This week the largest jewelry group in the world, Pandora, announced which will cease to sell all mined diamonds and will switch exclusively to the sale of laboratory-made synthetic diamonds.
In the megatrend of brands that increase the "sentimental connection" with their audience, this trend risks splitting the market. Remember the end of furs? Diamond mining is a practice that has a proven track record of contributing greatly to warfare and human rights violations across the African continent.
The CEO of Pandora Alexander Lacik he told the with the BBC that abandoning mined diamonds in favor of synthetic diamonds is "the right thing to do". And it is not the first in this direction: last June the CEO himself announced that the Danish brand will use only recycled gold for its jewelry.
Good job. Which will have consequences.
I confess that I consider Pandora's a smart move. It aims to eliminate a non-crucial element of its business (it is much stronger on non-traditional jewelry) by transforming a possible weakness into a strength. Harnessing synthetic diamonds is not only more ethical, it is also much cheaper. For them and for customers (albeit less).
"We can essentially create the same result that nature created, but at a very, very different price," Lacik is keen to say. He is right: the costs are about one third compared to mined diamonds.
The breakthrough on synthetic diamonds can accelerate a process already underway
Production of mined diamonds declined last year after peaking in 2017. The pandemic has had catastrophic effects on the diamond market. causing a drop in production of about 18%.
Pandora's laboratory synthetic diamonds start at around € 300, and are produced in the UK. The company hopes to expand its market beyond engagements and weddings thanks to the lowered price. And that's just the beginning: recent searches promise to spread low cost diamonds everywhere and in all sectors (from jewelry to car's battery performance)
By reducing the burden that diamond mining has placed on humanity and our environment, this "breakthrough" appears intelligent and sensible. Naturally there is only the diamond: its extraction is not.