Diamonds, it is said, are a girl’s best friend. But this best friend has gained something of an unsavoury reputation in recent years. With growing concerns about the invasive effects of diamond mining, not to mention the issues surrounding the so-called blood diamonds. But the stones are so beautiful and deserve to be worn on our most important occasions! Is there any way we can still have our calm consciences and wear our diamonds too? That’s where lab grown diamonds come in.
Exploitation of miners and mine workers is a serious consideration.
With some of the world’s poorest people treated very badly as they harvest some of the world’s richest treasures.
Needless to say, this often happens in places where health and safety considerations are seldom implemented.
This just adds to the guilt of a eco-friendly and socially aware consumer.
Diamond mining itself is not a pretty business, with many harsh chemicals used in the processing of the stones, and the pits and shafts being sunk into what should be fertile primary terrain.
Modern mining methods do aim to clean up sites before they are shut down.
They’re making efforts to replant native plants and remove harmful traces from the area.
But, there are still many places where these efforts are mere lip service, or not implemented at all.
Worst of all are so-called blood diamonds.
Diamonds that are mined by brutal governments and used to prop up draconian regimes.
Also those in which wars and terrorism are funds with the proceeds.
While steps are being taken to remove these tainted stones from the supply chain, greed tends to find a way.
It is hard to be absolutely certain that a natural stone has been sourced ethically, from sources unrelated to abuse, war and terror.
What Is The Solution?
Cultured or lab grown diamonds are the perfect solution.
Firstly, they are made from sustainable materials, in reputable laboratories.
Their provenance can be traced from source to retail in two simple steps.
Compare this to the fifteen or twenty steps that a traditionally mined diamond can take!
Larkandberry.com are producers of beautiful jewellery (such as lab grown diamond engagement rings) that are identical with naturally occurring diamonds.
They are considerably cheaper and are guaranteed conflict free.
Sustainability matters more than ever now. In a lot of industries you have to give up quality or pay much more to get access to a sustainable product. With diamonds it’s quite the opposite. If this isn’t enough reason to choose a cultured diamond over a mined one, I don’t know what is.– Isabelle, London (Lark & Berry Customer)
How Are Lab Grown Diamonds Made?
There are two ways to culture diamonds in a laboratory:
The first is to mimic nature and apply tremendous heat and pressure to carbon.
The second way seems to be a magical kind of alchemy!
A tiny slice of diamond is heated in the presence of a carbon heavy gas (methane is often used.)
The combination of the heat and gas cause the carbon atoms to change form.
This crystalises on the diamond slice (sometimes called a seed), growing the diamond.
Are Lab Grown Diamonds Any Good?
They made a very pure diamond with far fewer impurities than naturally sourced diamonds.
In fact, these laboratory grown diamonds are so very good that experts cannot tell them apart from natural diamonds!
And they tend to be grouped with Type IIa diamonds, the second highest category of natural diamond.
That is equal to the top one or two per cent of all diamonds.
Everything about these diamonds is authentic.
Even the laboratories must use a machine to tell the difference between one of their stones and a naturally sourced one.
An expert using their training will not be able to pick a lab diamond from a natural one!
Why Are Lab Grown Diamonds So Pure?
When diamonds are forming in the ground, the carbon is often mixed with other elements.
Soils, and water, as well as any other chemicals and substances that might be in the ground.
Most of these burn off or are destroyed when the diamond is being formed under immense heat and pressure, but often tiny traces remain.
This is just enough to lower the clarity and colour values of the natural diamond.
In the laboratory, only the necessary elements are used, resulting in very high-quality beautiful diamonds.
What Are The Benefits Of Cultured Diamonds?
The first benefit is that cultured diamonds are much cheaper than regular diamonds.
They have usually not travelled far to reach the jeweller.
There are also so many less steps between initiation and final product.
This means that cultured diamonds, while being beautiful and identical with a hard-won Type IIa natural stone, can cost as much as 30% to 50% less!
Other benefits include the abovementioned ethical considerations…
No one is exploited to create these beautiful gemstones, and they are guaranteed to be free of conflict.
They are made from sustainable materials using renewable energy sources, so they tick the eco-friendly box too.
Make Your Choice…
The benefits of lab grown diamonds are clear for everyone to see.
As clear as the beautiful diamonds that are sure to be gracing many fingers, ears and necks soon.
And all without a twinge of guilty conscience too!