Lab-grown diamonds on the rise

Lab-grown diamonds
[Image courtesy - Inhabitat]

Lab-grown diamonds are being acknowledged by more and more traditional retailers each passing day. The authenticity and environmental sustainability of these stones has proved to be the biggest factor of consideration by sellers and buyers alike.

Diamond Foundry to open new production facility

There is no stopping for the Silicon Valley start-up Diamond Foundry. Backed by famous actor Leonardo DiCaprio, and various other tech investors like Zynga founder Mark Pincus, Facebook cofounder Andrew McCollum et al, Diamond Foundry is all set to open up a new production facility in San Francisco. The facility is expected to produce 100,000 carats of Lab-grown diamonds a year.


Increase in Production & Sales

Moreover, a report by Morgan Stanley states that the sales for Lab-grown diamonds could reach at USD 1 billion by 2020. A Los Angeles based buyer Neada Deters is all game for Lab-grown diamonds. She says,

“For me, it doesn’t matter how luxury is perceived. It’s really important that something is made in an ethical and sustainable way.”


Technological Implications

Lab-grown diamonds have a greater worth for technological uses because of its chemical properties. Recently, Element Six, a part of the De Beers Group collaborated with Siemens to use Diamox electrochemical advanced oxidation cell technology. It is used in a successful pilot project which includes effective treatment of recalcitrant industrial wastewater. The high-purity, electrically-conductive, free standing boron doped diamond (BDD) electrode is used to produce advanced oxidation processes that mineralises dissolved pollutants in wastewater streams.

Siemens Zimpro electro-oxidation technology and Element Six’s Diamox combine to provide solutions for challenging applications such as spent caustic treatment in an efficient and cost-effective way.

Anthony Pink, CEO of Siemens Water Solutions says, “Siemens and Element Six are both world leaders in their respective fields, so combining our expertise was a logical step to best serve our customers and fill a gap in the market. Hard to treat waste streams require technology that is capable of handling and thriving in challenging environments. We see that this safer, more environmentally-friendly technology will excel in these applications, giving the highest level of treatment performance, with no compromises on safety or quality.”


Consumer Awareness & Sustainability

Industry analysts Paul Zimnisky also remarks the growth in adoption of Lab-grown diamonds. He also says that consumer awareness and marketing are essential since the traditional brick-and-mortar jewelers have fully not yet adopted Lab-grown diamonds. Alan Frampton, owner of ethical jewelery brand Cred expressed his opinion on Lab-grown diamonds, stating them as more sustainable than their mined counterparts.

He said, “At Cred, we started selling [lab-grown diamonds] in August and the response has been very strong. They are environmentally-friendly, socially responsible and better value for money. They are atomically exactly the same as type IIA diamonds. They come laser marked with a lab-grown certificate and we offer our customers choice between lab-grown and natural diamonds, mostly from Canada.”

At Positive Week, an event organised by Positive Luxury, British jewelery legend Stephen Webster expressed his interest in Lab-grown diamonds. While he doesn’t use Lab-grown diamonds in his collection, he is optimistic with the future of Lab-grown diamonds.

While Mined Diamonds also trying to make their case

At the same event, Jo Blake, head of communications at De Beer’s brand Forevermark, argued that the Lab-grown diamonds are not properly regulated unlike the mined diamonds which have regulations that support the eco-friendly and sustainable nature of the mined diamonds.

This opinion comes against the various cases where mined diamonds have been known to be sourced through illegal practices. Recently, Ada diamonds discovered undisclosed mined diamonds in a parcel of Lab-grown diamonds, questioning the source of it.

At a time when the Lab-grown diamonds is on the verge of ruling the Diamond industry, comment like Jo Blake’s is a natural way of bringing the faith in mined diamonds back.

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