OPINION: Lab-grown diamonds are here to stay

Cred Jewellery director, Alan Frampton, outlines the facts that reveal lab-grown diamonds are here to stay.

Words by Alan Frampton.

Mining diamonds is an energy intensive and ecologically invasive procedure affecting fragile eco-systems across the world.

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According to the Diamond Association own statistics, it takes 7.3 tons of ore to produce one carat of diamond. You have to remove five tons to get every one ton of ore.

In 2017, 150 million carats were produced. The diamond industry moves 6.57 billion tons of earth to harvest its crop.

According to a study by Princetown University the carbon footprint of a lab grown is 18-22% of a mined diamond. Some manufacturers are now carbon neutral.

In 2008 it cost $4000 to produce 1ct of lab grown – now its $300-500 (£226-£377).

In the USA, in 2016 39% of consumers were willing to purchase an engagement ring with a lab grown diamond – in 2018 its 70%.

Stock valuation of diamond companies across the world have fallen 40% over the last two years.

The presidents of Alrosa in Russia and Dominion Mining Co have both resigned to set up lab-grown companies.

Using the CVD method of production produces a Type IIa diamond , the FTA in the USA stated last year, “A diamond is a diamond regardless of origin”. They are physically, optically, chemically and atomically a diamond.

De Beers are investing in a new production unit to produce 0.5 million carats from 2020 and the Diamond Foundry will produce 1 million carats from their new factory in 2019.

Actually at the end of the day as jewellers its about offering our customers choice and letting them decide.

At an average of 30% cheaper at retail you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to work out what will happen.

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