It's Time to Bring on the Pressure and Redefine the Sparkle
By Haven Hathaway
You’ve heard that diamonds are “a girl’s best friend,” but lab-grown diamonds are taking that title as they rise in popularity and are a cost-effective and more sustainable option for our eco-friendly people looking to put a ring on it.
The love affair with lab-grown diamonds grows stronger as the industry expands and becomes more mainstream in fashion. These new materials and the production of diamonds are redefining luxury jewelry and allowing consumers to be more environmentally aware of their impact to stay true to their morals when wearing their jewelry.
With lab-grown, there's no mining, just diamonds. Refinery29 said, “the process involves a diamond seed — a thin wafer of existing gemstone — as well as raw carbon and energy, which are then put under conditions that mimic the natural environment where a traditional diamond flourishes.”
Lab-grown diamonds “don’t cause the same level of environmental damage as mining, which requires the removal of earth and consumes freshwater and fossil fuels,” said Earth911. Some environmental damage from traditional diamond mining is air pollution, water contamination, deforestation, soil disturbance, and poor workplace health and safety.
However, diamonds have been a signature of luxury and class thanks to the De Beers 1943 marketing campaign, “A Diamond Is Forever,” which had every bride ready to define their love story with a diamond engagement ring. As the modern consumer has changed and put sustainability at the forefront of their purchases, consumers have begun to question the ethics of these luxury gemstones.
“According to Aether, a lab-grown diamond jewelry brand, the market made up 7.5% of the diamond industry in 2021, an increase from 3% in 2018. Since then, not only have new lab-grown brands launched, but heritage and mainstream brands like De Beers Group and Pandora have adopted lab-grown options into their offering as well,” said Refinery29.
So, are lab-grown diamonds more sustainable? When it comes to money, yes. They are less expensive and cost 10% to 30% less than natural diamonds offering affordability for many styles. We are also here to clear up rumors because lab-grown diamonds are, in fact, real diamonds. It is tough to spot the difference between natural and lab-grown diamonds as the physical, chemical, and cosmetic characteristics are almost identical.
Although lab-grown diamonds have the opportunity to be straightforward with sustainability, they can easily have another negative impact when immense amounts of energy are used. Lab-grown diamonds could create more carbon dioxide emissions than natural diamond mining as most factories still use fossil fuels to power the reactors. Greenwashing is still relevant in this industry as companies use the term “environmentally friendly” without giving it a core definition.
However, some companies are exploring renewable energy and capturing CO2 from the atmosphere to make their diamonds. Found in Refinery29, Aether is the company to market the first-ever diamond created from the air by capturing CO2 emissions and using clean energy from solar and wind power.
The reoccurring theme of transparency is back as companies that are clear about their diamond sourcing and efforts to reduce their carbon footprint are the jewelry worth investing in. A diamond is a decades-long investment, and it is time we bring on the pressure as consumers for our jewelers to allow sustainability and jewelry to coexist in a luxury space.
Suppose you want to look fabulous and glam while feeling good about your impact on the environment. In that case, lab-grown diamonds that use 100% renewable energy are worth your forever.
-As always, elevate your wardrobe with respected fashion and embrace the shift in style
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