A Sotheby's employee displays a stone, a 50.39 carat oval diamond color D, during a preview at Sotheby's, in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, May 9, 2018. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)
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De Beers, which almost single-handedly created the allure of diamonds as rare, expensive and a symbol of eternal love, now wants to sell you some party jewelry that is anything but. The company has announced that it will start selling man-made diamond jewelry at a fraction of the price of mined gems, marking a historic shift for the world's biggest diamond miner, which vowed for years that it wouldn't sell stones created in laboratories. The lab diamonds made by De Beers will go on sale for about $800 a carat.De Beers is so adamant that the man-made diamonds are not competing with mined stones that it will not grade them in the traditional way.De Beers plans to charge $200 for a quarter-carat, $400 for a half and $800 for a carat, another sharp break from natural stones that rise exponentially in price the bigger the diamond gets.While De Beers has never sold man-made diamonds for jewelry before, it's very good at making them. De Beers has been researching lab-made diamonds since the end of World War II and accelerated its work after a Swedish company synthesized the first diamond in 1953 .
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