C-SUITE

Disruptive diamond retailer names CEO

BY Marianne Wilson

Spence Diamonds has tapped its chief marketer to lead the company as it looks to grow its store network.

The Vancouver-based retailer of diamond jewelry appointed Veeral Rathod its new CEO. Rathod, who joined Spence in September 2018 as chief marketing officer, will lead the company from its Dallas offices. Prior to Spence, Rathod served as CEO at custom men’s clothing brand J. Hilburn, which he co-founded in 2007 and ran through April 2018

“Just as we reimagined the luxury menswear space, my vision for Spence is to transform the diamond retail space through education about lab-grown diamonds, which are increasingly becoming the stone of choice for millennials who want value, sustainability and ethical production methods,” said Rathod. “Through our in-store experience, 80% of our customers choose lab-grown over earth-mined diamonds once they understand the merits of both options.”

Spence’s assortment is focused on its proprietary lab-grown “artisan created diamonds,” which it says are identical to mined diamonds in every way, but created in a plasma chamber instead of being dug out of the ground. (It also sells the earth-mined counterparts.)

The company’s stores feature up to 2,500 engagement ring styles in open display cases. Gemological Institute of America-trained consultants are on hand to advise shoppers on cut, clarity, color, size, setting and origins. Customers can create their one-of-a-kind piece — choosing the style, setting, stone and finish — which is then custom made and handcrafted.

Spence has eight stores in Canada and five in the U.S., with locations in Scottsdale, Arizona; San Jose, California; Dallas; Austin (Texas); and Plano (Texas).

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