Danish jewelry manufacturer Pandora says it's trying to make the U.S. diamond jewelry market more accessible for the average consumer by launching its first collection of lab-created diamonds in the U.S.
Diamonds by Pandora hit the United States and Canadian market this month, offering more cost-effective diamond products for consumers who don't have the means of doling out thousands of dollars on fine jewelry.
Affordable diamonds is the natural next step for the company whose mission has long been to "democratize the jewelry market," Pandora CEO Alexander Lacik told FOX Business.
The manmade diamonds, often created in a matter of a few weeks, have the same optical, chemical, thermal and physical characteristics as mined diamonds and are graded by the same standards such as cut, color, clarity and carat, according to Pandora.
"Lab-created diamonds are identical to mined diamonds, but they are less expensive and more accessible for our consumer," Lacik said. "It costs like a third to get to the exact same outcome."
According to The Diamond Pro, the cost of lab diamonds is constantly fluctuating. However, in today's market, they are on average 50% to 60% cheaper, "or even more in some cases," the outlet reported. For instance, a James Allen natural 1.01-carat G VSi round diamond will cost a consumer $8,360.
By comparison, the James Allen lab-created 1.01-carat G VSi round diamond will set you back only $1,650, according to its website. The diamonds, are "nearly identical grades" but the lab-created diamond is 20% of the price, according to The Diamond Pro.
In the U.S., over a dozen brands, including Vibranium Lab, James Allen, Clean Origin, Blue Nile, Ritani, Diamond Foundry and Aether have already produced affordable jewelry products using lab-created diamonds.
Pandora's first U.S. lab-grown collection, in particular, consists of rings, earrings, bracelets and necklaces that range in price from $300 for a .15-carat ring to under $1,950 for a one-carat ring. The diamonds are grown in the United States and are made with 100% recycled silver and gold.
The company claims it's already the largest jewelry company by volume, producing over 100 million pieces a year, because it markets to "the mass consumer." Its products are sold in 100 countries, including in more than 2,400 concept stores.
"We're playing in the affordable part of the luxury space," Lacik said. "And with prices in this kind of level, all of a sudden, it becomes quite interesting for our customer base."
However, the company, most known for its charm bracelets, is working on marketing and launching additional collections like Diamonds by Pandora to continue driving growth.
Lacik said the company has roughly 700 million visits to its global platforms annually.
"We convert this into roughly 50 million business transactions, and the idea is to try to drive that conversion rate up," he added. "And how we would do that is primarily by launching more collections."
Even in the midst of painfully high inflation and economic uncertainty, Lacik said the company plans to drive between 4% and 6% organic growth for fiscal year 2022 due to the fact that jewelry is a discretionary category.
"People still have anniversaries and birthdays," he said. "I think our business seems to be reasonably recession proof."
Since the 2008-2009 crisis, the jewelry category has outstripped GDP growth by a factor of two, he added.
The company even expects to have a "decent big season" for the upcoming holiday season, which is a pivotal time for retailers.