Pandora Jewelry has launched its first collection set exclusively with lab-created diamonds and has announced its intention to phase out natural diamonds from its product lines.
The jewelry company had previously used artificial and quarried stones in its collections, albeit in very limited quantities. Globally, natural diamonds were set in approximately 50,000 of the 85 million pieces produced in 2020, the New York Times reports.
In Pandora’s Pacific division – which includes Australia, New Zealand and Fiji – a single diamond-set coin was introduced to the lineup in 2020, a Pandora spokesperson said. Jeweler.
âThis was a limited edition piece, currently accounting for around 0.02% of sales, and we will phase out this item in the coming months,â the spokesperson added.
A statement from Pandora noted that the development of the line was based on “extensive research with consumers in North America, Europe and China.”
The lab-created Pandora Brilliance line launched exclusively in the UK on May 6, with an international rollout – including in Australia – slated for 2022. Artificial stones will be graded for cut, clarity, color and weight in carats before being set. sterling silver or 14k white or yellow gold.
Pandora spokesperson said Jeweler, âThe spirit of the collection reflects the mission of the Pandora brand: to create desirable and affordable jewelry that enables self-expression and radiates lasting beauty. With sustainably created diamonds in the lab, we intend to make diamond jewelry accessible to more consumers and expand its use on special occasions to something that can be worn and enjoyed every day. .
âPandora’s decision to move away from mined diamonds is a testament to our commitment to sustainability and is the result of our ability to source high quality, sustainably lab-created diamonds, and in so doing, offer jewelry in diamond to consumers at a very attractive price. “
Although the spokesperson was unable to confirm Australian prices at the time of publication, the collection is currently selling on the Pandora UK website from Â£ 250 (AU $ 448.82) for a 0.15 carat sterling silver bracelet at Â£ 1,290 (AU 2316.03) for a 14k white gold solitaire ring set with a 1 carat VS2 G â J color lab diamond.
At the time of publication, a 14k white gold solitaire engagement ring set with a 1 carat VS2 G color natural diamond was selling for AU $ 7,474 on JamesAllen.com, and a similar ring set with a VS2 G of 1.01 carat. the color lab-created diamond was priced at AU $ 2,837.
Alexander Lacik, CEO of Pandora, said: âI am proud to announce the launch of Pandora Brilliance. This is a new collection of beautifully crafted jewelry with lab-created diamonds. They are as much a symbol of innovation and progress as of sustainable beauty and testify to our ongoing and ambitious sustainable development program. “
Sustainability has been a priority for Pandora over the past year; the company recently set a goal of becoming fully âcarbon neutralâ by 2025 and has committed to increasing its use of recycled gold and silver from 71% to 100% across Canada. its supply chain.
The Pandora Brilliance range, including diamonds, metals, and lab-created packaging, has been certified ‘carbon neutral’ by The CarbonNeutral Protocol, which is part of carbon offsetting retailer and sustainability consulting firm Natural Capital Partners.
Lab-created diamonds are manufactured using the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) method and come from a third-party supplier whose manufacturing facilities are powered by “over 60% renewable energy on average” ; the remaining emissions are offset in accordance with the CarbonNeutral protocol framework, according to Pandora’s statement.
In addition to the CarbonNeutral protocol, Pandora also asked environmental, social and corporate governance company Sphera to provide an independent third-party assessment of the diamond production process created by the CVD lab, from raw materials to synthesis, through cutting and polishing, and transportation.
The Sphera report found that electricity consumption during synthesis was responsible for “over 90 percent” of total CO2 emissions âin most scenariosâ; emissions per carat could range from 612 kg for a laboratory diamond produced in India, to 17 kg for a diamond produced in Europe using 100% renewable energy.
Based on 2016 data, a 2019 report commissioned by the Diamond Producers Association (now the Natural Diamond Council) estimated that naturally mined diamonds produce 160 kg of CO2 per carat.
Pandora has said it expects lab-created diamonds in the Brilliance range to be made from 100% renewable energy by 2022.
Notably, the environmental impacts and sustainability of manufacturing lab-created diamonds – and mining natural diamonds – have come under scrutiny in recent months.
In April, a US advertising watchdog recommended that the Natural Diamond Council remove claims that natural diamonds produce “three times less carbon emissions” per carat than lab-created diamonds.
Likewise, jewelry industry commentators have noted a lack of transparency on the part of the lab-created industry, and in 2019, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission warned producers of lab-created diamonds. against the use of “eco-benefit” claims in advertising, such as “eco-friendly”, “eco-conscious” or “sustainable”, noting: “It is highly unlikely that they can justify all reasonable interpretations of these allegations â.
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