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Chemistry, Materials & Packaging
Pandora Nixes Mined Diamonds for Lab-Grown

The world’s largest jewelry company aims to make diamond jewelry accessible to a wider audience. Its new Pandora Brilliance collection marks its first collection without mined diamonds.

This week, jewelry giant Pandora launched Pandora Brilliance — its first lab-created diamond collection and its first carbon-neutral collection. Aiming to make the market for diamond jewellery more widely accessible with affordable, sustainably created products, Pandora Brilliance is now available in the UK, with global launch in other key markets expected in 2022.

“Pandora continues its quest to make incredible jewellery available for more people, and I’m proud to announce the introduction of Pandora Brilliance,” said CEO Alexander Lacik. “It’s a new collection of beautifully designed jewellery featuring lab-created diamonds. 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. Diamonds are not only forever, but for everyone.”

Pandora Brilliance has achieved CarbonNeutral® product certification in accordance with The CarbonNeutral Protocol — a leading global framework for carbon neutrality. The certification covers Pandora Brilliance jewellery, its packaging and transportation.

Consumer demand for lab-created diamonds

Apart from their sourcing, lab-created diamonds are identical to mined diamonds. They have the same optical, chemical, thermal and physical characteristics and are graded by the same standards known as the 4Cs — cut, colour, clarity and carat — and buyers can be assured that the gems are conflict-free. The diamond jewellery market is expected to continue to grow, and lab-created diamonds are reportedly outpacing the industry's overall growth.

The jury is still out as to whether lab-grown diamonds are better for the environment than mined — a 2019 Trucost report produced on behalf of the Diamond Producers Association found that greenhouse gas emissions are roughly three times greater for lab-grown diamonds than their mined counterparts. Many diamonds are grown in labs in countries such as China, Singapore and the US, which lean heavily upon fossil fuels for energy. But Pandora — the world’s largest jewelry brand — says the diamonds for the Pandora Brilliance collection are grown with more than 60 percent renewable energy on average, and greenhouse gas emissions from non-renewable energy are being offset through the CarbonNeutral certification. When Pandora launches the collection globally next year, the diamonds are expected to be made using 100 percent renewable energy.

Pandora says that going forward, mined diamonds will no longer be used in its products.

The shift to lab-grown diamonds is the latest step in Pandora’s efforts to become more sustainable. In June, the company reported that 71 percent of the silver and gold in its jewelry came from recycled sources, and announced a target of 100 percent circular gold and silver by 2025. The company says this shift will cut carbon emissions by two-thirds for silver — the most-used material in Pandora jewelry — and by more than 99 percent for gold. The carbon emissions from sourcing recycled silver are one-third compared to mined silver; while recycling of gold emits approximately 600 times less carbon than mining new gold, according to life cycle assessments.

Pandora’s efforts join that of an industry that’s slowly mobilizing to prioritize sustainable sourcing — in 2019, Tiffany & Co committed to 100 percent traceability for each of its newly sourced diamonds; and, along with Apple, partnered to launch Salmon Gold™ — an innovative approach to sourcing gold responsibly while restoring fish habitats. And actress Nikki Reed’s jewelry company, BaYou with Lovemade headlines in 2018 when it unveiled its “Circular Collection” of pieces made of recycled gold from the motherboards of end-of-life Dell computers.