The benefits of lab-grown diamonds: a little-known alternative

Laboratory, synthetic or "cultured" diamonds are still too often victims of their inauthenticity myth in our contemporary societies. Although they are, in all points, identical with their "natural" counterpart (mine diamond), they are still very much underrated by the jewelry business. In fact, lab-grown diamonds are physically, chemically and optically the same as diamonds extracted from mining deposits. It is impossible, even for an experienced jeweler to see the difference between the two with the naked eye, or even with the use of a jeweler's magnifying glass. In addition, laboratory-created diamonds are considered, graded and certified by the same official process as mined diamonds.

Created by the human hand in cutting-edge laboratories, synthetic diamonds have many benefits that are often ignored by major jewelry companies and are unknown to the general public. Their "synthetic" designation also reinforces the misinformation that circulates about their value, giving the false impression that they are nothing more than "fake" diamonds. 

It is our duty, as an ethical jeweler, to raise general awareness around this alternative. Indeed, there are many advantages to using lab-grown diamonds, starting with their price! On average, the price of cultured diamonds is 30 to 50% lower than that of mined diamonds. This is not due to a lower value or the quality of the product, but to the length of its supply chain. Indeed, for mined diamonds, the supply chain is long and composed of a very large number of stakeholders (cutters, distributors, miners, etc.). In contrast, the supply chain for cultured diamonds is much shorter, as it does not include the extracting process, playing a big role in the price difference. 

Sertissage d'un diamant sur une bague dans un atelier

Laboratory diamonds bring change and have the potential to revolutionise the jewelry world for the better, making it more respectful of our environment and society. Indeed, they represent an ethical and sustainable alternative to mined diamonds, which deserves to be democratised on a larger scale for several reasons :

First of all, the traditional diamond mining activity is very water and fossil fuel intensive. Indeed, a so-called "natural" diamond consumes more than 476 litres of water per carat. According to our sources, in 2018 more than 147 million carats of diamonds have been extracted from mines, which represents a considerable amount of water. Lab-grown diamonds, on the other hand, consume 68 litres of water per carat, or 7 times less. They also consume less energy, the vast majority of which is renewable thanks to the machines used. The same is true for carbon emissions. In contrast to the 56kg of carbon released for each carat of mine diamonds, lab-grown diamonds emit only 3kg of carbon per carat, nearly 18 times less. This represents a significant difference that is often overlooked. Within reach, cultured diamonds consume less energy, less water, while reducing costs for both the producer and the consumer. So why is nobody talking about it?

This alternative also makes it possible to prevent human and social abuses, such as the financing of African armed conflicts through "blood diamonds". Popularised thanks to Zwick’s movie "Blood Diamond" released in 2006, this notion refers to the money derived from the extraction and the illegal sale of diamonds from war zones. A widespread practice in the 1990s, it very often led to the exploitation of miners and their families. It was not until 2003 that the Kimberley Process was established, a certification system aimed at suppressing the global trade in conflict diamonds. Unfortunately, leaks in the system continue to exist, making it necessary to have access to a more ethical alternative, such as lab-grown diamonds.

Lastly, synthetic diamonds have the advantage of flexibility. Indeed, being created in incubators and therefore not dependent on the fluctuating conditions of their natural environment, they make it possible to create unique and coveted pieces of rare colours. They are also often of better quality because of the level of precision and control in their manufacturing process.

It is important to keep all this information in mind when making a purchase and to consider choosing more environmentally friendly alternatives. For all these reasons, at AGUAdeORO, we give our customers all the cards in hand to make their choice. We carefully study all the possibilities available to us, in order to select only those that seem to us to be the most in line with our ethical values. Among these, we strongly recommend the use of laboratory diamonds, a much more ethical and socially responsible alternative, but one that is all too often underestimated.

assortiment de bagues de diamants de culture

With the progress of technology, a considerable change in the jewelry world is possible now. Nevertheless, being ethical remains a choice. What is yours ? 

We are proud to be the first and only Swiss jeweler to promote change by offering ethical alternatives. Join the movement by consuming ethically ! 

 Discover more about our philosophy by visiting our website:

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