I love the beauty of diamonds. I love their sparkle and the dreams they represent, but at what cost? When I researched and learnt the truth behind the origin of my own earth-mined diamond, and what really goes into bringing earth-mined diamonds to market, I discovered a living nightmare that was beyond anything imaginable. I knew there had to be a better way, so I began my search for a conflict-free diamond. I soon learnt the only diamond that was truly conflict-free, for both the earth and humanity, was a man-made option. I also discovered that I was not the only one in search of an ethically produced diamond.
A new breed of buyer is on the rise – the source-informed consumer. These shoppers are the market mavens, passionate about where their products originate from and the trade ethics behind products in the marketplace. And the good news is their numbers are growing.
Fortunately for the diamond consumer, there is now a new era in the diamond industry. MiaDonna & Company, D.NEA, and Pure Grown Diamonds are pioneering the jewelry industry, selling eco-friendly, Lab-created diamonds (also known as man-made diamonds) that are conflict-free, chemically and optically identical to earth-mined diamonds, and roughly 10% to 30% less than an equivalent earth-mined diamond.
Here are a few reasons why I love Lab-created diamonds:
1) We know their origin.
Unlike earth-mined diamonds, Lab-created diamonds and gems are created in a modern-day lab environment that is highly controlled and held to high work standards — making these diamonds the only diamonds that are not negatively affecting aboriginal communities or the earth.
2) Lab-created diamonds are superior to most earth-mined diamonds on the market.
Most diamond consumers do not realize that there is more to a diamond’s quality than the 4c’s. There are also Diamond types, which is a method of scientifically classifying diamonds by the level and type of their chemical impurities. Diamonds are separated into four types: Type Ia, Type Ib, Type IIa, and Type IIb. Most of the diamonds you see in a typical jewelry store are a Type Ia. These diamonds make up for about 98% of all earth-mined diamonds and are less expensive but have more impurities. Type IIa Diamonds on the other hand, are superior with only 1% to 2% of all earth-mined diamonds being this type. These diamonds are very expensive and the most sought-after by collectors and investors. The reason why these stones are so exceptional is that they contain very little nitrogen or none at all within the crystal lattice, so they do not easily absorb short-wave light. The result is that light is easily able to pass through and bounce back at the beholder’s eye, producing a stunning appearance. Because they are almost pure carbon, white diamonds are remarkably colorless and harder than the regular Type Ia diamond. Modern technology is now allowing us to grow pure type IIa diamonds and they cost less than a type Ia, which is really impressive. The Hope diamond was Type IIa, Queen Elizabeth & Elizabeth Taylor have both owned rare, Type IIa diamonds and now you can be royalty too, with your type IIa Lab-created diamond.
3) Lab-created diamonds are better for your marriage.
“‘A Diamond is Forever’ and other Fairy Tales” economists, Andrew M. Francis and Hugo M. Mialon, surveyed 3,000 once or still married couples in the U.S. They found that when it comes to shopping around for engagement rings couples who spent more on a ring were 1.3 times likelier to get divorced. This is also true for the cost of the wedding. The result is a less expensive, superior Lab-created Diamond is better for your marriage. I feel it’s time to release ourselves from that 2 to 3 month salary “rule” and invest in our marriages instead.
4) Lab-created diamonds are the future!
It’s simply the evolution of a product and society. The diamond industry is using a century old marketing plan that we are all still buying into. However, consumers are now breaking free from old traditions, beliefs and an outdated way of doing things. They are driving the diamond market by demanding ethically produced diamonds – Lab-created diamonds.
5) Conflict Diamonds are still a real problem in today’s society.
In December 2000, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a landmark resolution supporting the creation of an international certification scheme for rough diamonds, to stem the flow of conflict diamonds, called The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS). The KPCS is open to all countries that are willing and able to implement its requirements, however, since not every trader is required to be a part of this agreement, a trading loophole exists that allows conflict or “blood diamonds” to seep into the market. From 2010 to 2014, it was estimated that over 48 million carats of diamonds, that were mined under horrific conditions, made their way onto the international diamond market. That is just from one country and the diamonds we know about! Although the Kimberley Process is a good idea in theory, it has proven time and time again that it just isn’t working.
Every time you spend a dollar, you’re investing money in your future. Your money goes to work in the world, but all too often it goes to support institutions and corporations that perpetuate injustice, pollute the environment and destroy communities — much without your knowledge. Despite that truth, we can create change. You can use your economic power to push for socially and environmentally responsible businesses and products; and put our global society on a more sustainable path. You can do all that by choosing to ‘Put a Lab-created Ring On It’!