A Growing Trend in the Controversial Diamond Industry
Lab-grown diamonds are in as mined diamonds lose their luster
Sponsored by Clean Origin
September 20, 2019
Where do diamonds come from? Anyone who has seen Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves would probably tell you that they come from a mine, right? While that is a correct answer, it isn’t the only correct answer.
Due to technological advancements and a growing trend towards conscious consumerism in the fashion industry, the popularity of lab-created diamonds has risen considerably over the last several years. This trend is what Clean Origin, an up-and-coming jeweler of lab-created diamonds, is attempting to do in order to make the world a better place.
A stigma surrounds the phrase “lab-created” or “lab-grown” when it comes to diamonds. They don’t have a negative connotation, per se, but there is some hesitation when they are compared to mined diamonds. After all, they can’t possibly be real diamonds, can they? The truth is that the only thing that separates a mined diamond from a lab-created diamond is where it was grown. Other than that they are exactly the same. Lab-created diamonds are real diamonds. They just came from a different source than what the world is used to. Scientists have found a way to replicate the diamond-growing process in a lab using what they know about diamonds that are created in the Earth’s core. That is where the innovative technology comes in.
Sure, purists and traditionalists will cry foul, believing them to be “unnatural” in concept and creation; but the truth of the matter is that there is no cosmetic difference between mined and lab-created diamonds. Both are graded the same way using the 4 c’s (cut, clarity, color and carat), and they both share the same physical and chemical properties. Some naysayers will compare lab-created diamonds to cubic zirconia, but that is simply not the case. Cubic zirconia is another element entirely.
So what exactly is attracting consumers to lab-created diamonds? It’s a combination of factors, but it can mostly be tied to the economic constraints and environmentally friendly minds of millennials. Not only are these diamonds eco-friendly due to the fact that there is much less waste, resource use and carbon emissions, but the lack of mining means that the diamonds are also ethical because there is no way for them to be linked to the unethical practices that some diamond production operations have fallen under scrutiny for. You won’t hear the words “blood diamond” or “conflict diamond” anywhere near a jeweler selling lab-created diamonds, and that helps put the consumer’s mind at ease when making a purchase.
The other perk to lab-created diamonds is their affordability. A big reason for this is the simple fact that weddings are expensive. Lab-created diamonds provide a more budget-friendly way for the younger generation to achieve the wedding of their dreams without sacrificing luxury. Since there is no mining, there is a shorter supply chain to get the diamonds. This means that lab-created diamonds can be as much as 40% more economical than mined diamonds. Notice the absence of the word “cheap.” Lab-created diamonds are not cheap, as they share many of the same capital costs as a mined diamond.
What’s even more surprising is the fashion industry’s affinity towards this new trend. Studies have shown that the fashion industry is the world’s second most polluting industry, with cheap labor and toxic chemicals just two of the factors leading to the industry’s negative image. The decision-makers in the industry realize this, and making the move towards lab-grown diamonds is one of many steps they are taking to clean up their image (and the planet).
Seeing the opportunity in the lab-grown diamond market and realizing their responsibility to the consumer, Clean Origin has decided to design all of their jewelry using lab-created diamonds. Knowing that this new trend might make some customers wary of pulling the trigger on what is still a sizable investment, despite the more affordable cost, they offer a 100-day return policy on all of their jewelry. This is both an effort to put people’s minds at ease and to combat the competitors in the market who earn their money from mined diamond operations. Alexander Weindling, Clean Origin’s founder and CEO, is well aware of the risks people assume when adopting a new trend. “We are looking to win through truth and transparency,” he says. That is how you earn loyal customers, after all.
All of this being said, mined diamonds still make up the majority of the market share when it comes to diamond sales, but it is believed that the sales of lab-grown diamonds could eclipse those of mined diamonds as early as 2030. Jewelers like Clean Origin are making lab-grown diamonds the new norm, and considering all the benefits they come with it should come as no surprise that they are taking the world by storm.