Pandora, the biggest jeweler in the world, had announced a monumental decision back in May 2021. The Danish jewelers will only be using artificially created diamonds for their products. They were officially the first major company in the industry to completely move away from mined diamonds.
The Ethical Issues Behind Mined Diamonds
Diamonds are formed by carbon atoms being forced into their crystalline structure via intense heat and pressure. Naturally, the process takes several billion years. It can only happen at least 100 miles underneath the surface of the earth. This means that natural diamonds always have to be mined.
There are diamond mines that follow ethical rules. However, a lot of them have rampant humanitarian issues such as environmental destructions, abuse of human rights, as well as child labor. Insurgent groups or even governments sometimes extract this resource to pay for wars. This gives the diamonds the name “blood diamonds” or conflict diamonds.
Diamonds created in labs are optically as well as physically identical to naturally-occurring diamonds. The only difference between the two is their manufacturing process.
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Pandora is using a technology known as Chemical Vapor Deposition to make their diamonds. In the process, a small sliver of an artificial diamond is placed inside a vacuum chamber. Then, plasma and heat are applied to it to make the diamond grow, until it reaches a suitable size.
The entire process takes just under a month to complete. For Pandora, artificially producing diamonds also reduce their costs by as much as 67%.
These Diamonds Are Also Sustainable
Additionally, the CVD process that Pandora is using has received carbon-neutral certification. Over 60% of the energy required in the process is also renewable energy. By next year, the jeweler hopes that all the energy required to create its diamonds artificially will be renewable.
Alexander Lacik, the CEO of Pandora, said in an interview with BBC News that Pandora hopes to become a business with a low carbon footprint. As for Lacik himself, he wants to leave Earth in a healthier way for his four children than what has happened over the last half a century.
The first collection by Pandora featuring these diamonds is called Pandora Brilliance. It will include rings and necklaces among other jewelry. The collection has been exclusively available in the UK since May 6th, 2021. Pandora hopes it can go global in the coming year.
Of course, existing products that already have mined diamonds will still be sold. But the company has ceased to make any new ones including natural diamonds.
The Impact Of Pandora’s Decision
The popularity of artificial diamonds has increased steadily. However, natural diamonds remained the dominant resource in the field. The majority of the biggest jewelers still sell products including natural diamonds.
However, Pandora is possibly the biggest jewelry in the world. So a decision made by such a house should speed up the transition needed to stop using the natural gems.