Pandora is Switching to Lab-Grown Diamonds

This company will stop using mined diamonds in all their jewelry.

May 20, 2021
Pandora is Switching to Lab-Grown Diamonds | This company will stop using mined diamonds in all their jewelry.

A diamond is forever according to a mining company’s advertising promotion.. And now, Pandora, the largest jewelry company in the world, wants your treasured diamond engagement ring or earrings to be made in a laboratory instead of extracted from a mine.

The Danish company announced on May 4, 2021, the launch of Pandora Brilliance, its first lab-made diamond collection in their aim to make diamond jewelry more affordable and sustainable. This move, the company said in a press release, was consumer driven.

Lab-grown diamonds have the identical make-up as mined diamonds, but they are created in a laboratory and not by nature. The company said they have the same chemical, thermal, and physical characteristics as diamonds extracted from the earth in mines. In fact, lab-made diamonds are graded the same way by what is known as the 4Cs: cut, color, clarity, and carat.

“They are as much a symbol of innovation and progress as they are of enduring beauty and stand as a testament to our ongoing and ambitious sustainability agenda,” Pandora's CEO Alexander Lacik, said in the press release. “Diamonds are not only forever, but for everyone.”

The lab-grown diamonds are actually made with 60 percent renewable energy which the company said they hope will be increased to 100 percent in 2022, and the brand plans to be completely carbon neutral through offsetting greenhouse gasses and only using renewable energy.

In the past year, the worldwide lab-made diamond production grew to around 7 million carats according to the BBC. While at the same time, the production of mined diamonds fell to 111 million carats after reaching a peak of 152 million carats in 2017 according to a report by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre and Bain & Company .

De Beers, the largest diamond producer, reported a 14 percent decrease in production in its annual report. They attribute this major downturn to the coronavirus pandemic. But they say the market is beginning to recover.

While this wasn't a major concern in the Bain report, concerns about the ethical impact of mined diamonds were not the major concern but that sustainability was an important factor to Millennials and Gen-Z than older people when they decide what type of diamond to purchase.

But ethical consumption should play a big role in the decision. It's been more than 20 years since the UN-backed Kimberly process began according to the BBC. This process aimed to stop the  “blood diamonds” that were sold to fuel conflicts in Sierra Leone, Angola, Ivory Coast, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo from reaching the market.

While major jewelry companies are much better at sourcing their diamonds, there is still human rights abuses in the mining industry. A 2020 report by Human Rights Watch wrote that jewelry companies have the responsibility to see that human rights environmental due diligence must be conducted to: “identify, prevent, address, and remediate human rights and environmental impacts in their supply chains.

The organization ranked Pandora as strong in taking significant steps towards responsible sourcing of its diamonds, gold, and silver. In fact, the company employs 26,000 people worldwide and its jewelry is crafted at two LEED certified facilities in Thailand, according to the press release and uses mainly recycled gold and silver. Now with lab-made diamonds, the company is getting even closer to its sustainability goals.

While it is unlikely that lab-made diamonds will completely replace the ones produced by nature, the next status symbol may not be carat size, it just may be sustainability.

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Bonnie has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.