Patrick Evans, who quit as CEO of Canada’s Dominion Diamond last month, is launching a company to make lab-grown diamonds larger than one carat, aimed at the bridal market, reports the Financial Times.
While the De Beers-owned Lightbox lab-grown diamond brand has targeted the fashion market and sells its product at between 30- and 40-percent below the price of natural stones in the 1-carat size range, Evans says he hopes to sell the larger, bridal-market stones at only between 15- and 20 percent discounts to the price of natural stones.
Evans, who says he has secured financial backing from wealthy individuals and one jewellery company which he declined to name, is reportedly searching for a location in the US to set up a production plant with access to cheap solar power. The Lightbox plant in Oregon is powered by low-cost hydropower.
Evans hopes to float the new firm on the Toronto stock exchange in 2020.