De Beers allays Botswana fears over launch of synthetic diamonds brand

De Beers has allayed fears that Botswana will be affected by its decision to enter synthetic diamonds market, APA learnt here Wednesday.There are fears that the future of Botswana’s diamond mining sector looks bleak, following an announcement by De Beers that it will start selling jewellery containing man-made stones rather than precious rocks recovered from the ground, for the first time in its 130-year history.

But speaking on the sidelines of a press briefing, De Beers’ Executive Vice-President responsible for commercial activities and partnerships, Alessandra Berridge said since Botswana has a 15-percent shareholding in De Beers it would not be affected by the company’s decision to sell synthetic diamonds.

Recently Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi said he wants a new long-term diamond sales pact with De Beers when the current 10-year deal expires in 2020 and for more gems to be processed locally.

The project, launched this week, offers synthetic diamonds at a fraction of the price De Beers charges for stones pulled out of the earth.

“Lightbox will transform the lab-grown diamond sector by offering consumers a lab-grown product they have told us they want, but aren’t getting: affordable fashion jewellery that may not be forever, but is perfect for right now,” Cleaver said.

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