For Pandora, lab-made diamonds are forever. The world’s largest jewelry maker announcement On Tuesday it will no longer use mined diamonds – a move, he said, that stems in part from consumer demand.
Copenhagen-based group Pandora announced on Tuesday that it was launching its first collection exclusively created with lab-made diamonds. He said the move was aimed at making the company’s jewelry more affordable, accessible and sustainable.
The collection is first launched in the UK and is expected to expand globally in 2022.
âThey are as much a symbol of innovation and progress as they are of lasting beauty and a testament to our ongoing and ambitious sustainability agenda,â said Pandora CEO Alexander Lacik, referring to lab-grown diamonds. “Diamonds are not only forever, but for everyone.”
Lacik said BBC News that synthetic diamonds can be made for as little as “a third of what it is for something we dug out of the ground.”
According to Pandora, known for its silver charm bracelets, lab-created diamonds are overtaking mined diamonds in the growing industry. The company claims they “have the same optical, chemical, thermal and physical characteristics and are graded to the same standards known as 4C – cut, color, clarity and carat.”
Their lab-grown diamonds are made with over 60% renewable energy on average, Pandora said. The company plans to increase that figure to 100% next year, with plans to be completely carbon neutral and use only recycled metals by 2025.
âWe want to become a low carbon company,â Lacik told the BBC. “I have four children, I am leaving this earth one day, I hope I can leave it in a better condition than maybe what we have created in the last 50 years.”
An industry that is slow to change
The global jewelry market has been slow to change, despite decades of reports of human rights violations in diamond mines, but some improvements have been made. In 2019, Tiffany & Co. announcement he will disclose to all customers the region where their diamonds come from, explaining his way from the mine to the store, in what he called a “milestone for diamond transparency”.
Based on a November 2020 report report According to Human Rights Watch, “Large jewelry companies are improving their supply of gold and diamonds, but most cannot assure consumers that their jewelry is not tainted with human rights abuses.”
The report says many diamond miners continue to work in unsafe conditions and the pandemic has only increased the risk of exploitation and abuse. Some of the worst abuses are happening in Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Mali, the Philippines, and Tanzania.
Human Rights Watch did not rank any of the 15 companies it rated as “excellent,” but ranked two – Tiffany & Co. and Pandora – as “strong” for taking significant steps towards responsible sourcing. Kalyan, Mikimoto, Rolex and TBZ were the lowest ranked companies.
In recent years, a number of companies specializing in lab-grown diamonds or alternative stones have grown in popularity, providing consumers with more affordable jewelry, without the same environmental and ethical issues surrounding traditional diamonds and diamonds. so-called blood, which is extracted in war zones and sold to fund war efforts.
Diamond sales are down
According to a recent research report by the Antwerp World Diamond Center and Bain & Company, global diamond revenues declined from 15% to 33% in 2020, during the coronavirus pandemic. The production of rough diamonds fell by 20% and sales by 15%.
Additionally, lab-grown diamond production reached 6-7 million carats, while mined diamond production fell to 111 million carats, after peaking at 152 million in 2017, according to the report.
“Social welfare and sustainability were growing issues in previous years. They are now a top priority for mining, trading and retail companies,” the report says. âIn the United States, and particularly in China and India, young consumers say sustainability is part of their decision-making process and could influence whether they buy diamond jewelry.
But some mainstream businesses say the pandemic was fluke. According to Beers, the world’s largest diamond company, demand for rough diamonds in 2021 has returned to pre-COVID-19 levels, after production fell 18% last year.
Beers reports that 47% of consumers disagreed that lab-grown diamonds are “real”, but are still interested in buying them because they are cheaper than mined diamonds and are considered ” fun âandâ trendy â.