Although beautiful in appearance, diamonds are often sourced using ugly practices. And, whilst many of us are familiar with the term ‘blood diamond’, as a result of the Leo Di Caprio film, a lot of diamond consumers are unaware of the exploitation of human workers and the environmental damages that are involved in the process of diamond mining.
That said, awareness is growing and with that awareness comes innovation; enter lab-grown diamonds. Whilst the Boomer generations won’t accept a lab grown diamond as ‘real’, Millennials and Generation Z have fallen out of love with mined diamonds and nearly 70% would consider buying a lab grown alternative.
How are lab grown diamonds made? -
Lab grown diamonds are very much real diamonds; they haven’t been grown conventionally in the earth but they have the same genetic makeup and are chemically and physically identical to mined diamonds. They start as a small seed and are placed under a High-Pressure, High Temperature (HPHT) environment, which mimics the geological conditions in which diamonds are naturally created. In said environment, the diamond seed is subjected to temperatures that reach 1500 degrees and pressure of 70 bars, which is equivalent to the pressure of the Eiffel Tower being placed upside down on the tip of your finger, according to MATILDE. As a result the seed starts to grow atom by atom.
Once the diamond has grown (after a few weeks) it is known as a ‘rough diamond’ which, just like an earth-grown diamond, can be cut and polished and transformed from a stone to a diamond, before being used in a piece of jewellery.
Lab grown diamonds at MATILDE -
Stories Behind Things’ member MATILDE are on a mission to create beautiful jewellery, without compromising on quality, whilst considering the environmental impact by using recycled gold and lab grown diamonds. They work with Carbon Neutral suppliers in Antwerp, the diamond capital of the world, who are undergoing one of the most widely ethical audit formats worldwide to ensure they are producing diamonds without the negative repercussions. MATILDE champion transparency and sustainability in all aspects of their work, through the materials they use, to the working conditions of their supply chains in order to create beautiful, fine jewellery in the fairest way possible.
“Ever since I started researching the jewellery industry, specifically the diamond industry, the more I realised how little I knew about the origin of the stones in any of my own jewellery. Where was it mined? How many people did it go through? How did it get from its original place to me? And I realised I didn’t know the answer to most of the questions I had. We offer you a sustainable, traceable, identical alternative to the environmentally and socially harmful traditionally mined diamonds. An alternative that is not only kinder on the planet, but conflict-free, and identical in every way.” - Founder, Matilde
Written by Rebecca Jackson