Can Lab-Grown Diamonds Really Go Mainstream? – by Emily Chan (British Vogue – August 29, 2023)

Lab-grown diamonds are a divisive subject in the jewellery world, with the synthetic gemstones often branded “fake” or lesser-than by those in favour of conventional mined diamonds. But in reality, man-made diamonds are identical to natural diamonds – so much so that a diamond expert wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the two on examination.

Given that a lab-grown diamond can have a significantly lower carbon footprint compared to a mined diamond, in many ways it’s a no-brainer to choose the man-made option. “When you look at the average mined diamond compared to a lab-created diamond that we’re using, ours has five per cent of the CO2 emissions,” Mads Twomey-Madsen, Pandora’s vice president of corporate communications and sustainability, tells Vogue. “On the emissions [front], it’s a clear case – there’s no discussion.”

While a 2019 report, commissioned by the Diamond Producers Association, suggested that lab-grown diamonds could have three times the carbon footprint as mined diamonds, the data took into account emissions created by labs in China and India, where coal is still a dominant energy source.

Crucially, Pandora has partnered with a supplier that uses 100 per cent renewable energy to produce its diamonds. “That changes the whole equation,” Twomey-Madsen explains.

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