The First LVMH Lab-Grown Diamond High Jewelry Is Here

EditorsOct 18, 2023

The First LVMH Lab-Grown Diamond High Jewelry Is Here

Fred Jewelry is utilizing lab-grown colored diamonds, raising some interesting questions.

Fred Audacious Blue
Fred Jewelry recently unveiled five lab-grown blue diamonds, one loose stone weighing 8.88 carats and four half-carat diamonds set in a high jewelry collection called "Force 10 Duality."
Parisian luxury brand Fred Jewelry is regarded for its exquisite and distinctive creations. 

The maison, owned by LVMH, has focused lately on a specific shade of blue, a hue reminiscent of the vibrant French Riviera.

The color was particularly special to the brand’s late founder and lover of the sea, Fred Samuel.

The tone served as a warm reminder of his childhood and the palette of the Mediterranean Sea, changing and sparkling as the sun moves across the sky.

This summer, the brand unveiled the “Happy Blue Shades,” a collection of pieces featuring its Riviera blue through stones such as aquamarine, blue topaz, sapphire, lapis lazuli, turquoise, and amazonite, all meant to channel the glistening waters of the sea.

The color was integrated into pieces in the “Force 10,” “Chance Infinie,” “Pretty Woman” and “Pain de Sucre” lines, four of the brand’s well-known collections. 

Recently, Fred announced its newest offering on the theme—a lab-grown diamond in its beloved Riveria blue.

Named the “Fred Audacious Blue,” the brand billed it as, “the very first blue lab-grown diamond, the first in the maison’s history.” 

8.88 carat Fred Audacious Blue
The 8.88-carat “Fred Audacious Blue” is the first lab-grown diamond French brand Fred has used in its jewelry.

The loose diamond weighs 8.88 carats, symbolic of Samuel’s birthday in August 1908 and his first store opening in the eighth arrondissement of Paris.

Fred also introduced four smaller diamonds of the same color. 

The gemstones, 0.5-carat each, are featured in four new pieces that are part of an exclusive high jewelry set, “Force 10 Duality,” inspired by the brand’s original Force 10 collection. 

In each piece, the blue lab-grown diamonds are set with natural white diamonds, which Fred calls a “union between tradition and technology.”

Each stone was graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and cut in the brand’s proprietary 36-facet “Hero Cut,” first unveiled in 2022 and intentionally chosen for its appearance of a boat sail combined with a shield. It’s also a symbolic callback to the company’s founding year, 1936.

The Force 10 Duality set and the 8-carat Fred Audacious Blue will be showcased by appointment only at the Parisian jeweler’s Rue de la Paix flagship before starting a trunk show-style tour in Seoul, South Korea, in November, according to WWD.

Making The Grade
Creating the lab-grown blue diamond required what Fred said was a “skillful blend of savoir-faire and strong technical expertise.” 

The 8.88-carat final product required a sizeable rough stone, specifically one weighing about 36 carats. 

Fred CEO Charles Leung told WWD the diamond had taken several years of research, and that the company worked with European and American experts to produce the diamonds using the chemical vapor deposition process, or CVD. Fred also said the diamond is “fully traceable,” but did not name its partners.

The company said replicating the Audacious Blue took 18 months of technique development to “perfect and stabilize” the color.

Though LVMH did not respond to a request for comment for this story by press time, it has been widely reported that its lab-grown blue diamonds are graded fancy vivid greenish-blue with a VS or higher clarity grade.

While GIA uses a D-to-Z grading system for white diamonds to indicate the level of colorlessness, fancy color diamonds are graded in order of increasing color strength, from faint, very light, light, fancy light and fancy to fancy intense, fancy vivid, fancy dark and fancy deep. 

Naturally occurring colored diamonds have been found in a full spectrum of colors, but GIA said only one in 10,000 natural diamonds has a fancy color, with blue diamonds among the rarest. One GIA researcher estimated that blue diamonds make up only 0.02 percent of mined diamonds.

Colored diamonds occur because of impurities or structural defects within the chemical composition of the gemstone. 

Some environments produce colored diamonds with a secondary color. In that case, GIA includes a modifier to indicate it. Blue diamonds can have secondary colors like gray, green or violet.

Larry West, a wholesaler specializing in natural colored diamonds and an owner of LJ West Diamonds Inc., said that generally, a grade of a single color is rarer, but factors like size and strength of color all help determine the stone’s true value.

“Two colors is not as good as the straight color,” said West. “In general, people pay less for the greenish-blue [than a straight blue], but once you get into the ultra, best colors, it becomes so rare, especially regarding the size. 

“Theoretically, if you have a vivid greenish-blue, it could be worth as much or more, in general.”

The Question of Price  
As is the case with all natural colored diamonds, those with fancy intense and fancy vivid grades generally command the highest prices. For blues, especially large sizes, that can mean a price tag of millions per carat

However, just like with colorless diamonds, lab-grown colored diamond prices are much lower than their natural counterparts. 

Last year at JCK, wholesaler Green Rocks Diamonds displayed a variety of lab-grown colored diamonds, some set in jewelry, in a range of hues—including blues—and sizes of up to 13 carats. Green Rocks produced the stones in partnership with Fire Diamonds, which performed the color treatment. 
When National Jeweler reported on the partnership, the offering consisted of 15 pieces with retail price points ranging from $2,499 to $65,000. 

Leung told WWD the four pieces in the Force 10 Duality set are priced at 540,000 euros total, or $569,808, on par with the price if Fred had used white natural diamonds as center stones, according to Leung. 

However, he said the 8.88-carat loose lab-grown blue diamond does not yet have a price. 

When I asked West what he thought, ballpark, the Fred Audacious Blue would be priced at in comparison with a natural 8-carat fancy vivid greenish blue diamond, he said a mined stone of that size and with a color distinction of vivid, likely may never exist. 

If it did, it would be the largest of its kind, and would fetch an incredibly high price. 

Setting Itself Apart 
Colorless lab-grown diamonds today are indistinguishable from their mined counterparts, and the side-by-side comparison is a tool often used to accentuate the difference in pricing.  

However, once lab-grown colored diamonds reach a certain caliber, like the Audacious Blue, they may not have a comparable mined mate due to the rarity of these stones in nature.  

With the capability to manufacture diamonds with no mined counterpart for comparison, it not only raises the interesting question of price, but also that of new opportunities in the colored lab-grown diamond space.  

 “If you do want to sell a lab diamond as a premium product, you better do something different, and I think this is a great example.” — Paul Zimnisky, industry analyst

Perhaps LVMH knows this already.

Last year, LVMH Luxury Ventures invested in Israel-based lab-grown producer Lusix, which uses solar energy to power its facilities. At the time of the announcement at the JCK Las Vegas show, Lusix said it was able to both control the shape of the diamond and grow them in different colors.

When LVMH-owned Fred revealed an 8.88-carat blue lab-grown diamond, industry analyst Paul Zimnisky was hardly surprised.

“If there was going to be one jewelry banner within the LVMH organization [using lab-grown diamonds], it seemed like it probably would be Fred,” he said. “I would describe them as the most modern and the most progressive brand within LVMH. It seems to make sense.”

Though Leung told WWD the Audacious Blue was not meant to be a “change in strategy” for the brand, Zimnisky said he thinks their creative approach in this one-off endeavor is a good example of extracting value from the lab-grown concept.

“Doing something that’s not found in nature, I think that’s where the edge is going to be and that’s where the opportunity is going to be,” Zimnisky said.

“If you do want to sell a lab diamond as a premium product, you better do something different, and I think this is a great example.”

While Fred is the first of the LVMH brands to use lab-grown diamonds in a high jewelry collection, it isn’t the group’s first dealing with the stones.

In a similar one-time offering, TAG Heuer used lab-grown diamonds, both colorless and pink in its timepieces. 

The watches are yet another example of where lab-grown diamonds allowed for an opportunity that likely wouldn’t otherwise be possible. 

“If you look at the TAG Heuer watch, they used polycrystalline [diamond plates], so the actual face of the watch is diamond,” Zimnisky said. “Obviously, you could never do that with single-crystal natural diamond.” 

 Related stories will be right here … 

The Latest

Joyce’s Jewelry
TechnologyApr 15, 2024
Judge Rules Jeweler’s Lawsuit Against PNC Bank Can Move Forward

Joyce’s Jewelry sued the bank after cybercriminals drained its accounts of nearly $1.6 million through a series of wire transfers.

Alfred W. DeScenza
IndependentsApr 15, 2024
Alfred W. DeScenza of DeScenza Diamonds Dies at 95

He is remembered by loved ones for his loyalty, integrity, and kindness.

Madeleine K. Albright
AuctionsApr 15, 2024
Madeleine K. Albright Jewelry, Pins Coming to Auction

Hosted by Freeman’s | Hindman, the sale will take place May 7-8.

Brought to you by
The Blueprint for Success in Scalable, Personalized Jewelry Retail

With Ho Brothers, you can unlock your brand's true potential and offer customers the personalized jewelry experiences they desire.

Audemars Piguet circa 1985 emerald car watch
AuctionsApr 15, 2024
All of Sotheby’s ‘Rough Diamonds’ Sold in Less Than an Hour

The auction house said all 24 timepieces offered in its underground sale of rare and avant-garde watches quickly found buyers.

Weekly QuizApr 11, 2024
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge with this seven-question quiz.
Take the Quiz
AGS Conclave 2024 logo Austin
Events & AwardsApr 15, 2024
10 Can’t-Miss Sessions at AGS Conclave 2024

From lab-grown diamonds and AI to the inevitable Taylor Swift mention, here are some of Conclave’s most intriguing educational offerings.

My Next Question webinar
Recorded WebinarsApr 12, 2024
Watch: What Jewelers Need to Know About Insurance

From cybersecurity liability to trade show coverage, insurance experts share tips on how to build the right policy.

Jewelers of America Fly In Washington, D.C.
Brought to you by
How Jewelers of America Represents Your Business

For over 30 years, JA has advocated for the industry, fought against harmful legislation and backed measures that help jewelry businesses.

Evil Eye Charm with Turquoise Disc
CollectionsApr 12, 2024
Piece of the Week: Lionheart’s Evil Eye Gemstone Charm

The charm is a modern rendition of the evil eye amulet that has been worn for thousands of years.

The Jewelry Symposium scholarship winners 2024
Events & AwardsApr 12, 2024
The Jewelry Symposium Announces 4 Scholarship Winners

Ahead of its trade show next month, TJS awarded free registration and accommodations to one jewelry professional and three students.

SRK Empire and SRK House
Policies & IssuesApr 11, 2024
SRK Exports’ Journey Toward Net Zero Impact

By the end of this year, SRK’s diamond manufacturing complexes will achieve net zero emissions, one of an impressive array of achievements.

AGTA logo
Lab-GrownApr 11, 2024
AGTA Bans Lab-Grown Diamonds, Gemstones at GemFair

Members can still sell lab-grown stones, it said, but only natural gems are allowed on the show floor.

Steven Rosdal
IndependentsApr 11, 2024
Steven Rosdal, Co-Founder of Hyde Park Jewelers, Dies at 77

He is remembered for his charisma, passion, integrity, kindness, and wit.

Macy’s Herald Square store
MajorsApr 11, 2024
Macy’s Opens Books for Possible Buyout

The retailer also appointed two new board members, avoiding a proxy fight from a potential buyer.

Sylvie Jewelry model
CollectionsApr 10, 2024
Sylvie Launches New Nature-Inspired Collection, ‘Tulira’

The bridal collection consists of 35 engagement rings and seven wedding bands.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Deepsea in 18-karat yellow gold
WatchesApr 10, 2024
These Are Rolex’s New Watches for 2024

The crown introduced a dozen timepieces in Geneva, including a heavy metal version of its deep-sea divers’ watch.

Levy’s Fine Jewelry diamond education
IndependentsApr 10, 2024
Levy's Fine Jewelry Explores Diamond History

The family-owned jeweler has a new education section on its website dedicated to the history of diamond cutting.

With Clarity NFL wedding bands
CollectionsApr 10, 2024
With Clarity Partners With NFL on Wedding Bands

The limited-edition men’s rings can be customized with one of 12 team logos.

Asian Star’s diamond manufacturing facility in India
SourcingApr 10, 2024
Compliance, Caution, and Concern: The Current Outlook of Indian Diamantaires

There is a willingness to comply with new government-mandated regulations, with an insistence that they should be practical and realistic.

Chrono24 watch inspection lab
WatchesApr 09, 2024
Chrono24 Debuts Pre-Owned Watch Authentication Program

The program, now live in Europe, will roll out to the U.S. this summer.

6.21-carat fancy vivid pink diamond
AuctionsApr 09, 2024
Phillips to Offer 6.21-Carat Vivid Pink Diamond

Colored gemstones and signed jewels are the focus of its upcoming Geneva sale.

Lucapa rough colorless and pink diamonds
SourcingApr 09, 2024
Former De Beers Exec Appointed to Lucapa Board

Stuart Brown, who was De Beers’ CFO and interim CEO, is now Lucapa’s independent non-executive chairman.

Jewelers for Children POS System Donations
MajorsApr 09, 2024
Jewel360 Announces New POS Integration, JFC Partnership

The point-of-sale software can now prompt customers to round up their credit card purchases as a donation to Jewelers for Children.

Bharat Ratnam, a Mega Common Facilitation Centre (CFC)
SourcingApr 09, 2024
Reinvigorating SEEPZ, the Epicenter of India’s Studded Jewelry Exports

The zone’s modernization will enhance and increase India’s jewelry manufacturing capabilities while aiding small and mid-sized businesses.

Charles & Colvard moissanite bypass engagement ring
SourcingApr 08, 2024
Charles & Colvard Debuts B2B Portal for Moissanite

Select independent jewelers and retailers can now purchase moissanite through Charles & Colvard Direct.

Amber Rank
Events & AwardsApr 08, 2024
AGS Announces First Recipient of ‘Women in Leadership’ Scholarship

Amber Rank of Exclusively Diamonds will receive mentorship, registration to AGS’s 2024 Conclave, and $500.

Jaeger-LeCoultre citrine pinky-ring watch
AuctionsApr 08, 2024
Sotheby’s ‘Rough Diamonds’ Sale Is All About … Watches

The auction will take place Thursday and is underground, literally.


This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy