How Ethical and Environmental Concerns Led to The Boom in Lab-Grown Diamonds – by Anay Mridul (Green Queen – August 29, 2023)

Green Queen

A more ethical and usually eco-friendly alternative to their mined counterparts, lab-grown diamonds have been making a lot of waves lately. But how are they made, just how climate-friendly are they, and are consumers buying them?

The hardest naturally occurring substance on earth, diamonds represent a $90 billion industry. But new concerns about diamond supply shortage and subsequent price increases have added to existing ones about their human rights, crime and climate-related issues.

All this has led to the lab-grown diamond boom. Research by industry analyst Paul Ziminsky shows that lab-grown diamond jewellery sales reached nearly $12B last year, growing by 38% year-on-year. In 2023, the industry has already surpassed that, with revenue amounting to $14.6B globally.

The problem with naturally mined diamonds

The diamond industry’s ethical problems have been widely covered. Terms like “blood diamonds” (you may recall the DiCaprio film on the subject) are synonymous with the sector, given the widespread use of child labour, accusations of hazardous working conditions, as well as extremely low wages, and criminal activity.

While the industry has introduced certification schemes that have largely banished unethical trading, diamonds’ environmental issues remain. And that’s due to the traditional way of obtaining natural diamonds: mining. Diamonds are usually mined through open-pit, underground or marine methods.

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