News released this week, is major retailer PANDORA will not be using natural diamonds in their jewellery but only lab created diamonds .https://www.bbc.com/news/business-56972562.Their reasoning ?Pandora's chief executive, Alexander Lacik, told the BBC the change was part of a broader sustainability drive.
He said the firm was pursuing it because "it's the right thing to do".
So what is the difference and why use lab created diamonds?
Even to an expert eye, there is no difference between a lab created diamond and a naturally mined diamond.lab created diamonds are therefore NOT "FAKE"diamonds. Mined diamonds have long been the subject of ethical speculation, including the fact that many mined diamonds come at a cost to human life, and slavery in some parts of the world, as well as the negative impact on the environment. Lab created diamonds are also more sustainable ,consuming significantly less water per carat than their natural counterparts—18 gallons vs. 126 gallons—and have startlingly lower carbon emissions.It is estimated that250 tonnes of earth is shifted for every SINGLE CARAT of diamond when diamonds are dug from the earth. There have also been major problems with water supplies around mines due to acid mined drainage. Lab created diamonds last just as long as natural, do not have such a negative impact on the environment and the best bit? They are cheaper! At least 40% cheaper than the cost of natural diamond. See this report; https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1164/4258/files/Rough_Diamond_version_28-11-14v2_1.pdf
There are two ways in which Lab created diamonds are made.Labs use two different methods to grow diamonds—High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). When the HPHT method is used, a small diamond seed is placed into a piece of carbon.They are chemically identical to natural diamonds. Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) involves placing the seed in a sealed chamber filled with carbon-rich gas and heating to around 800C. Under these conditions the gases begin to “stick” to the seed, growing a diamond carbon atom by atom.
The advances in technology means that diamonds can be made more cheaply now than in 2008 when it cost around $4000 per carat .Now the price is considerably less- naturally created diamond say like an VS1 G 1 carat diamond which is currently sitting at AROUND $6000 , whereas a VS1 G 1 carat lab created diamond is around $2350- quite a significant difference!
Last but not least worth noting is that diamonds, unless they are unusual or rare as in Pink Argyle diamonds - dont tend to hold their price. So dont expect to see off that engagement ring for the same price it was bought for! Another reason you might want to consider buying a lab created diamond!