Pandora ditching mined diamonds for lab-grown ones – by Hannah Denham (Washington Post – May 4, 2021)

The world’s biggest jeweler announced Tuesday it will drop mined diamonds from its glass cases and sell only lab-generated ones, a pointed move for an industry that relies on scarcity for value and a reflection of consumer demand for sustainability and ethical sourcing.

Copenhagen-based Pandora’s foray into man-made diamonds, which can be produced at a fraction of the cost and time, reflects a reorientation of the jewelry market brought on by the pandemic and the sentiments of younger buyers, who are more likely to factor in environmental and human rights concerns when choosing products.

“It’s the right thing to do,” chief executive Alexander Lacik told the BBC. “We want to become a low-carbon business. I have four children, I’m leaving this earth one day, I hope I can leave it in a better shape than maybe what we’ve kind of created in the last 50 years or so.”

Pandora says its lab-created diamonds have the same chemical and physical characteristics (carbon) as those excavated from mines, and are still graded by cut, color, clarity and carat.

They’re produced in hot, pressurized chambers within weeks, which can require a lot of electricity but still can be produced for a third of the mining price, while those pulled from the earth are formed over centuries.

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