The largest jewellery maker in the world, Pandora, will now only use diamonds from laboratories for their jewellery. The company wants to ban natural diamonds, which are extracted in mines.
Pandora barely used diamonds in their jewellery; 50,000 of Pandoras 85 million jewellery produced annually were cut into diamonds.
Karen Rentmeesters, from domed organisation Antwerp World Diamond Centre, says that the price of lab diamonds has fallen so much in recent years due to large-scale production that it can now be a good earning model for Pandora to sell only jewellery with that type of diamonds. Jewelry with lab diamonds is significantly cheaper than jewelry that incorporates natural diamonds.
Also the purity of the lab diamonds has improved slightly in recent years, says Rentmeesters. But after analysis it is finally possible to determine whether a diamond comes from the ground or from a laboratory.
Human Rights Watch warned last year that many wrong diamonds still end up at well-known jewellery brands. Production in mines, for example, includes forced labour and child labour.
At least 85 percent of the diamonds that are extracted from mines come from large listed companies that cannot operate without ensuring that the local community gets better.
Lots of energy
A disadvantage of lab diamonds is that the production requires a lot of energy. Carbon is compressed under high pressure and needs to be heated to 800 degrees Celsius. “Diamonds from laboratories are largely produced in companies in China, where they use coal,” says Rentmeesters.
Jewelry maker Pandora works to make the production of lab diamonds more sustainable.