They look like diamonds and have the same chemical composition, but rather than being mined out of the ground, they are grown in a laboratory. Laura McCreddie-Doak looks at the new breed of cultivated diamonds
We’re led to believe that diamonds are unique. These glittering objects have their own special mythology, with histories that start in volcanoes. Rocks that are unassuming at first but which, through man’s skill, can be whittled, coaxed and polished into something beautiful and precious. Or, at least, that used to be the case. Now diamonds that look as good as the real thing are being grown in labs and used by savvy luxury brands conscious that customers want ethical purity almost as much as they want statement sparkle.
“We wanted to produce beautifully designed and seriously covetable diamond jewellery, but found that sourcing traceable gems was a very grey area,” explains Katie Rowland, creative director of new luxury jewellery brand Lark & Berry. “Diamonds can be used in a very exploitative manner to support war, conflict and human suffering. We discovered that cultured diamonds are no different than their mined counterparts apart from their origination, which in this case is a controlled laboratory environment.
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