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DeBeers plans $94 million Gresham synthetic-diamond plant


GRESHAM, Ore. (AP) – The De Beers Group has announced plans to manufacture synthetic diamonds at a factory in Gresham.

The British diamond giant said in a news release Tuesday it will spend $94 million on the production facility over the next four years. Once fully operational, the plant will be able to annually produce 500,000 rough carats of lab-grown diamonds.

The diamonds will be marketed under the name Lightbox. They will retail from $200 for a quarter-carat stone to $800 for a one-carat stone – much less than traditional diamonds.

CEO Bruce Cleaver described the product as “affordable fashion jewelry that may not be forever, but is perfect for right now.”

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the plant will be in the Gresham Vista Business Park, and eventually employ about 60 workers.

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