De Beers Unveils New London Flagship Store with Sustainability at its Core
The new design pays tribute to the values of De Beers by offering a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere that blends open space with intimate areas, and features contemporary visuals that convey how the diamonds we discover create a lasting positive impact for the people and places where they are found. The transparent store front and open window displays are an open invitation to enter the Home of Diamonds and discover the latest high and fine jewellery collections featuring some of the most beautiful diamonds in the world.
BUILDING FOREVER & SUSTAINABLE RETAIL
De Beers first opened a store on Old Bond Street in 2002, reflecting the sophistication and creativity synonymous with the city. The new flagship is located at 45 – 50 Old Bond Street, next to the previous location, and its redesign has been inspired by Building Forever, De Beers’ commitment to create a positive long-term impact that will endure well beyond the discovery of its last diamond.
De Beers has a direct connection to nature, putting it in the unique position of being involved in the discovery of diamonds through to the creation of exquisite pieces of jewellery. Set over two floors, the 250 square meter store captures the different facets of De Beers’ rich heritage and showcases in a contemporary setting its iconic designs – from intricate high jewellery pieces featuring some of the world’s most exceptional diamonds, to diamond engagement rings and timeless signature fine jewellery collections, including Enchanted Lotus and Talisman, which pioneered blending rough and polished diamonds.
The ambitious Building Forever blueprint is at the heart of everything De Beers does, and the store is no exception – every aspect of the design, including materials and furniture, engineering (handling of energy, air, water consumption), construction, and execution are aimed at meeting the environmental requirements of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). This certification provides independent verification of a building’s green features, and the De Beers store in Chengdu, China, which opened earlier this year earned the prestigious gold certification.
Meticulously chosen materials and furniture in the signature colours blue wave, white cloud and orange dusk include hand-woven fabrics, decorations from locations close to De Beers’ heart. Counters have been carefully chosen to create a shared experience between client and brand ambassador and facilitate connection and diamond discovery. An intricate lighting system that brings the fire, light and brilliance of each diamond to life was designed especially for the De Beers flagship and meets rigorous energy consumption standards.
The second floor is an explosion of energy, evoking the powerful forces deep within the earth’s mantle and the light that glimmers off the polished diamond. Here an experiential area allows customers to interact with De Beers’ brand and history through digital features and an exhibition space. Featuring precious artifacts from De Beers’ host countries and archive imagery of Frances Gerety and her memorable tagline ‘A Diamond is Forever’, coined for De Beers in 1947, a display tells the remarkable story of how diamonds became enduring symbols of love, attachment, and eternity. On this floor love pods invite couples to linger in search of their perfect engagement ring or jewellery sets for the special day. A VIP room creates an opportunity to discover De Beers’ most exceptional collections in a private and comfortable setting.
“We are delighted to open our beautiful new De Beers flagship, just in time for the holiday season. Our new store is a reflection of how we approach everything at De Beers - revealing the different layers of our heritage within a modern context, and forever celebrating our exquisite diamond designs and expert craftsmanship. To celebrate this opening, and as a true Home of Diamonds, we are presenting a selection of extremely rare fancy coloured diamond pieces. I wanted to give them the highlight they deserve and showcase what makes them so unique and precious.” Céline Assimon, CEO De Beers Jewellers
“Nature and sustainability were at the heart of the design process as an homage to the natural beauty and wonder of De Beers’ diamonds. Every aspect of the store design, including carefully selected materials and resources, a state-of-the-art engineering for energy and atmosphere management, as well as for indoor environmental quality, aims to meet the highest standards for LEED. As diamonds are brought to life through light and movement - two key words driving the store’s energy – we used the most advanced lighting design technology to bring the beauty of De Beers’ diamonds to life. With its organic design shapes and refined luxurious finishes, the store provides a range of both physical and digital experiences enhancing the client voyage through De Beers diamond jewellery. This new store design is a key step in De Beers’ journey to transform its retail experience.” Christophe Carpente, CAPS Christophe Carpente Architecture Interior Design
EXCLUSIVE & ICONIC COLLECTIONS
To celebrate the opening, a new selection of extremely rare fancy coloured diamonds, called Heritage Master Diamonds, will be exclusively available at Old Bond Street. Only one in every 10,000 natural diamonds is classed as a fancy colour diamond, and while all are rare, some colours and depths of shade are even more unusual. The De Beers selection encompasses an enchanting array of the rarest intense and vivid shades, including superb pinks and blues, with no two shades the same. The Heritage Master Diamonds are part of the ever-expanding Natural Works of Art collection that includes the most exquisite and exceptional diamonds selected by expert artisans for their wondrous and singular beauty. These exceptional diamonds are presented in iconic De Beers designs as well as simple rings so that clients can collaborate with the Creative Studio to create their own bespoke designs.
- A rare 1.26 carat fancy intense blue pear-shaped diamond graded at the very top of the intense spectrum and internally flawless set at the centre of a De Beers Double Aura pendant.
- An exceptional 1.42 carat fancy vivid green diamond selected for its unusually high degree of life and sparkle, presented in an oval-cut to maximise its unique beauty.
- An extremely rare 2 carat light purple diamond with an unusual degree of saturation, cushion-cut to strike a compelling harmony of crisp sparkling facets with softly contoured corners.
- A 1.83 carat radiant-cut fancy orangy-pink diamond where both hues are perfectly balanced in both saturation and brightness, presented in a cut that combines the linear purity of the emerald-cut and the brilliance of a round-cut.
- A 0.65 carat cushion-cut fancy-vivid-blue internally flawless blue diamond with amazing brightness and saturation, cushion-cut for maximum sparkle.
INTERACTIVE & VIRTUAL RETAIL EXPERIENCES
The redesign of the flagship store aligns with the new world context where retail is enhanced by interactive and digital experiences to create a seamless omnichannel customer journey. Visitors can independently interact with the De Beers Iris and see their True Brilliant diamond as through the eyes of an expert, by getting a glimpse into its core to see each facet illuminate simultaneously, its perfect proportions enabling maximum light reflection.
For those unable to visit the Old Bond Street location, a Virtual Home of Diamonds Experience allows clients to connect with a diamond expert and access the store experience through cutting-edge video technology. The jewellery can be displayed in excellent detail from all angles, and additional participants can be added to the conversation with ease. New digital experiences, including a virtual try-on, will be introduced in 2022.
DE BEERS REDEFINES ‘I DO.’
The new flagship opening ties in with the launch of the new global De Beers campaign, which marks a fresh, purpose-led brand strategy and new chapter in the company’s 133-year long history. Capturing one of the most time-honoured expressions of intent, the campaign emphasises the importance of powerful commitments and personal pledges of all kinds: to love, friendship, society, nature and more. The campaign is centred around topics including staying true to oneself, not compromising, fighting for one’s beliefs and celebrating nature. By wearing De Beers diamonds customers are making a conscious choice to wear talismans for individual and collective acts of intent, aimed at creating a brighter future.