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Lightbox Opens $94-Million US Manufacturing Lab and Announces Partnership With Blue Nile
The new facility will produce 200,000 carats annually including an exclusive collection of lab-grown diamond jewelry for the online retailer
By: Diamond World News Service
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Oct 30 2020 12:22PM
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Reference: 25233  

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 Lightbox, the innovative laboratory-grown diamond jewelry company, today announced the official opening of its new US manufacturing facility in Gresham, Oregon and a major partnership with Blue Nile, the largest online fine jewelry retailer. The Lightbox facility, located just outside of Portland, started manufacturing this summer as construction on the 60,000 square foot structure was being completed. It will continue to ramp up production through 2020 and once fully operational, will produce approximately 200,000 carats of 'Grown in the USA' lab-grown diamonds annually. An exclusive fashion jewelry collection featuring Lightbox lab-grown diamonds will launch on the Blue Nile website today, marking the first time in the online retailer's 21-year history that it has sold lab-grown diamonds.

"The opening of this facility is a true milestone for the company," said Steve Coe, Lightbox CEO. "Manufacturing lab-grown diamonds in the US was a goal from the beginning and we are so proud to have achieved it with this state-of-the-art laboratory in a region that has become a hub for advanced industries. With this facility and our ground-breaking partnership with Blue Nile, we have an incredible opportunity to grow our business, improve consumer education and further establish Lightbox as the leading lab-grown diamond jewelry brand."

State of the Art Manufacturing Facility
Lightbox tapped Chicago-based architecture firm Sheehan Nagle Hartray (SNHA) to design the industry-leading manufacturing lab which was conceived as a simple white box, carved away to reveal and recall the faceted structure of a Lightbox lab-grown diamond. The dramatic exterior features fritted glass panels and louver screens, while the modern, monochrome interior includes a precision-designed production floor with mechanical and electrical support spaces, as well as lab spaces, offices and conference rooms.

Employing about 60 full-time engineers, technicians, and administrative personnel, the two-story $94-million advanced manufacturing operation efficiently maximizes mechanical and utility needs while providing a multifunction workspace. First-floor manufacturing operations are overseen at a central command station where every aspect of lab-grown diamond production is monitored along with the building's overall performance. Second-floor office spaces are connected to ground floor activities via expansive overlooks and soaring walkways, providing a sense of height and dimension to the staff gathering and meeting areas below.

Custom artistic installations, inspired by the lab-grown diamond fabrication process, are experienced simultaneously from the ground floor dining area and second-level display room. The works, created for Lightbox by SNHA, evoke elements and colors of the brand and celebrate its drive to deliver consistently precise lab-grown diamonds of extraordinary quality.

A product of science and technology, Lightbox lab-grown diamonds are created in blush pink, pale blue and white using chemical vapor deposition (CVD). All are accessibly priced at $800 per carat. The opening of this new future-forward facility gives Lightbox the ability to further improve efficiency and provide consumers increased offerings at exceptional value. With its close proximity to reliable hydroelectric power and access to a tech savvy, highly skilled workforce, Lightbox is well positioned to continue its pioneering role in the lab-grown diamond space.

Blue Nile x Lightbox Exclusive Collection
An everyday, on-trend premium fashion product line released just in time for the holidays, Blue Nile's Lightbox collection features lab-grown diamonds created in timeless white and brilliant blush pink and pale blue, all set in 14K gold. The collection includes new and exclusive styles of earrings, pendants, bracelets and rings – accessibly priced and starting at $600. All items are available exclusively online at BlueNile.com

"We're thrilled that the launch of the Blue Nile Lightbox collection is a milestone that now adds even more variety, quality and value for our customers as we head into the new year," said Sean Kell, Blue Nile CEO. "In collaboration with Lightbox, Blue Nile will further expand and transform its product assortment to meet the needs of evolving consumers in the jewelry space."

The new collection extends the variety and assortment, incredible quality and accessible internet-based pricing to customers. This product innovation news follows the Blue Nile's recent announcement about its massive showroom expansion, with the promise to open 50 showrooms over the next three-five years. 

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