For some, a natural diamond, created over billions of years, is what they have always wanted. But an award-winning British designer sees greater worth in jewelry made using laboratory-grown gems and metal from recycled cans.
Recycling is a process that makes something new out of something that has been used before.
Anabela Chan, the jewelry designer, said she chose her materials after seeing what she said were poor working conditions in diamond mines.
"These are some of the most precious and valuable commodities in the world, that just didn't make any sense to me," she said in her store in Britain’s capital of London.
Instead, her designs use lab-grown diamonds, recycled aluminum from cans, and pearls, a one-of-a-kind jewel found in animals, grown from regenerative farming.
Chan’s company did not give sales numbers but said it had seen strong demand since the COVID-19 pandemic. She won the “Game Changer” division at the British Luxury Awards in November.
Edahn Golan Diamond Research & Data studies the worldwide diamond industry. It found that the lab-grown jewelry market has seen yearly growth of 20 percent in recent years. That has driven worldwide profits to $15 billion.
As more producers enter the market, selling prices for lab-grown diamonds have fallen. Companies are looking to stand themselves apart from competitors. They are doing so through their jewelry design.
Pandora is a major seller of lab-grown diamonds. Joshua Braman, the head of diamonds at Pandora, said lab-grown gems could create a new area of interest for jewelry design.
Another point of difference is the effects it has on natural resources.
Chan uses suppliers who use technology to capture carbon dioxide that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere to make diamonds. Chan said, “so effectively taking something negative and turning it into something positive.”
I’m Faith Pirlo.
Lara Brehmer reported this story for Reuters. Gregory Stachel adapted it for VOA Learning English.
Words in This Story
gem – n. a valuable stone that has been cut and polished for use in jewelry
precious – adj. rare and worth a lot of money
commodity – n. something that is bought and sold
negative – adj. harmful or bad: not wanted
positive – adj. good or useful