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Lab-Grown Diamonds: An Ethical Choice in the Diamond Industry

“Diamonds are a girl’s best friend,” right? I wasn’t sure about that until lab-grown diamonds caught my eye. I had to know more, and once I discovered lab-grown diamond company Clean Origin, I found the answers, here’s why Lab-Grown Diamonds are an Ethical Choice in the Diamond Industry.

The concept of diamonds-especially for engagement rings, was first marketed in 1947 by South African mining company De Beers. With the slogan, “Diamonds are forever”, the idea of diamonds has become a symbol of love, commitment, and even ‘a girl’s best friend’ in pop culture. It’s also evolved into an intergenerational rite of passage: diamonds are to be kept forever and handed down within the family.

Lab-Grown Diamonds: a Disruptor in the Diamond Industry

Valued at 17 billion dollars, the diamond industry has a stronghold in North America and in burgeoning markets like China. However, there is a new diamond source in town: according to The Economist, lab-grown diamonds are “the biggest disruptor the diamond industry had faced,” holding a 2% market share, and growing by 15% each year.

Related post: How To Be An Ethical Traveller On Indigenous Land

What is the attraction to a diamond created in a lab, rather than mined from natural resources?

Simply put, they’re eco-friendly, ethically sourced, and 20-30% less expensive than mined diamonds!  The environmental benefits to choosing lab-grown caught my eye first: not only are the carbon emissions of a lab-grown diamond only 4.8% of a mined diamond, they also require less than half as much energy for production. Further, the mineral waste per carat of diamond in the lab is only 1 pound, compared to 5798 pounds for a mined diamond.

Lab-Grown Diamonds: An Ethical Choice in the Diamond Industry

The human impact of the traditional diamond industry is also less sparkly: in fact, diamond related conflicts, child labour, corruption and significant environmental damage are still happening. According to an ethical diamond guide by Time Magazine, although a certification system for diamond mining exists, there are not many ways to guarantee a mined diamond isn’t tainted- even if you do find out its country of origin.

Are lab-grown diamonds real?

Absolutely! Although they originate in a lab and not in a mine, lab-grown diamonds are identical to mined diamonds. How is this possible?

Clean Origin, a lab-grown diamond company with three generations of experience in the diamond industry, explains that lab-created diamonds are put through a scientific process which achieves the same quality as mined diamonds. There are two different processes they can undergo: High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD).

Lab-Grown Diamonds: An Ethical Choice in the Diamond Industry

The two processes use a combination of heat and pressure to form a diamond. Incredibly high pressure combined with high temperatures (800 degrees Celsius for CVD diamonds and 1500 degrees Celsius for an HPHT diamond) allows pure carbon to form around a starter seed. After it is exposed to carbon-rich gases, ionization adheres the pure carbon to the diamond seed, and it slowly crystallizes into being a girl’s best friend. One common misconception is that lab grown diamonds are completely perfect. However, they are graded the same exact way as mined diamonds: using the 4 C’s. Meaning, they vary in color, imperfections, and flaws.

Related post: How Misleading Green Marketing is Hurting Ethical Shopping

With this new, ethical, eco-friendly and more affordable diamond out there, would you buy it?

Pardon the pun, but lab-grown diamonds are on the “cutting edge” of environmental and social practices that makes a luxury market even more attractive. For me, a more ethical, eco-friendly and affordable option will always be my first choice- how about you?

 

Lab-Grown Diamonds: An Ethical Choice in the Diamond Industry

 

That’s a look at how Lab-Grown Diamonds: An Ethical Choice in the Diamond Industry. This post is generously sponsored by Clean Origin. I only work with brands I love and can stand behind. 

Candice Batista

Candice Batista is an award winning Environmental Journalist and one of Canada’s leading eco advocates. Her career spans national and international media outlets, where she has used her background in environmental studies and media & communications to produce and report on various environmental and climate issues for primarily television and digital audiences including Huffington Post, The Globe & Mail, The Weather Network, CityTV, Rogers Television, The Pet Network, iChannel, and CTV, where she is currently the National Eco Expert for the stations number 1 daytime talk show, The Marilyn Denis Show.
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