Jeweler Pandora unveils market-changing lab-created diamonds range

World | 4 May 2021 2:12 pm

Pandora, the Danish jewelry maker best known for its silver charm bracelets, will stop selling mined diamonds and focus on more affordable, sustainable, lab-grown gems, the company said on Tuesday.

Pandora Chief Executive Alexander Lacik, says the new collection of beautifully designed jewelry featuring lab-created diamonds is as much a symbol of innovation and progress as it is of enduring beauty and “stand as a testament to our ongoing and ambitious sustainability agenda. Diamonds are not only forever, but for everyone.”

Pandora, which made 85 million pieces of jewelry last year and sold 50,000 diamonds, said it aimed to "transform the market for diamond jewelry with affordable, sustainably created products.''

The new collection includes rings, bangles, necklaces and earrings, each featuring a solitary lab-created diamond hand-set within sterling silver, solid 14K yellow gold or solid 14K white gold. Like other Pandora jewelry, the pieces can be collected and layered together, and the collection’s motif, a reimagined infinity symbol, is imbued with meaning.

The creative development is based on extensive consumer research in North America, Europe and China, Pandora announced,

The growing acceptance of man-made diamonds by millennials attracted to cheaper stones guaranteed not to have come from conflict zones has spurred firms such as De Beers to end its decades-old policy of shunning synthetic gems in its jewelry.

Prices of lab-grown diamonds have fallen over the past two years following the U-turn by De Beers in 2018 and are now up to 10 times cheaper than mined diamonds, according to a report by Bain & Company.

Pandora's new collection of lab-grown diamonds will be launched initially in the United Kingdom.

Pandora said it expected the diamond market to continue to grow, with sales of lab-grown diamonds outpacing overall growth.

Pandora's lab-grown gems will be made using a technology in which a hydrocarbon gas mixture is heated to 800 Celsius (1,472 Fahrenheit), spurring carbon atoms to be deposited on a small seed diamond, growing into a crystal layer by layer.

Pandora, which has until now sourced mined diamonds from KGK Diamonds, said it will get its lab-grown stones from suppliers in Europe and North America. Mined diamonds already in Pandora stores would still be sold, it said.

Opponents of mined diamonds say their extraction causes environmental damage and so-called blood diamonds help fund conflicts. A study commissioned by the natural diamond industry in 2019 said mined diamonds were less carbon-intensive.-Reuters/The Standard



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