Diamond jeweler De Beers has rolled into Las Vegas, launching its third U.S. store at The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace.

The gambling and entertainment mecca was “always one of our priority markets,” said Alyce Alston, chief executive officer of the London-based company. “I think Las Vegas is the perfect location for fine jewelry retailers. It’s the town of love, and we are the gift of love.”

De Beers opened its first two U.S. stores in 2005 in New York and Beverly Hills. The Las Vegas location is the company’s 16th store worldwide.

The 1,186-square-foot unit showcases De Beers’ full range of merchandise, including bridal and signature collections, one-of-a-kind pieces and popular collections designed by De Beers’ creative director, Raphaele Canot, whose best-selling Talisman collection incorporates polished diamonds with rough, unpolished varieties.

Jewelry prices start at $300 and ascend into the millions of dollars, but, Alston said, “Our sweet spot is from $2,600 [for a signet ring] to $42,000 for medallions. Having a wide range of price points, that’s one of the secrets of our success.”

The Las Vegas boutique features mahogany walls, etched glass paneling and a designated VIP room with a sofa and desk. Merchandise throughout is displayed in stand-alone cases. “It’s not a behind-the-counter

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,” Alston said. “You can walk all the way around the product. You have a 360-degree view.”

Price ranges for each collection are listed on panels placed near cases for shoppers to easily reference. “Instead of ‘interviewing’ for a diamond … shoppers can feel empowered,” Alston said. “So many of the luxury jewelers can be so pompous and pretentious, and I just don’t think jewelry needs to be that way.”

Alston said the company is optimistic about the potential for opening more U.S. retail locations. “We’re feeling very confident,” she said. “I think the opening of the Las Vegas store is a real testament to our success so far.”

De Beers is owned by luxury conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and diamond mining and marketing company De Beers SA.

This story first appeared in the January 17, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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