Stamford, CT—Terry Burman, the former longtime CEO of Signet Jewelers, is back in the jewelry industry, this time selling lab-grown diamond jewelry online as a partner in Clean Origin, which is targeting Millennials and Gen-Z with lab-grown bridal jewelry. Burman also serves as chairman of the board of two well-known non-jewelry retailers, Abercrombie & Fitch and Tuesday Morning. Left: Burman in his role as chairman of Abercrombie & Fitch.
Together with two other longtime industry-leading executives, Burman is a principal and partial investor in Clean Origin. The other two are Alexander Weindling, third-generation diamantaire and former global managing director for luxury Danish brand Georg Jensen, and Ryan Bonifacino, former CMO and digital vice president of fashion jewelry brand Alex and Ani.
In an article on her blog, luxury market researcher Pam Danziger of Unity Marketing, quoted Burman saying “he wanted [to invest] because, ‘We are at the infancy of a market share shift.’” He believes the price factor will attract Millennials to lab-grown stones for bridal jewelry.
Weindling, meanwhile, told Danziger that with Burman at the helm, the company is only in its infancy and bridal jewelry is just the start. The site already has gotten good press in top fashion and bridal magazines.
De Beers, of course, flipped the lab-grown sector on its head last year with the introduction of its Lightbox brand of lab-grown diamond fashion jewelry, with linear pricing based on $800 per carat, but so far it has been steadfast in its refusal to sell bridal jewelry—and one carat stones seem to be perpetually sold out.
At press time, Clean Origin’s lowest price for a one-carat round was $1,581 for an I color, SI clarity, Excellent cut. Simple, classic mountings for a solitaire ring ranged from about $515 to $1180, depending on style and/or accent stones.
Meanwhile, diamond industry analyst Edahn Golan says natural diamond inventories are up and demand is down, while lab-grown prices are declining, especially among larger goods. In an article published Monday, Golan details a 40% rise in inventory levels of natural diamonds, which he says is the highest increase in three years. Meanwhile, an oversupply of CVD-grown larger stones is driving prices down.
Diamond industry analyst Edahn Golan.