice. We truly, continually believe in the rarity and romance of mined diamonds. However, the consumer now has an option to judge value and social responsibility as a personal choice.” They are also playing the ethical card, stating on their press release, "The stones are, by nature, conflict-free and grown above ground, with clean technology, that works to lessen environmental impact," though Woodruff told JCK's Rob Bates that they are exercising caution regarding their claims. “We don’t say ‘eco-friendly’ and ‘environmentally friendly’. There is really nothing in this world that is eco-friendly. The only thing that is truly environmentally friendly is not consuming." Richline senior vice president of product development Michael Milgrom told him, “We would never say that one type of diamond is better than one other,” he adds. “This is a choice in the market. We go very softly with the environmental impact [claims]. It takes a lot of electricity to grow these stones. It doesn’t take a lot of electricity to mine them. But with these stones, you are not displacing earth. So it’s a different impact.”