7 May, 2021
This week, Pandora, the world’s biggest jeweler, pledged to source exclusively lab-grown diamonds from here on out.
What is a lab grown diamond? Quite simply, it is a diamond. It has exactly the same optical, thermal and physical characteristics as a mined diamond and is even graded by the same standards as a mined diamond – the famous “four Cs “ of cut, colour, clarity and carat. The only distinguishing feature is its origin: a mined diamond is shaped over thousands of years in the earth, often in Africa; whereas lab diamonds are created in labs using a specific chamber to control pressure and heat.
And although the UN-backed Kimberly Process is meant to identify ‘conflict-free’ diamonds, it only seeks to ensure that diamonds don’t fuel conflicts. It doesn’t provide insight into the human rights violations and environmental impacts caused by diamond mining activities. On the other hand, lab-grown diamonds all but strip away the possibility of human rights violation in the supply chain and the environmental impact is negligeable compared to mining-related emissions, especially as our grids become greener and the supply chain shorter.
We are very pleased to see these increasingly become mainstream thanks to Pandora and DiCaprio, demonstrating that sustainability need not be synonymous with ‘less’ or ‘expensive’, but with ‘innovation’ or ‘better.’
By Marie Guérinet