Pandora, the globe’s largest jewelry maker, has reportedly announced that it would not sell mined diamonds anymore and would switch wholly to selling laboratory-grown diamonds.
Concerns related to the environment as well as working practices in the mining sector have led to increasing demand for various alternatives to mined diamonds.
Alexander Lacik, chief executive, Pandora, stated that this change was part of a wider sustainability drive. These diamonds are also inexpensive, the firm could create the same product as nature has created, but at a very different cost.
Last year, global production of lab-grown diamond raised between 6 to 7 million carats.
Whereas the mined diamonds production dropped to 111 million carats in 2020, having reached the highest at 152 million in 2017, as per a report by AWDC and leading consultancy Bain & Company.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the overall diamond industry. De Beers, which is known to produce nearly one-fifth of the globe’s mined diamonds, stated that the production dropped to 18% in 2020.
Meanwhile, the laboratory-made diamonds of Pandora are being made in Britain, and the United Kingdom is the very first country where these diamonds would be sold. The jewelry with these diamonds would start retailing at a price of £250 ($350).
One issue with lab-grown diamonds, however, is that they need a lot of energy to produce. Between 50 per cent & 60 per cent of them mostly come from China, where they are made through a process called, high-temperature and high-pressure technology. The use of coal powered electricity is all-round.
In 2020, a report by Human Rights Watch discovered that some top jewelry firms were doing much better at sourcing mined diamonds. It discovered that largest jewelry maker was one of the best performers, having taken important steps towards responsible sourcing.
The WDC stated that for individuals residing in artisanal as well as small-scale diamond mining communities, stopping diamonds mining might remove a key source of income and might also have harmful impacts on their livelihoods, leading to poverty and unrest.
Source credit: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-56972562