Until now, De Beers' laboratory-grown diamond jewelry brand Lightbox has issued no grading reports about its diamonds, enabling it to keep its pricing is straightforward ($800 a carat, $400 for a half carat, $200 for a quarter carat). De Beers says it approach the product in this way because man-made stones are mass-produced and do not deserve the individual attention that mined diamonds get. This is - to limited extent - set to change, as Lightbox will now include some basic grading information to its white diamonds larger than 0.2 carats, but it will still be a different grade scale than the one typically used for natural stones.
Lightbox will be using general grade ranges instead of the color and clarity scales typically used at diamond grading labs. Notably, they will not grade each individual stone, rather they will assume that if a stone has passed its manufacturing standards, it will automatically fall within the specified minimum quality range: "Every white Lightbox lab-grown diamond has been measured as near colorless. This is technically defined at between G and J," their website reads. "Every white Lightbox lab-grown diamond has been measured as VS or better. Every Lightbox lab-grown diamond has been measured as 'Very Good'." As a result of this strategy, pricing will still be independent of grading; all Lightbox lab-grown diamonds are priced at $800 per carat.
Lightbox chief executive officer Steve Coe told JCK's Rob Bates that Lightbox can offer these specifications since it has a “rigorous quality-control process in place,” so there is little difference from one stone to the next. Coe said, “Our customers wanted clarification. They asked a reasonable question: What is the quality of what you are selling here?” But the brand didn’t feel the need to include anything more, Bates writes. Coe: “We don’t believe it’s worth the extra cost to individually grade each stone. In practice, some could be an H, some could be an I, some could be Js. The manufacturing process makes the diamonds basically identical. There may be a slight difference between them, but we don’t think it will add any greater value to put more information."