Pandora will no longer use mined diamonds and has moved to lab-made versions of the gemstone.
In recent years there have been concerns about how diamonds are mined, as not only does the practice lead to carbon emissions, but it is often associated with human rights violations. As a result, some companies have looked to alternative ways to produce diamonds.
The world’s largest jeweller, Pandora, has announced it will no longer sell mined diamonds, and that it has now moved over to lab-created versions of the gemstone.
The move by Pandora will remove the risk of human right violations and reduce the cost of the diamonds it sells. Furthermore, it is believed that if diamonds can be sold at a cheaper price, it could open up new markets.
Pandora Chief Executive Alexander Lacik told the BBC:
Pandora jewellery today is much more of an everyday type of jewellery, even though a large proportion of it is gifted. The way the diamond industry has kind of been created to a large degree has been very much about gifting, and in particular around when people get engaged or married.
We’re trying to open up this playing field and say, you know, with the type of value equation that we offer, you can use this everyday if you want.
The new diamond jewellery will start at £250, and Olya Linde, the lead author of a Bain report on changing gemstone tastes, believes it could be a commercial success. The report found that Millennials and Gen-Z generations have a greater focus on sustainability, which could make these cheaper diamonds a tempting product.
However, Lacik noted that an immediate profit isn’t the focus of Pandora:
Whether consumers are buying more or less today, right now is actually not the key driver.
We want to become a low-carbon business. I have four children, I’m leaving this earth one day, I hope I can leave it in a better shape than maybe what we’ve kind of created in the last 50 years or so.
It’s the right thing to do.
It is expected that the diamond market will expand as a result of this move, with more people investing in jewellery that now has a greater price range. Furthermore, many will be glad that they can now know for certain where a diamond has come from without the fear of contributing to human rights violations.