The makers of the first ever Fairtrade wedding bands, Cred Jewellery, is expanding its ethical jewellery portfolio with the addition of the “ultimate ethical engagement ring”.
Cred Jewellery has just announced the launch of lab-grown diamonds, crafted in Fairtrade gold, which will be available from the brand this autumn.
Lab-grown stones allow for diamonds mines to be cut out all together and offer the opportunity to provide a superior quality product that is 100% traceable and is approximately 30% cheaper than mined diamonds.
Alan Frampton, managing director, explains: “Mining diamonds is an energy intensive and ecologically invasive procedure, affecting fragile ecosystems across the world. Lab grown diamonds are a victory for the environment, human rights and diamond supply chain transparency.”
He continues: “It is our mission to maintain a short and transparent supply chain from mine to market, supporting Fairtrade miners in shaking up the industry and freeing consumers to choose where their jewellery comes from. We are achieving this with Fairtrade gold and now we can seize the brilliant new opportunity in lab grown diamonds.”
The production of lab grown diamonds has already increased from 325,000 carats in 2013/14 to 4,000,000 carats in 2016/17. In the USA jewellery industry leaders are predicting that 50% of their diamond inventory will be lab grown by 2020.
Lab grown diamonds are made by simulating the environment at the Earth’s mantle where diamonds were created. Carbon is placed under extreme heat and pressure and layer by layer, molecule by molecule the carbon bonds to a small diamond ‘seed’ using the seed itself as a molecular template.
This process takes as little as four days and the result is a rough diamond which can be cut and polished for use in jewellery like any natural mined diamond. The controlled conditions of the laboratory result in a purer diamond, without the trace elements of other minerals that are often found in nature.
By using lab grown diamonds Cred Jewellery can assure its customers on the quality, tractability and value of its stones. Lab grown diamonds belong to a category of diamond called Type IIA. Less than 2% of world’s mined diamonds belong to this category, but now they are available at a more affordable price, and environmentally and socially responsible.
Frampton concludes: “For decades, the diamond industry has been opaque about their supply chain, actively avoiding transparency and traceability. At Cred, we are proud to be agents of change. We currently offer Canada Mark diamonds with 100% traceability and also Namibian diamonds which are best practice in traditional African mining although traceability is not independently accredited. Our customers are telling us they want socially and environmentally responsible products and for us the very best opportunity for this is just about to open up in launching a collection made with lab grown diamonds.”
Initially launching with engagement rings, the brand is set to launch more lab grown diamond bridal pieces throughout the year.