High-tech sparkle


The first jewelry retailer to build a brand around man-made diamonds has come to the United States. Vancouver, B.C.-based Spence Diamonds, operator of seven jewelry stores across Canada, expects its Artisan Diamond collection to outsell traditional diamonds “significantly,” a projection holding true in the first two U.S. stores, opened in November. A third store opened in Scottsdale, Ariz., earlier this year.

The stores, which average 2,300 square feet, are a departure from what CEO Eric Lindberg describes as traditional jewelry stores, with a design and merchandising presentation modeled after the technologically sophisticated presence of an Apple or Nike store. Ultra-high-resolution screens play videos showing how Artisan Diamonds are made — in a reactor, using plasma gas to turn carbon into gemstones.

A concierge greets incoming shoppers, and four to six sales assistants are on hand to assist customers side-by-side in front of open display cases showcasing a variety of ring designs.

The product mix includes bracelets, necklaces and other jewelry, with prices ranging from $200 to more than $50,000. Customers can view stones in private consultation rooms, and a lounge with a bar gives shoppers the chance to relax with a drink.

The goal, Lindberg says, is “to create an entertaining, experiential big brand that will revitalize the jewelry retail industry and attract many more younger shoppers.”

Spence Diamonds
Vancouver, Canada
CEO: Eric Lindberg
U.S. Locations: 3


Liz Parks is a Union City, N.J.-based writer with extensive experience reporting on retail, pharmacy and technology issues.


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