To mark the occasion, the jewelry retailer displayed a 109-carat, type-IIa rough diamond at the store, which covers 200 square meters on Manhattan’s Madison Avenue.
“To have a beautiful polished diamond you have to start with a beautiful rough,” said François Delage, chief executive officer of De Beers Diamond Jewellers, in a TV interview with Bloomberg. “This is really where our expertise lies, and we wanted our potential clients to be able to experience what it is to touch and feel beautiful rough.”
The store is De Beers fourth jewelry outlet in the U.S. and its first standalone location in New York. Its other outlet in the city opened in 2005 inside the Saks Fifth Avenue department store.
“We felt it was the right moment for us to offer to our client an experience which was more in line with what they were looking for – something which is a bit more intimate, a bit more exclusive,” Delage added. “We saw that the premises on Madison Avenue were probably more fitting with what the brand was about and standing for.”
De Beers Diamond Jewellers, a London-based joint venture between De Beers and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, reported revenue grew 3 percent to $161.3 million in 2015 as sales of high jewelry improved strongly. Apart from the U.S., the brand has two stores in Canada, seven locations in Europe, three in the Middle East and 17 in Asia. Its business in China – where it has five outlets – is “growing double-digit,” Delage said.