Blue Nile Moves into Lab-Grown Diamonds

Lab-GrownNov 08, 2022

Blue Nile Moves into Lab-Grown Diamonds

The jewelry company is now selling lab-grown diamonds loose and set in engagement rings.

Blue Nile, recently acquired by Signet Jewelers, is now selling lab-grown diamonds loose and set in engagement rings. Pictured is the Blue Nile showroom in Silicon Valley in California.
Akron, Ohio—Blue Nile, fresh from its Signet Jewelers acquisition, is now selling lab-grown diamonds loose and set in engagement rings.
Previously, the retailer offered fashion fine jewelry with lab-grown diamonds from De Beers-owned brand Lightbox, but this marks its first foray into the lab-grown bridal category.
Blue Nile’s website has a “build your own ring” feature, allowing shoppers to customize their own engagement rings.
That feature now includes the option to choose a lab-grown diamond.
“Made for your moment. An affordable and sustainable option, our lab-grown diamonds are virtually indistinguishable from a natural stone,” the website reads.
At press time, customers can choose from 5,913 lab-grown diamonds in a variety of shapes with the ability to filter by different characteristics pertaining to the 4Cs. 
The most expensive option is a 4.19-carat round lab-grown diamond that is an ideal cut, D-color stone with VVS2 clarity for $36,536. 
The most affordable option is a 0.76-carat emerald-cut lab-grown diamond graded as very good cut, D-color, and VS2 clarity for $816.
The site also lets customers filter by delivery date with many options taking just a week to arrive.
 Related stories will be right here … 
Industry analyst Paul Zimnisky recently tweeted about the Blue Nile development, noting that parent company Signet did not wait long to introduce lab-grown diamond engagement rings and loose stones to the newly acquired company.
“I am kind of surprised in that I thought Signet would reserve Blue Nile as its higher-end e-commerce platform, only selling natural diamonds outside of Lightbox fashion jewelry,” said Zimnisky in a statement to National Jeweler.
When Signet initially announced its Blue Nile acquisition, it said the purchase was intended to boost bridal offerings and digital capabilities.
The company was placed at the top of its “Accessible Luxury” portfolio, which also includes Jared, James Allen, and also recently acquired Diamonds Direct.
“I think this move is further commoditizing these online diamond selling platforms, and could have a longer-term negative impact on the Blue Nile business,” added Zimnisky.
“I think [Signet CEO] Gina Drosos has done a lot right for Signet since she has been at the helm. In general, the company seems to be in a strong position, especially given the macro backdrop. However, I think she could be making a longer-term strategic mistake with the way the company is now positioning lab-diamonds with natural diamonds side by side,” he said.
Notably, fellow Signet banner James Allen and competitor Brilliant Earth have similar “create your own” ring builders, offering natural and lab-grown diamonds.
Signet Jewelers and Blue Nile did not respond to requests for comment.
Lenore Fedowis the associate editor, news at National Jeweler, covering the retail beat and the business side of jewelry.

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