IN THE NEWS
WD Lab Grown Diamonds Promotes Mike Grunza to CEO
WD Lab Grown Diamonds, a producer of large, ultra-high-quality laboratory grown diamonds, has promoted Mike Grunza to CEO as part of WD’s leadership succession plan...Grunza previously served as CEO of Form Technologies, a Charlotte, N.C., global process engineering and materials forming company since 2020. A veteran of General Electric Aviation and GE Power and Water, he has deep technical and software acumen and a depth of experience in metals and materials businesses, WD said in a statement.
WD Lab Grown Diamonds promotes Mike Grunza to CEO
Producer of large, high-quality lab-grown diamonds for the jewellery, scientific and industrial markets, WD Lab Grown Diamonds (WD) has promoted interim board president Mike Grunza to CEO.The promotion has been actioned as part of WD’s leadership succession programme. Commenting on his new role, Grunza said: “I’m excited to leverage our operational and innovative excellence with the WD team, accelerating our positions in the diamond luxury and diamond electronics markets.
The Diamond Synthesisers
Nina Notman takes a whistle-stop tour of the synthetic diamond industry and learns about some of the applications its lab-grown diamonds are being used for... Today, diamonds are routinely grown in the laboratory with the majority of these stones having industrial uses, ranging from saw blades to heat spreaders for advanced computer chips to water purification. And increasingly, lab-grown diamonds are also being used as gemstones...‘As a consumer, unless you have a microscope to read the laser inscription, you’re not going to know that a diamond is lab-made,’ John Ciraldo, chief technology officer of WD Lab Grown Diamonds in the US.
Labs of luxury: Quality diamonds are now being made by technicians, but can a synthetic gem replace the allure of the real thing?
The biggest challenge for lab-grown diamond producers is finding and hiring enough skilled scientists and technicians to make them quickly and reliably enough in quality and quantity to meet orders...Take WD, considered a higher-end producer. The company’s product is made in the U.S. It’s as-grown and not chemically altered by acid washes or other treatment, as the mined product can be. Finally, the diamonds are climate neutral, with third-party auditing to confirm there are no effects on land, water resources and air quality. All of that generates value.
The Economics of Lab-Grown
Generally speaking, the market is splitting into high-quality and lower-end goods. And these two distinct markets have very different selling structures that affect the way their pricing works... The higher-quality goods come from the more technologically advanced producers around the world. Prices in this sector are relatively stable, as production has not increased at the rate many expected, says Marty Hurwitz, CEO of consultancy MVI Marketing and a board member at WD Lab Grown Diamonds... "“It’s actually really hard to grow these things consistently. This is not a race to capital; this is a race to [see] who can lock [in] the existing experienced human scientists on their team.”
WD Lab Grown Diamonds Names First Authorized Distributor
WD Lab Grown Diamonds has named Chicago-based diamond wholesaler M. Geller Ltd. as its first authorized distribution partner, the company announced Tuesday. WD is based in the United States and grows its diamonds using the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process at its factory in the Washington, D.C. area. Per the agreement, WD will provide M. Geller’s customers with a “consistent, unmatched” supply of loose WD-branded and generic diamonds.
Ban On Russian Diamonds Has Major Loophole. Congress Is Moving To Close It.
“There is a difference in traceability versus provenance. Traceable means you can track it from point A to B to C. But consumers want provenance assurance on top of that, knowing all the details about how it moves through the supply chain and the values added at each step,” [WD Lab Grown Diamonds CMO] Lewis says...."The consumer is looking for visibility, transparency and assurances about the diamond’s inception – from whence it came. That is going to be difficult to accomplish but absolutely needed. The consumer is in the driver’s seat."
Investor Group Revives Historic French Brand Using Lab-Grown Diamonds
In a sign that lab-grown diamonds are ready for their moment in the luxury spotlight, a group of Paris-based investors led by former Cartier executives Frédéric de Narp and Coralie de Fontenay have revived a historic but long-forgotten French jewelry name and are positioning the brand for the 21st century with a big focus on man-made diamonds...Now, Paris-based Luximpact, a company that revives historic French jewelry labels using a sustainable and progressive business model, is resurrecting his legacy with a new collection of jewels featuring climate-neutral, lab-grown Latitude Diamonds produced by WD Lab Grown Diamonds in Maryland.
French Heritage Jewelry Brand Oscar Massin Has Been Revived
“Oscar caught our attention because his work focused on diamonds, different treatments, shapes, sizes, and settings. Above all, he was interested in reinventing the setting; he was a true diamond innovator,” de Narp says to TZR...The diamonds, which are transparently sourced from WD Lab Grown Diamonds, a leading U.S. supplier of high-quality laboratory grown diamonds (under its offspring brand Latitude) reach the highest-level grading E and F of natural diamonds.
Positive Luxury Awards 2022 Shortlist Announced
Luxury's Leading Awards Celebrating Innovation in Sustainability — The Positive Luxury Awards honour innovation in every aspect of ESG, celebrating leading organisations and driving a global conversation about the future of luxury. We are delighted to announce the shortlist for 2022... Material & Manufacturing Innovation of the Year, Shortlist Includes: WD Lab Grown Diamonds
The Lab-Grown Diamond Report: All That Glitters
Three years on from the ‘watershed’ year of 2018, when natural diamond juggernaut De Beers introduced Lightbox Jewelry, the lab-created diamond category has gone from strength to strength... US-based producer, WD Lab Grown Diamonds, was the first manufacturer to be certified by SCS Global Services – an international standards development business specialising in sustainability and quality performance – under its Certification Standard for Sustainable Diamonds. This grants WD Lab Grown Diamonds third-party authorisation to use the claim of 'Certified Sustainable'and 'Certified Climate Neutral' for their products.
WD Lab Grown Diamonds Announces New CVD Patent Sublicensing Partner
This sublicensing agreement incorporates WD’s full patent portfolio, and importantly those developed through the Carnegie Institution of Washington.
WD Lab Grown Diamonds Adds Two New Executives
WD Lab Grown Diamonds has added two new executives to its leadership team. Elda Fistani, former chief revenue officer of Brooks Brothers' jewelry division Deconic, has been named chief revenue officer of the lab-grown diamond company. Fistani will be tasked with leading the global wholesale sales function, omni-channel sales, and international growth. Watch industry veteran Herb Doscher will take on the vice president of operational planning role. Doscher will be responsible for management of demand and supply.
WD Launches Traceable Lab-Grown Brand
WD Lab Grown Diamonds has introduced a new brand it said offered fully traceable, US-grown and guaranteed conflict-free synthetic stones. The company, which has achieved a sustainability rating through SCS Global Services, noted Tuesday individual third-party certifications would accompany each Latitude stone.
WD Lab Grown Diamonds Names New CEO
WD Lab Grown Diamonds announced last week that it is promoting its interim president to the top position to replace CEO Sue Rechner, whom it said is retiring. Mike Grunza, who holds an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering and an MBA from the University of Delaware, has been on the WD Lab Grown Diamonds board since 2020. He’s served as the company’s interim president since August. Grunza has more than a decade of experience with GE Aviation and GE Power, and, more recently, served as CEO of Form Technologies, a global process engineering and materials forming company based in Charlotte, North Carolina.
WD Lab Grown Appoints New CEO As Sue Rechner Retires
WD Lab Grown has named tech executive Mike Grunza its new CEO, replacing Sue Rechner, who has opted to retire, the company said. Since August, Grunza has been interim president of WD, which in 2019 was purchased by Huron Capital. Prior to that, he was a company board member for two years. He was previously CEO of Form Technologies, an engineering and materials company. “This company has so much potential,” he tells JCK. “We just need to unleash it.”
Oscar Massin Debuts Liberté Lab-Grown Diamond Engagement Rings
When Oscar Massin, a luxury jewelry brand named after a pioneering 19th-century French jeweler, was revived earlier this year, its ambitions in the wedding jewelry market were still under wraps. That changed in late July, when the brand introduced its first sustainable engagement ring collection, Liberté. Set with climate-neutral, lab-grown Latitude Diamonds produced by WD Lab Grown Diamonds in Maryland, the collection marks one of the man-made diamond industry’s first major incursions into luxury branded bridal territory.
The Key to Strong Lab-Grown Diamond Sales? Employee Training
Lab-grown diamonds (LGDs) are not just gaining acceptance in the jewelry market in 2022—they’re becoming so popular that many retailers are scrambling to source them. But while some jewelry retailers are seeing skyrocketing sales with LGDs, others haven’t figured out how to sell and/or market them to their client base... Looking for outside training resources? Two new, high-quality platforms have recently been released to help jewelry retailers present a holistic lab-grown diamond training program to their entire store team. [One] is from the U.S.-based diamond grower, WD Lab-Grown Diamonds, and is full of detailed materials and support for jewelry retailers.
WD Lab Grown Diamonds Names JC Jewels an Authorized Distribution Partner for Australia and New Zealand
WD Lab Grown Diamonds, the first diamond company in the world to be third-party sustainability certified and to achieve 100% climate neutrality, has named Australia-based JC Jewels Pty Ltd. its Authorized Distribution Partner in the Australia and New Zealand markets... Our principles and shared values are the cornerstone of our partnership with WD Lab Grown Diamonds,” said Craig Miller, CEO of JC Jewels. “Together with their team, we look forward to defining a new industry standard for sustainability and transparency within our market.”
WD Lab Grown Diamonds Names M. Geller An Authorized Distribution Partner
This partnership brings together the highest quality and traceable diamonds, with unmatched support and service...“In response to unprecedented and increasing consumer demand, WD is excited to enact this important step in the scaling of our global footprint,” said Sue Rechner, CEO of WD Lab Grown Diamonds. “As origin traceability and provenance assurance become the increasing focus of the consumer, expanding access to our third-party sustainability certified, ‘As Grown’ in the U.S.A. diamonds through M. Geller’s expansive customer network is critical.”
Diamour and WD Lab Grown Diamonds Newest Companies to Join The Plumb Club
The renown of The Plumb Club and its esteemed roster continue to expand with two more distinguished companies being added to the membership. The Club represents well over 100 jewelry, watch and service brands...WD Lab Grown Diamonds is a pioneering technology company and leader in high-quality Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) diamonds, with global distribution through a select network of designer, retailer, and distributor partners under the brands WD Lab Grown Diamonds and Latitude...All Plumb Club Members must meet stringent requirements of business ethics, practices and conduct, as well as human rights, social and environmental responsibility, and be in compliance with local, federal and international laws.
The Plumb Club to Introduce Jewelers Resource Center
The Plumb Club has announced the impending debut of its Jewelers Resource Center, an immersive, virtual 3D environment part of its TPC-365 platform...The kickoff event will be held on March 2 at 2 p.m. ET, to give visitors a virtual tour of the Jewelers Resource Center, followed by a presentation of “Is a Tsunami Coming: The Diamond Dilemma,” an educational session featuring a penal of Elliot Tannenbaum of Leo Schachter, Dave Meleski of The Richline Group, and Sue Rechner of WD Lab Grown Diamonds.
A Former Cartier Exec Is Reviving One of France’s Most Historic Jewelers
Paris-based Luximpact, a company that revives historic French jewelry labels using a sustainable and progressive business model, is recasting Oscar Massin’s legacy for 21st century buyers with a new collection of elaborate jewels featuring climate-neutral, lab-grown Latitude Diamonds produced by WD Diamonds, based in the Washington, D.C. area.
Luximpact To Revive Heritage French Jeweler Oscar Massin, Using Lab-grown Rocks
Luximpact has pocketed another piece of history, buying the 19th century French jewelry house Oscar Massin, and plans to recast the designs using lab-grown diamonds.... The diamonds are produced by WD Diamonds, which meets high standards of environmental and ethical responsibility as measured by SCS Global Services. SCS specializes in third-party certification, validation and verification of companies’ environmental and sustainability claims. According to WD, the Latitude branded rocks are fully traceable, grown in the U.S. and guaranteed conflict-free.
FTJCo Fine Jewellery Is First Retailer In Canada Accredited To Carry SCS-007 Sustainability Rated Diamonds
FTJCo Fine Jewellery is the first retailer in Canada to become accredited under the SCS 007 Sustainability Rated Diamond Standard... "We thank each one of our past and future clients for making a purchase that reflects their social and environmental values. Through our long-time partner, WD Diamonds, we have a stock of lab grown diamonds that are sustainability rated and certified as climate neutral under this standard," said Robin Gambhir, CEO of FTJCo.
WD Lab Grown Diamonds Expands with Senior Leadership Team Appointments
WD Lab Grown Diamonds is looking to strengthen its hold on the market with the addition of two new members to its senior leadership team. The US-based lab-grown diamond producer, founded in 2008, has added Elda Fistani as chief revenue officer and Herb Doscher as vice president of operational planning. The company revealed that these appointments are part of its extensive expansion plans.
WD Lab Grown Appoints Brooks Brothers, Timex Veterans
WD Lab Grown Diamonds has appointed Elda Fistani, formerly the chief revenue officer of Brooks Brothers’ jewelry division, as the company’s new chief revenue officer, and Herb Doscher as its vice president of operational planning. The appointments come as “WD solidifies its global market leadership position in the category,” read a statement.
WD Lab Grown Names Mike Grunza CEO
WD Lab Grown Diamonds has appointed board member Mike Grunza as its CEO and announced the departure of incumbent Sue Rechner...“Over the last two years, the Huron Capital team has been impressed with every aspect of Mike’s acumen in the space, his relationships, and his vision for WD,” Huron partner Brian Walker said Thursday. “Mike’s leadership will support our ambition in both the diamond luxury and diamond electronics markets, and our team has already benefited from his operational and financial performance-optimization experience.”
Valley Rose is Revolutionizing the Jewelry Industry with Their Climate Neutral Collection (Featuring WD)
For diamonds, Valley Rose has partnered with WD Lab Grown diamonds, the first 100% Climate Neutral SCS-007 Sustainably Rated Lab Diamond. This innovative new diamond certification takes a comprehensive approach to addressing the many issues in the diamond supply chain...Besides climate neutrality these diamonds guarantee origin traceability using SCI forensic analysis, a robust ethical stewardship program by social justice experts, and sustainability investments made towards ASM mining communities.
Sourcing Lab-Grown Diamonds: Best Practices for Jewelry Retailers
Consumer demand for lab-grown diamonds is skyrocketing worldwide. And because jewelry retailers will undoubtedly face increased competition for lab-grown diamonds (LGDs) and supply challenges in the category this upcoming holiday season, they should be establishing quality sourcing relationships now—instead of just spot market purchasing—so that when the crush comes, they can rely on consistent supply and pricing. I asked Elda Fistani, CRO of WD Lab Grown Diamonds, a U.S.-based prime grower of lab-grown diamonds: What are best practices for independent retailers to employ to establish good relationships with a lab-grown diamond supplier so as to ensure a consistent supply through the fourth quarter?...
Annual JCK Jewelry Show Returns To Set Global Trends, Showcase Innovation
As the jewelry world’s most diverse (over 1,800 exhibitors) and popular (over 17,000 registered visitors) trade event, JCK delivered daily doses of new jewelry design trends, networking blow-outs and timely insights from June 8 – 13th...At JCK, WD Lab Grown Diamonds Chief Marketing Officer Brittany Lewis spoke on a panel about how Parisian heritage jeweler Oscar Massin is using WD's certified sustainable Latitude branded lab grown diamonds in its designs.
14 Ethical Engagement Ring Jewelers for Diamonds You Can Feel Good About Wearing
If you're trying to make more conscious decisions about the items you spend your money on, then you may want to look into ethical diamonds for an engagement ring...Valley Rose ensures that its diamonds meet the highest standards for ethical and responsible sourcing, by relying on third-party certifications and leading industry experts. Their WD Lab Grown Diamonds are rated on a very strict set of criteria to ensure everything is eco-conscious—and they even use 14k Fairmined Gold, which is an ethical metal that only comes from responsible Artisanal and Small-scale Mining[...]"
The Women of Lab Grown and the Next Gen Consumers
For most of the modern history of the jewelry business, the vast majority of end users (consumers of the product) have been women. Simultaneously, the people controlling the fine jewelry supply pipeline have been men. With the recent explosion of the lab-grown diamond business, this paradigm has shifted. By my count (and it's likely an undercount), there are at least 34 women actively involved in shaping the global lab-grown diamond business and these leaders are driving a new connection with a modern jewelry consumer that is likely to change the jewelry industry for the better.
From Gems for Royalty to Recycled Gold
In the 1800s, Oscar Massin made jewelry for queens. Now the brand will focus on lab-grown diamonds and sustainable practices... In an interview at the company’s headquarters on the Rue de la Paix, Mr. de Narp said that the trio decided to introduce a “luxury jewelry start-up studio” focused solely on recycled gold and eco-certified, traceable lab-grown diamonds because “it’s time to change the codes of an industry that’s not reinventing itself, or at least not fast enough for us.”...Oscar Massin jewelry is made with Latitude Diamonds [a brand from WD Lab Grown Diamonds], which presents itself as the world’s first producer of sustainability-rated, completely carbon-neutral diamonds.
Jewelers Resource Center to Launch
A virtual world of knowledge and discovery open to the entire industry. The Jewelers Resource Center, a legacy gift to the industry from The Plumb Club will launch in March...The inaugural event, on March 2 at 2pm eastern time, will treat visitors to a tour of the Jewelers Resource Center followed by an educational presentation entitled, “Is a Tsunami Coming: The Diamond Dilemma” providing experienced insight into one of the most important categories at retail – diamonds and diamond jewelry. The renowned panelists will include Elliot Tannenbaum of Leo Schachter, Dave Meleski of The Richline Group (a Berkshire Hathaway Company) and Sue Rechner of WD Lab Grown Diamonds.
Webinar Gives Behind-the-Scenes Tour Of Lab Diamond Growth and Certification Process
As consumer demand for lab grown diamonds grows, it is more important than ever for retailers, designers, and distributors to accurately understand and be able to discuss the process behind this emerging new jewelry category.
More Lab-Grown Diamond Jewelry In Stores And A 2022 Wedding Boom Is Formula For Explosive Growth
2022 will be the year of the wedding. According to The Wedding Report, some 2.5 million couples will tie the knot next year, following a two-year lull when only 1.3 married in 2020 and 1.9 million in 2021... WD Lab Grown Diamonds, one of the nation’s leading diamond growers, believes adoption of lab-grown diamonds by brick-and-mortar retailers will unlock even faster growth for the category going forward.
New Sustainable Diamond Certification Standard Provides Scientific Proof Of Origin And Builds Consumer Trust
Wouldn’t it be great if the process of buying conflict-free, environmentally sustainable and ethically produced diamonds, or diamond jewelry, was as clear as an internally flawless diamond?
That clarity is here and now, in the transparent form of a new, scientifically rigorous, multi-layered certified sustainability-rated diamond standard, called SCS-007.
New Third-Party Diamond Standard Certifies World’s First Climate Neutral Lab-Grown Diamonds With Verified Origin
In late June 2021, Latitude a lab-grown diamond company that’s a division of the Washington D.C.-based WD Lab Grown Diamonds opened a new chapter in jewelry history by announcing that it is the world’s first and only diamond company to produce lab-grown diamonds that are carbon neutral, and what’s more, climate neutral. While diamonds have long been evaluated based on their cut, color, clarity and carat weight (collectively known as the 4 Cs), Latitude embodies the 5th C, or climate neutrality.