Unpacking The Effects Of Pandora's Decision To Use Only Lab-Grown Diamonds
Pandora has said enough to natural diamonds extracted from mines: it will use only diamonds produced in the laboratory for its jewels. The choice is based on the environmental and social policies of the company.
Pandora has over 6,000 stores in 100 countries. They are also one of the largest producers of jewelry globally, some of which are made with precious stones, including diamonds.
In the trend of sustainable luxury, Pandora invests in synthetic diamonds. The largest jewelry maker in the world announced that it would no longer use mined diamonds.
What Are Synthetic Diamonds?
The production of synthetic diamonds does not take billions of years, but it still takes a long time to complete. Besides, they developed the first techniques between the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Initially, they were trying to imitate as much as possible the processes that occur in the mantle, thus subjecting the carbon to very high temperatures and intense pressure. These systems made it possible to obtain small diamonds, which are especially useful in the industrial sector.
Are Synthetic Diamonds Forever?
Artificial diamonds are physically and chemically identical to mined diamonds, and the jewelry industry has been using them for some time. They make them starting from coal, as nature does with natural diamonds.
"This is a testament to our ongoing and ambitious sustainability agenda. We want to become a company with low carbon emissions."
These are not to be confused with the simulation of the diamond from zirconium oxide brought to a temperature of about 3,000°C to be able to transform it into "stone" cubic zirconia. The "real" artificial diamond is usually made using coal and pressing it to about five gigapascals at a temperature of 1,500°C.
Pandora's CVD Technology
Pandora's diamond will use CVD technology instead. It is a technique where they grow diamonds from mixtures of hydrocarbon gases. In the CVD process, they place a thin laboratory-grown diamond slice in a sealed vacuum chamber and heated to approximately 800°C.
They fill the chamber with a carbon-rich gas (such as methane) along with other gases (such as hydrogen). The gases are subsequently ionized into plasma using microwaves, lasers, or other techniques that require a large amount of electricity.
Ionization breaks the molecular bonds in gases. Pure carbon adheres to the diamond slice that acts as a seed and slowly accumulates in a diamond, atom by atom and layer by layer.
Pandora is ready with a collection of jewelry with synthetic diamonds produced in Great Britain. It is called Pandora Brilliance and debut on May 6 this year in the United Kingdom and will then extend to other key markets starting in 2022.
The prices of the Pandora Brilliance collection jewels will start from 250 pounds. Also, they have diamonds ranging from 0.15 to one carat. In recent years, several companies specializing in lab-grown diamonds or alternative stones have gained popularity.
In doing so, consumers will be able to buy jewelry at a lower price. And above all, without the environmental and ethical problems surrounding traditional diamonds, also called blood diamonds, they are mined in war zones and sold to finance war efforts.