The world's largest jewelry brand will no longer use mined diamonds
Pandora, the world’s largest producer of jewelry announced that will no longer use mined diamonds in its future projects and will instead use man-made diamonds.
The Copenhagen-based company said it's instead shifting toward the use of diamonds created in labs, which it emphasized have the same “optical, chemical, thermal and physical characteristics.”
CNN reported that the collection, called Pandora Brilliance, is rolling out in the United Kingdom and expected to launch globally next year.
“They are as much a symbol of innovation and progress as they are of enduring beauty and stand as a testament to our ongoing and ambitious sustainability agenda,” said Pandora CEO Alexander Lacik said in a statement. “Diamonds are not only forever, but for everyone.”
Lab-grown stones have been billed as the ethical, traceable alternative to mined diamonds. Pandora said they’re graded on the same "4Cs" as mined diamonds (a.k.a. cut, color, clarity and carat) before they’re sold.
Prices of man-made diamonds have fallen over the past two years after the miner De Beers started offering synthetic stones in 2018, and they are now up to 10 times cheaper than mined diamonds, according to a report by Bain & Company.
While mined diamonds went into about 50,000 Pandora pieces of jewelry out of a total of 85 million items made last year, meaning the shift required within the company supply chain will be negligible, the announcement by Pandora is the latest by a major industry player looking to address growing ethical concerns held by consumers about the jewelry business. The jeweler has already said it will only use recycled gold and silver beginning 2025.
Pandora's new collection is also more environmentally friendly, because they're made with more than 60 percent renewable energy on average. It expects that the new diamonds will be made with 100 percent renewable energy when the collection launches globally.
Lab-grown stones have growing appeal among consumers looking to buy products from sustainable supply chains. Pandora announced last June that it will only use recycled gold and silver in its products by 2025.
Last year, Tiffany & Co (TIF). announced a tracing initiative that allows customers to find out the exact country where stones are cut, polished and set. But the latest move from Pandora marks a bigger shift.
Pandora is trying to stay ahead of the curve, noting huge growth in demand for lab-made stones.
"In the US, and especially in China and India, younger consumers say sustainability is part of their decision-making process and could influence whether they buy diamond jewelry," Bain & Company pointed out in a report published earlier this year.