Is it time to go green?

Is it time to go green?

Is it time to go green?

 

The diamond industry is in crisis. Why haven’t you heard about this? Well, it’s not something they want to shout about. Growing concerns about mining and the impact of environmental issues globally are making alternatives to diamonds much more exciting to younger consumers who see the benefits of buying something that costs less and does less harm. Consumers want to feel they are doing good and shopping ethically, especially when it comes to luxury products like diamond jewellery.

You may have heard of moissanite. It’s been around for a while now and hasn’t posed too much of a threat to the diamond industry but technology has now made it possible for laboratories to create stones which are virtually indistinguishable from real diamonds without laboratory tests. They have the same hardness as diamond and it takes the same skill to cut them. They are in fact cut in the same factories as diamonds and some diamond cutters are now cutting more lab grown stones than natural diamonds. These are the cool super diamonds used in Qbit computers, light technology and space exploration. They are 100% traceable as they have a transparent supply chain which guarantees that no money laundering, terrorist funding or environmental damage and the price cannot be controlled by mining companies who can simply reduce the volume of product mined to increase prices.

Martin Rapaport, a leading expert in diamond trading and the man who created the Rapaport list which is used to trade diamonds globally, is furious about lab grown diamonds. He says that consumers are being defrauded and that synthetic diamonds are being mixed with natural diamonds in jewellery, the biggest threat is in diamond jewellery which uses lots of small stones which are never certificated by independent labs as they only grade stones above 0.23ct. He claims retailers are not disclosing that synthetic diamonds do not retain their value due to an unlimited supply and that sellers of synthetic diamonds make false claims about the ethical benefits of synthetic stones. He says that African governments rely on natural diamond income to fund their development. Tens of millions of artisanal miners and their dependents rely on diamond income for their survival and he says that they will suffer as synthetic diamonds replace real diamonds. He has said that RapNet, his company that tracks diamond prices worldwide will not provide a trading platform for synthetic diamonds.

I don’t sell diamond jewellery that is mass produced but it must be of great concern to high street jewellers who are buying from factories abroad. The UK assay offices who hallmark all precious jewellery say that 95% of all jewellery sold in the UK is manufactured abroad so companies like mine who can trace where their materials come from are in the minority.

In terms of Rapaport’s concerns about consumers buying synthetic diamonds that he says will fall in price, I think that’s not really a main concern to consumers. Engagement rings aren’t bought with a mind to sell them and they have value to families because of who they belonged to when they are inherited, not how much they can be sold for.

I’m interested in exploring all options, especially if they are better for the environment and make for a better world. We can make any of our designs with lab grown diamonds or moissanite and with Fairtrade metals or Eco metals which are refined from recycled metal rather than from new metal that is mined. Here’s a table that shows the differences between diamonds and LGD and Moissanite. Moissanite is not as hard as diamond but it is harder than sapphire which makes it ideal for wearing in a ring. Moissanite sparkles more than diamond due to the fact it has a higher refractive index and unlike lab grown diamonds it does cost considerably less, making it a very attractive ethical choice.

 

Chemical composition

Crystalline structure

Refractive index

Dispersion

Hardness

Density

Natural

C

Cubic

2.42

0.044

10

3.52

LGD

C

Cubic

2.42

0.044

10

3.52

Moissanite

SiC

Hexagonal

2.65

0.104

9.25

3.21

 

moissanite-platinum-ring-celery

This platinum engagement ring, available from my shop, is set with a 0.50ct moissanite and it is £750.

This quote from the Financial Times “How To Spend It” article on lab grown diamonds sums up two very different opinions coming from those in the jewellery trade

New York-based gemologist Tito Pedrini says “LGDs offer an opportunity to use amazing stones in avant-garde designs, but, for me, the most fascinating part of being a gemologist is using my loupe to explore the minute inclusions in a natural diamond.” There’s an inner life, an individuality that tells of the origins of the planet, that becomes part of the diamond legend – or as Lieberherr puts it: “A diamond cannot be reduced to an atomic structure.” That’s one side of the argument. And on the other, as Stephen Webster says, “The lab-grown diamond will be the voice of progress.”

What are your thoughts on synthetic diamonds? Do you think they are a fad or the dawn of a new way of shopping?

 

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1 comment

God Bless this company!! Prayers for all safety to everyone!! This is the most beautiful, gorgeous, breathtaking, very unique & unusual stone that I’ve ever laid my eyes on!!!!! It’s like a mixture of multiple sparkling colors… Not just a perfect change for an engagement ring, but as a special setting in a different style of ring or as a cluster of this stone. Amazing!!

Thanks for sharing,
Lisa Miller Lawson

Lisa Miller Lawson

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