Several popular jewelers have turned to lab-grown diamonds for their products recently. However, the assumption that these diamonds are an entirely sustainable option is a misleading point to argue.
Diamonds are some of the most precious stones globally and have been held in high regard for centuries. These brilliant gems symbolize wealth, opulence, and even affection, as seen on engagement rings.
Recently, more jewelers have turned to lab-grown diamonds as a sustainable alternative to the mined stones. While this may be the case in some instances, it is best to explore whether these gems live up to their hype.
The Increase In Demand For Sustainable Options
Diamonds have always attracted consumers with their sparkling good looks, but their image is under fire. In addition, consumers are becoming more environmentally and ethically conscious, making buying diamonds tricky.
Over the past few years, diamond mining has been criticized for its environmental and ethical practices. Soon, consumers grew more conscious of the lack of transparency and abuse in mining and opted for alternatives.
The lab-grown diamond has been marketed as the cleaner diamond alternative for these conscious consumers. Jewelers such as Pandora, Vrai, De Beers, and Kimaï have even started selling lab-grown diamonds.
Lab-grown diamonds can indeed be the cleaner option when produced under optimal conditions. However, several social, economic, and environmental factors dig deeper into this option.
How Sustainable Are Lab Grown Diamonds?
Since brands introduced lab-grown diamonds as an alternative, many consumers readily accepted them. These diamonds have been marketed as a sustainable option; however, critics warn of their potential pitfalls.
The Federal Trade Commission has weighed in on the debate sparked by critics of the lab-grown diamonds. They have put in place regulations that restrict LGD companies from advertising as ‘eco-friendly.’
The FTC has put these regulations in place for several reasons, and one is the process of making LGD’s. Lab-grown diamonds are produced using high pressure, chemical vapor deposition, and high temperature.
The industrial processes mentioned above all require large amounts of energy, usually drawn from local power grids. Unfortunately, many LGD producing countries rely on coal or natural gas for power, making it unsustainable.
Lab-Grown Diamond Vs. Natural Diamonds
Now that we are aware that both diamond options have their issues, it is essential to figure out which is better. While a simple pros and cons list may be helpful, there is much to consider in the brilliant stone world.
Many experts have spoken up in support of the diamond mining industry for the growth and transparency it adopted. Although diamond mining has been plagued with unfortunate claims, it has been held accountable.
Additionally, there are lab-grown diamonds produced more sustainably using solar power. Another positive about this option is affordability for those who do not have a natural diamond budget yet.
Over 99% of mined diamonds are certified as conflict-free today, and with some research, one can find sustainably produced LGD’s. The choice is truly up to the buyer, the budget, and the amount of digging one can do.