BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 25 Sep '17

The ‘original Fairtrade jeweller’ has launched an engagement ring with lab-grown diamonds

Cred, the ‘original Fairtrade jeweller’, has been using exclusively Fairtrade gold from day one, and it made the first ever fairtrade gold wedding bands.

Now, following customer demand for socially and environmentally responsible products, Cred’s launching a collection made with lab-grown diamonds.

Growing diamonds

Lab-grown diamonds are made by simulating the environment at the Earth’s mantel, where diamonds are created. Carbon is placed under extreme heat and pressure; layer by layer, molecule by molecule, the carbon bonds to a small diamond ‘seed’ that acts as a molecular template.

This process takes as little as four days and the result is a rough diamond that can be cut and polished for use in jewellery like any naturally 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.

Cutting out the mine

For decades the diamond industry has been opaque about its supply chain, failing to offer transparency and traceability to customers.

Fred’s managing director, Alan Frampton, says Cred’s customers feel reassured that their jewellery’s coming from a known and socially responsible system. The stones bear a laser mark and are accompanied by an independent certificate to guarantee origin and quality.

Lab-grown diamonds cuts out the mine completely. They provide the opportunity to get a superior quality product that is 100% traceable and approximately 30% cheaper than mined diamonds.

‘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.’

ALAN FRAMPTON
Cred’s managing director

Quality, traceability and value

Lab-grown diamonds belong to a category of diamond called Type IIA. This is the most valued and purest form of diamond; less than 2% of the world’s mined diamonds belong to this category.

All lab-grown diamonds are environmentally and socially responsible. They are conflict and child labour free and their origin is verified by their certificate, plus a unique laser mark on each stone’s girdle.

Due to the streamlined production processes of lab-grown diamonds, Cred can bring them to market more cost effectively. This means that its 0.30ct lab-grown diamond rings are approximately 28% cheaper than natural stone diamond rings, and its 0.50ct lab-grown diamond rings are 32% cheaper than natural stone diamond rings.

A growing trend?

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.