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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Royal Asscher Targets Young Consumers with Lab-Made Diamond Brand

Rebel Chique diamond engagement ring, 18k white gold with pink man-made diamond brilliant cut, VVS1 clarity, set in white pave. The prices is listed on the website at $8,445.

The Royal Asscher diamond company has introduced a man-made diamond brand it calls, “Rebel Chique.” The name represents a break from the traditional view of a diamond as once-in-lifetime heirloom to a fashion accessory that offers a more personalized diamond experience, the company said. 

To bring this point home, the opening page of the brand’s e-commerce enabled website and accompanying advertising campaign features a picture of the ring on a women’s middle finger in what the company describes as a “wink of rebellion.”

The diamond industry is largely a stodgy, old place where innovation comes slowly. Royal Asscher, even though it's history spans nearly 160 years, is attempting to break this mold with this new brand.

“Diamonds have traditionally been an expression of purity and beauty,” Mike Asscher, Royal Asscher, vice president, sixth generation to work at the family-owned company. “We want them to be also about confidence and independence.”

Laboratory grown diamonds use heat and pressure to recreate how a diamond is created beneath the earth’s surface, turning a natural process that stakes more than 1 billion years to something that could be done in a laboratory in less than a week. Man-made diamonds have traditionally been used for manufacturing process such as cutting and polishing tools. In recent years the technique to create these diamonds has grown to the point where it can produce gem-quality products. These stones currently makeup a tiny portion of the gem-quality diamonds in the marketplace and have until recently been limited in terms of size and color. But as the process continues to progress more of these diamonds are appearing in stores in more varieties.

The Rebel Chique brand is available in at least six colors (including colorless) and a variety of cuts and sizes for rings pendants and earrings. Browsing the website, prices range from about $2,000 to $13,000, depending on size and quality of the diamond. There is also a pure bespoke category.

Mike Asscher, who is in his 30s, is making it clear that the brand is targeting a younger audience.

“We have grown up in an on-demand, made-to-order culture. We are a generation that wants to create our own icons,” he said. “Rebel Chique opens a new world for a next generation of diamond lovers, tapping into an entirely new mentality and experience.”

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