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Swarovski, the Austrian company famed for its signature crystals, is now selling synthetic diamonds.
A Swarovski spokesperson confirmed that the renowned jewelry brand has launched Diama, its first lab-grown diamond line, marking a shift for a company that has traditionally sold diamond simulants. The news was first reported by journalist Chaim Even-Zohar in the Israeli newsletter Diamond Intelligence Briefing.
In contrast to other created diamond companies, the Diama site stresses design rather than the diamonds’ attributes, though it does label them “socially conscious and conflict-free.”
A Swarovski statement says Diama is an amalgam of Dia for diamond and Ama for love. All the diamonds are set in 18k gold, it says.
“Swarovski Created Diamonds are identical to mined diamonds according to their optical, physical, and chemical properties,” it says. “They are diamonds with all of the essential qualities of a diamond, only the origin is a laboratory, not the earth.”
One retailer who is selling them, Lenox Jewelers in Fairfield, Conn., is still figuring out this new product.
“We got them a few months ago, and the first week we were educating ourselves,” says manager Antoine Abeddy. “We look through the loupe and we see inclusions. So it does feel like a natural diamond.”
So far, the Diama diamonds weigh less than 1 ct., and sell for about 20 percent less than comparable naturals.
“At the end of the day, it is the designs that will make the difference,” Abeddy says. “Because the diamonds are smaller, the designs incorporate multiple diamonds. We are not selling solitaries or diamond studs. The designs are very classic, very feminine, not bulky, styles that would work for every day.
“For customers, the first hurdle is for them to like the designs,” he adds. “Then you have to explain to them what the diamonds are.”
That education often takes a while, he admits: “If you say lab-created they think it’s fake. You really have to engage them in a conversation.”
Still, he says his store’s relationship with Swarovski, and that company’s deep pockets, made him willing to take a chance with this new product. “They know this will be a challenge, but they are willing to invest in this,” Abeddy says.
Diamonds are the hardest naturally forming material on Earth, renowned for their beauty, strength, and durability. They have been known and hoarded by humans rich and poor for thousands of years, and their name comes from the Greek word for invincible.
These stones come from deep within the Earth’s crust, formed there by the incredible pressure and relatively manageable temperatures. They form beneath the continental crust, from pure carbon. This carbon may either come from exclusively non-organic sources, organic sources, or a blend of the two. Diamonds formed from inorganic carbon are called harzburgitic diamonds, while those formed from some amount of organic carbon are called eclogitic diamonds.
Diamonds form at depths of around 90 miles (150km), over millions and millions of years. The temperature at which they form is in the range of 2,000° Fahrenheit (1,100° Celsius) — too much hotter than this and the conditions are no longer suitable for their formation. Most are over a billion years old by the time they reach the Earth’s surface, with some diamonds being over three billion years in age — not much younger than the Earth itself.
The rough diamonds come to the surface when magma from far below the Earth’s surface begins moving up. Since they are found at such incredible depths — three to four times deeper than the depth at which a normal volcano originates — magma upsurges deep enough to bring them to the surface are relatively rare. Once this magma cools, it forms a rock known as kimberlite — or sometimes lamproite — which may be used as an indicator that diamonds may be found in that area.
By mining into one of these kimberlite dikes, or kimberlite pipes, diamonds may be uncovered. Of course, the presence of kimberlite does not necessarily guarantee that the precious stones will be present, simply that the volcanic upsurge originated at sufficient depth that diamonds could have formed. Often these kimberlite dikes will erode over time, and the gems will be carried away with the sediment, to accumulate in basins somewhere now called "alluvial diamonds".
While kimberlite dikes are the most common place where diamonds can be found, others also exist. In some cases, glacial action may pick up diamonds and transport them many hundreds of miles, leaving them behind in their path or when they eventually melt. This has led to stones being found in locations that geologically were not appropriate, but not in sufficient quantities to make tracking glacial paths a viable method of hunting.
Extremely small diamonds may also be formed under certain extraordinary conditions. Such microdiamonds are sometimes formed, for example, when meteors strike the Earth’s surface. Although they are not of sufficient size to be particularly valuable, they do serve as a reliable indicator of impact craters from meteors.
For many centuries India was the world’s top source of diamonds, but eventually these sources were mostly depleted. In the modern world, nearly half of all those mined come from mines in southern and central Africa. The bulk of these mines are owned and operated by various companies of the De Beers Group, which is responsible for more than 40% of diamonds by value worldwide, and has held a virtual stranglehold on the world market since its formation in the 1860s. Large-scale mines also exist in Brazil, Australia, Siberia, and parts of Canada. Once mined, these diamonds travel the world to be cut and polished to create the beautiful gems we are all familiar with. Most cutting takes place in a few areas of the world, most notably Botswanna, Antwerp, and Tel Aviv.
The first thing you need to know about lab created diamonds (also know as grown diamonds, synthetic diamonds, or man made diamonds) is that they are optically, physically and chemically identical to diamonds mined from the earth. A good way to think about it is like growing flowers in a greenhouse. A rose grown in a greenhouse it is still a rose. A diamond grown in a lab is still a diamond.
Both lab grown and mined diamonds are composed of 100% carbon and have the same chemical composition, hardness, density, refractive index and dispersion factor. A lab grown diamond is identical to a mined diamond in brilliance, sparkle, fire and scintillation - see the table below for how the two stack up next to each other.
|Diamond Type||Chemical Composition||Hardness||Density||Crystalline Structure||Refractive Index||Dispersion|
We like to say, "a lab grown diamond comes from above the earth, a mined diamond comes from below". Our diamonds are grown using sustainable and eco-friendly practices here in the United States. Diamond mining can be a highly destructive practice;
"The environmental impact of mining includes erosion, formation of sinkholes, loss of biodiversity, and contamination of soil, groundwater, surface water by chemicals from mining processes. In some cases, additional forest logging is done in the vicinity of mines to increase the available room for the storage of the created debris and soil. Besides creating environmental damage, the contamination resulting from leakage of chemicals also affect the health of the local population." Wiki on the Environmental Impact of Mining
This is why, as an ecologically driven company, Renaissance Diamonds is proud to be a part of the growing lab created diamond market. While the point of origin for lab created diamonds is not from inside the earth, they are still 100% identical to mined diamonds.
Every Renaissance Lab Created Diamond over 0.50 carats is certified by IGI or GIA, the same institutes that certify mined diamonds. The created diamonds are held to the same strict analysis as the mined diamonds, checked and reported on for Carat, Cut, Clarity, and Color.
When you buy a lab created diamond instead of a mined diamond you are not only saving money you are contributing to a healthier planet for everyone.
Today The Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) has announced the availability of Fairmined Ecological Gold from the Mongolian organization Xamodx and five mining organizations in la Llanada, Colombia.
This has a terrific trickle down effect for all of us. It allows Renaissance Created Diamonds more options to use gold that is ethically sourced while benefiting artisan miners. The countries that the gold is being mined from have substantial pressure on their Eco systems and this act helps protect them by law.
To read the original article in National Jeweler On-Line click here: http://www.nationaljeweler.com/majors/public-polic...
Blood diamonds is a term used for a diamond mined in a war zone and sold to finance an insurgency, an invading army's war efforts, or a warlord's activity. The term is used to highlight the negative consequences of the diamond trade in certain areas, or to label an individual diamond as having come from such an area.
Diamonds mined during the recent civil wars in Angola, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, and other nations have been given the label. The term conflict resource refers to analogous situations involving other natural resources.
There has been a system put into effect called the "Kimberly Process" that was intended to stem the flow of Conflict Diamonds. However, there are routine violations where diamonds from these warring areas sell Conflict Diamonds into the typical manufacturing chain. There is no way to be 100% certain that the mined diamond you purchase is not a Conflict Diamond.