Lab-grown diamond specialist Vrai has created and is now auctioning three of what it has called “solitaire cross” diamond pendants.

It believes them to be the first of their kind ever produced, and the trio of pieces have now been blessed by Pope Francis.

A press release from the company went on to describe the pieces as “a nearly inch-tall cross that is one single crystal of Vrai created diamond”.

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With a final weight of around 5ct, the pieces made use of a 30ct diamond grown by Diamond Foundry in Washington State using renewable energy with zero emissions.

They were then cut in San Francisco, California and polished in Vrai’s workshop in Xian, China.

The pieces are being auctioned on Vrai’s website, with the highest bid at $13,000 (£9,800) at the time of writing.

Proceeds from the auction will go to Scholas Occurrentes, an international organisation present in 190 countries through an extensive educational network created by Pope Francis.

Scholas’ mission is to bring young people together from diverse backgrounds in an educational experience. Open to all faiths and none, Scholas is independently funded.

Pope Francis has in the past commented on issues of sustainability and the environment, saying: ”The earth’s resources are being plundered because of short-sighted approaches.

“Mining extracts wealth from land that paradoxically does not produce wealth for the local populations who remain poor.

“Radical paradigm change is required for the entire resource sector — towards sustainable development and an integral ecology.”

Vrai believes that its work creating lab-grown diamonds is an example of this change that Pope Francis is demanding.