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Pandora to sell only lab-made diamonds

Danish group becomes first large jeweller to commit to ditching mined gems

Pandora has become the first large jeweller to make a big push into lab-created diamonds, saying it will no longer use mined ones as the Danish group declared its turnround over and unveiled a new growth strategy.

Pandora sells more pieces of jewellery — 85m — than any other company but as it aims for the mass market, only about 50,000 include mined diamonds.

It will now start selling jewellery using lab-created diamonds — which are identical to mined ones in terms of optics and chemical characteristics — from about £250, with chief executive Alexander Lacik claiming they are “not just forever, but for everyone”.

He told the Financial Times: “If you’re out there to spend $10,000 or even $5,000 on a ring, you’re probably not a Pandora audience. It’s about making these products accessible to a broader audience.”

The push into lab-created diamonds — which Pandora is selling as carbon neutral as they are made with 60 per cent renewable energy and the remaining emissions are offset — is the first visible part of the Danish group’s new strategy.

Lacik has led a turnround at Pandora over the past two years after admitting its brand was “tired” and following its shares slumping by three-quarters from their 2016 peak.

“We’ve spent the past two years trying to fix the problems. Now we want to switch gear,” he said on Tuesday.

He added that the new strategy would be “an evolution, not a revolution” with an increased focus on its brand and personalisation, and concentrating on its core markets rather than entering new ones.

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Diamonds are the biggest category in jewellery but one where Pandora has all but no presence. Hence, the move into lab-created diamonds, although Pandora declined to say how many it was ordering and from where.

“We’re the first big guy in town that can give this a global, meaningful push,” Lacik said.

Pandora has already said it will only use recycled gold and silver from 2025.

The news came as Pandora reported better than expected first-quarter results and boosted its full-year forecast. It now expects underlying revenues to increase by more than 12 per cent, up from more than 8 per cent previously, and its operating profit margin to be more than 22 per cent, up from more than 21 per cent.

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