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News, Feature Stories, Diamonds, The Great Diamond Debate

Sustainably created: that is the future of diamonds

Predicting the future is harder than shaping it – but creating a sustainable future is paramount, which is why many couples around the world are now choosing sustainably created diamonds for one of the most precious moments of their lives: engagement.

Key points

• Consumer demand will determine whether created or mined diamonds prevail

• Diamond mining is unnecessary given consumers now have an alternative product without its negative impacts

• Jewellers have different priorities than mining companies – their finished product is what consumers buy, not just the raw materials

Leading designers, including Sir Jony Ive and Marc Newson, create jewellery with created diamonds – in particular, those made by Diamond Foundry.

A-list celebrities, too, have embraced ‘aboveground’ diamonds, and one of the reasons for their appeal is guaranteed impeccable origin.

For those that choose to buy created diamonds, it is clear that mined stones are like the controversy that surrounded fur – there’s no upside to wearing it, just negative impacts on the environment.

In a year where De Beers reported a 39 per cent decline in sales, Diamond Foundry’s production quadrupled profitably for the second successive year. That’s two factors of four – a rarity, even in Silicon Valley.

We continuously sell out our production from our US-based megacarat foundries.

The singular reason that prices for mined and non-mined diamonds are presently diverging is the diamond cartel being alive and well.

Whether regulators will intervene or not, the decline and growth trends themselves will break the cartel sooner rather than later. Diverging prices are the strongest proof to any economist about price collusion.

The time is coming where throttling sales volume in order to maintain prices will no longer work. A steep drop in mined diamond prices will happen and destroy the myth of mined diamonds being a store of value.

Of course, consumers called that myth long ago already – they instinctively know that buying at retail prices and selling at wholesale prices is not an investment proposition.

But the real impact will be on the miners themselves and their lenders that finance exploration; indeed, those lenders are already pulling back in a significant way.

The ethical and sustainable choice

There’s no true reason for mining diamonds other than greed and hunger for power.

Diamonds are a super material that, unlike other natural resources such as oil and rare-earth metals, can be manufactured aboveground, with zero carbon footprint and none of the cruel impacts of mining.

Whether diamonds produced aboveground versus underground belong in the same product ‘category’ or represent two different categories is somewhat academic.

"If the above trends continue, one category will be 99 per cent and the other 1 per cent. That is good news because consumers are tired of being deceived and sick of the abuses of mining."

If the above trends continue, one category will be 99 per cent and the other 1 per cent. That is good news because consumers are tired of being deceived and sick of the abuses of mining.

Our company goes the extra mile to produce diamonds with a net zero carbon footprint.

However, it’s relevant to note that most other created diamond producers use coal-fired power, sometimes in large quantities.

In turn consumers will start learning to differentiate between different producers.

Most cheap aboveground diamonds found online are coal-fired emission-producing diamonds.

There are studies arranged by mining companies that seek to sow confusion around the environmental benefits of non-mined diamonds.

That’s always been the PR playbook when one is stuck in the corner.

It’s hard to argue with zero though – and zero is the net carbon footprint of the entirety of our company, including employees commuting to work and all ancillary impacts.

We have also been independently audited and certified by the leading environmental trust, Natural Capital Partners.

What retailers should know

Jewellers will soon start to notice that they sell jewellery creations, not raw materials. Diamonds, just like gold and steel, are the material only. The piece of jewellery created is something entirely different.

For years, the mining propaganda was so strong that as a jeweller, one could almost get confused about what business you are in. But the jewellers’ interests are not the same as the miners’.

The jewellery business will remain alive and well by using the highest-quality components, including created diamonds.


'The Great Diamond Debate' Contents » 

The natural diamond industry is facing disruption in every aspect
Sergey Ivanov, CEO of Alrosa
Don’t blame synthetic diamonds for the natural industry’s woes
Garry Holloway, founder of Melbourne’s Holloway Diamonds
Both sides of the diamond debate should verify their claims
Danielle Max, editor in chief IDEX Online



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The Great Diamond Debate Part II


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Martin Roscheisen

Martin Roscheisen is CEO of Diamond Foundry, the leading producer of gem-quality lab-grown diamonds in the US. He holds a PhD from Stanford University.

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