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全球最大钻石商为什么要卖合成钻石?

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2018/05/29 20:11
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New strategy will undercut prices of lab-grown diamonds

Company had long vowed never to sell man-made diamond jewelryDe Beers, which almost single-handedly created the allure of diamonds as rare, expensive and the symbol of eternal love, now wants to sell you some party jewelry that is anything but.

 

新战略将降低实验室生产的钻石的价格。

公司早就发誓永远不卖人造钻石首饰。戴比尔斯几乎是单枪匹马地创造了钻石的魅力,因为它稀有,昂贵,象征着永恒的爱情,现在,它想卖给你一些“派对”上的珠宝,这绝不是什么都不可能的。

 

The company announced today that it will start selling man-made diamond jewelry at a fraction of the price of mined gems, marking a historic shift for the world’s biggest diamond miner, which vowed for years that it wouldn’t sell stones created in laboratories. The strategy is designed to undercut rival lab-diamond makers, who having been trying to make inroads into the $80 billion gem industry.De Beers will target younger spenders with its new diamond brand and try to capture customers that have been resistant to splurging on expensive jewelry. The company is betting that it can split the market -- with mined gems in luxury settings and engagement rings at the top, and lab-made fashion jewelry aimed at millennials at the bottom.

 

该公司今天宣布,将开始以开采钻石的一小部分价格销售人造钻石首饰,这标志着这家全球最大钻石矿商的历史性转变。这家全球最大的钻石矿商多年来一直发誓不会出售实验室生产的钻石。该战略旨在削弱竞争对手实验室-钻石制造商,他们一直试图打入价值800亿美元的宝石行业。戴比尔斯将以新的钻石品牌为目标,瞄准年轻的消费者,并试图吸引那些不愿在昂贵珠宝上挥霍的客户。该公司押注的是,它可以分割市场-在奢华的环境下开采宝石,顶部是订婚戒指,底层是实验室制作的针对千禧一代的时尚首饰。

 

‘Not Special’

“Lab grown are not special, they’re not real, they’re not unique. You can make exactly the same one again and again,” Bruce Cleaver, chief executive officer of De Beers, said in an interview Tuesday.

 

“非特殊” 

实验室生长的宝石并不特殊,它们不是真实的,也不是独一无二的。你可以一次又一次地做同样的事情,“戴比尔斯首席执行官布鲁斯·克莱弗(BruceCleaver)周二接受采访时说。

 

Unlike imitation gems such as cubic zirconia, diamonds grown in labs have the same physical characteristics and chemical makeup as mined stones. They’re made from a carbon seed placed in a microwave chamber and superheated into a glowing plasma ball. The process creates particles that can eventually crystallize into diamonds in weeks. The technology is so advanced that experts need a machine to distinguish between synthesized and mined gems.

 

与人造宝石如立方氧化锆不同,在实验室中生长的钻石具有与开采的石头相同的物理特性和化学成分。它们是由放置在微波室中的碳种子制成的,过热后会变成一个发光的等离子球。这个过程产生的粒子最终会在几周内结晶成钻石。这项技术是如此先进,以至于专家们需要一台机器来区分合成宝石和开采宝石。

 

A host of lab-grown diamond makers and retailers have sprung up in recent years. Diamond Foundry, one of the biggest producers, grows diamonds in a California laboratory and has been backed by Leonardo DiCaprio. Warren Buffett’s Helzberg’s Diamond Shops Inc. also sells the stones.

 

近年来,大量实验室培育的钻石生产商和零售商纷纷涌现。钻石铸造公司是美国最大的钻石生产商之一,在加州的一个实验室里生产钻石,并得到了莱昂纳多·迪卡普里奥的支持。沃伦·巴菲特(Warren Buffett)旗下的Helzberg钻石店公司也出售这些钻石。

 

Customers are currently “confused” by the difference between mined and lab-produced diamonds, Cleaver said. De Beers is hoping to create big price gap with its new product, which will sell under the name Lightbox in the U.S. A 1-carat man-made diamond sells for about $4,000 and a similar natural diamond fetches roughly $8,000. The lab diamonds from De Beers will sell for about $800 a carat.

 

Cleaver说,客户目前对所开采的钻石和实验室生产的钻石之间的差异感到“困惑”.戴比尔斯希望与其新产品创造巨大的价格差距,新产品将在美国以Lightbox的名义销售。一颗1克拉人造钻石的售价约为4000美元,而类似的天然钻石售价约为8000美元。来自戴比尔斯的实验室钻石将以每克拉800美元的价格出售。

 

Lowest Cost

Still, De Beers says that its move isn’t to disrupt existing lab-diamond producers, but create a small, profitable business in its own right.

 

最低成本

尽管如此,戴比尔斯说,其举措并不是破坏现有的实验室钻石生产商,而是创造一个小的,有利可图的业务本身。

 

Given we are the lowest-cost producer, we can make a good business out of this,” Cleaver said. “We have the tools, why wouldn’t we do this?”

 

考虑到我们是成本最低的生产商,我们可以利用这一点来创造一个好生意。“克里弗说。“我们有工具,为什么不这么做呢?”

 

De Beers is so adamant that the man-made diamonds are not competing with mined stones that it will not grade them in the traditional way. That’s a stark contrast to current man-made sellers who offer ratings such as clarity and color, replicating terminology used for natural stones.

 

戴比尔斯非常坚定,以至于人造钻石没有与开采出来的钻石竞争,因此它不会按照传统的方式对它们进行评级。这与目前的人造卖家形成了鲜明的对比,后者提供清晰度和颜色等评级,复制了天然宝石的术语。

 

We’re not grading our lab-grown diamonds because we don’t think they deserve to be graded,” Cleaver said. “They’re all the same.”

 

我们没有对实验室生产的钻石进行评级,因为我们认为它们不应该被分级,”克里弗说。“他们都一样”

 

The pricing strategy will also be different. De Beers plans to charge $200 for a quarter-carat, $400 for a half and $800 for a carat, another sharp break from natural stones that rise exponentially in price the bigger the diamond gets.

 

定价策略也会有所不同。戴比尔斯计划对四分之一克拉的钻石收取200美元,半克拉400美元,一克拉800美元,这也是钻石越大,天然宝石的价格就会指数上升的另一个急剧突破。

 

 

Man-Made Gems

While De Beers has never sold man-made diamonds for jewelry before, it’s very good at making them. The company’s Element Six unit is one of the world’s leading producers of synthetic diamonds, which are mostly used for industrial purposes. It has also been producing gem-quality stones for years to help it tell the difference  between natural and man-made types and to reassure consumers that they’re buying the real thing.

 

人造宝石

虽然戴比尔斯以前从未出售过人造钻石饰品,但它非常擅长制作它们。该公司的Element Six是世界上主要的人造钻石生产商之一,这些钻石主要用于工业用途。多年来,该公司也一直在生产宝石质量的宝石,以帮助它分辨出天然和人造宝石的不同之处,并让消费者放心,他们正在购买真正的钻石。

 

Man-made gems currently make up a small part of the diamond market, but demand is increasing. Global diamond production was about 142 million carats last year, according to analyst Paul Zimnisky. That compares with lab production of less than 4.2 million carats, according to Bonas & Co.

 

人造宝石目前只占钻石市场的一小部分,但需求却在增长.据分析师PaulZimnisky介绍,去年全球钻石产量约为1.42亿克拉。而根据Bonas&Co的数据,实验室生产的克拉数还不到420万克拉。

 

De Beers has been researching lab-made diamonds since the end of World War II and accelerated its work after a Swedish company synthesized the first diamond in 1953. The company has focused on lab diamonds for industrial uses, but also kept investing in technology for jewelry-grade gems.

 

自从第二次世界大战结束以来,戴比尔斯一直在研究实验室制造的钻石,并在1953年瑞典公司合成了第一颗钻石之后加快了工作。该公司专注于工业用途的实验室钻石,但也不断投资于珠宝级宝石的技术。

 

The shift to lab-diamond jewelry comes at a sensitive time for De Beers and its relationship with Botswana, the source of three-quarters of its diamonds. The two have a sales agreement that lets the company market and sell gems from Botswana, giving De Beers its power over global prices. The deal will soon be up for negotiation and Botswana is likely to push for more concessions.

 

向实验室钻石首饰的转变,正值戴比尔斯及其与博茨瓦纳关系的敏感时刻,博茨瓦纳是其四分之三的钻石来源。这两家公司有一份销售协议,允许该公司销售博茨瓦纳的宝石,从而使戴比尔斯在全球价格上拥有强大的权力。该协议不久将开始谈判,博茨瓦纳可能会推动更多的让步。

 

On Tuesday, De Beers said it had extensive talks with Botswana about the decision to sell man-made diamonds and the country supports the move.

(Updates with CEO comments from fourth paragraph.)

周二,戴比尔斯表示,他们与博茨瓦纳就出售人造钻石的决定进行了广泛的谈判,该国支持这一决定。(更新第四段的CEO评论。)

源自:De Beers、珠宝鉴定笔记、塔菲珠宝、Thomas Biesheuvel