Lightbox’s Lab-grown Diamonds Certified Carbon-neutral

Lightbox is continuing toward its goal of setting lab-grown diamond industry standards.

On Friday, the De Beers subsidiary revealed that its stones and stone production process have been certified fully carbon neutral by a third-party consultancy. This comes as the company opens a pop-up retail concept in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in partnership with Showfields.

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Lightbox said 100 percent of its energy source comes from renewable wind energy that is harvested in Portland, Oregon, and provided by Portland General Electric Green Future Enterprise.

Remaining carbon emissions are offset by the company engaging in certified sustainable initiatives, which support the expansion of renewable energy infrastructure.

“The important point is that we have been able to certify that our carbon footprint was neutral — for the lab-grown process, the synthesis from the foot of the stone to the final stone. It’s not that we are only using carbon-neutral energy or raw materials — it’s everything from energy to transportation,” said chief executive officer Antoine Borde.

“We have cut down emissions drastically across the entire value chain,” he said.

By utilizing wind energy, Lightbox has cut its total company-wide emissions by 79 percent. The company’s headquarters are based in Grescham, Oregon — a location that was strategically chosen for its proximity to strong wind energy providers.

Lab-grown diamonds use an enormous amount of energy to create — a caveat often highlighted by the natural diamond industry as proof that lab stones are not as sustainable as some providers claim.

In 2020, a group of industry experts launched Aether — a lab-grown diamond company with luxury positioning that grows its diamonds from carbon captured in the air. With Lightbox stones now certified carbon neutral, the lab-grown industry as a whole may see wider shifts.

Lightbox's pop-up with Showfields.
Lightbox’s pop-up with Showfields.

But for Lightbox, which is of course linked to De Beers, “We are not in the comparison of natural versus lab-grown stones. We are seeing the market evolve because consumers are more educated on lab grown and more aware and conscious of quality and the nature of the product. Lightbox has the position of very competitive and transparent pricing for high-quality stones that are now made with 100 percent renewable energy,” said Borde.

The executive said that lab-grown diamonds continue to be popular for engagement rings. Due to their transparent per-carat pricing, which de Beers has set at $800, the stones are also increasingly popular in self-purchasing transactions.

Lightbox diamonds are offered in sizes ranging from 0.25 carats up to 2 carats. They come in white, blue and pink — all offered at the same per-carat price.

“And so we are pursuing the positioning of the brand around fashion, freedom, fun — it’s a good dynamic that we are seeing this happen,” said Borde. Lightbox recently released more fashion-driven collections to appeal to a self-purchasing client.

With fashion in mind, the company is opening a retail experience in Brooklyn as part of the House of Showfields. Lightbox has moved into a 250-square-foot space on the concept store’s first floor where it will remain through November.

“The location itself allows us to target a younger demographic. When we look at Williamsburg, we thought it was a place where the brand would resonate and connect with consumers. When you are the lab-grown space you need to find shoppers that are a bit curious to understand what’s behind it,” said Borde.

Prices at the pop-up will range from $250 to $3,700.

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