The recent announcement by De Beers that they will be setting up their own synthetic diamond production signals a significant shift in the industry; however, the concept of laboratory-grown stones is not an entirely new one.
Shiny Rock Polished, an industry specialist in the fine jewellery space, have experience in sourcing and working with both mined and cultured diamonds for over 20 years.
Manufactured diamonds are generally considered more environmentally and socially conscious due to the fact that they are grown above ground. However, they have exactly the same properties as a mined diamond and are still considered a highly luxurious item.
Essentially the only difference between a mined diamond and a manufactured diamond is the origin of the stone.
Other luxury jewellery sources, such as pearls, have also embraced this form of manufacturing after the world’s natural pearl beds became over farmed. As with “grown” pearls, diamonds are now “grown” above the ground.
It is important to distinguish these laboratory diamonds from cubic zirconias; manufactured diamonds are just as luxurious, unique and as chemically precious as those which are mined.
However, there are some cost benefits to manufactured diamonds, particularly when it comes to colour selection as it allows buyers to access an array of vivid colours, including blue, pink and yellow; opening up this space to consumers with all budgets. In general, a mined natural blue diamond will set you back millions, while a similar cultured blue diamond may only cost around $20 000 to $30 000.
The trend of minimising our human impact on the environment is gaining momentum and diamond manufacturing is at the forefront of this movement.
The Diamond Foundry – a San Fransico based diamond manufacturer – was endorsed for their synthetic and earth-friendly production by Leonardo DiCaprio as he recognized how they “cultivated real diamonds in America without the human and environmental toll of mining”.
Shiny Rock Polished is as committed to this process and this latest move by one of the world’s oldest jewellery manufacturers is an important endorsement of this growing trend.
True and rare beauty does not have to come at a huge human or environmental cost. You can own a unique and exquisite stone which is grown in a laboratory and not worry about its origins – luxury and social consciousness have finally found each other.