Whether you’ve listened to Kanye West‘s “Diamonds Are Forever” or have seen Blood Diamond, you’re probably aware that the process of finding diamonds can be nowhere near as glamorous as the final product.
In the early 2000s, the term “blood diamonds” rose to public attention, taking away the luster of those sparkling gems. Jewelry behemoths, including Cartier, began to source and promote conflict-free rocks, as more consumers questioned the ethical practice of diamond mining. Today, celebs, including Ashley Graham, Zoë Kravitz and Kate Hudson, wear ethically sourced Tacori diamonds regularly on red carpets.
“Lab-created diamonds are real diamonds created in a highly controlled laboratory environment. They are physically, optically and chemically identical to earth-mined diamonds, without the environmental cost and up to 50 percent less in price,” read a statement released by MiaDonna, an eco-diamond company. “Consider the difference between ice that is created in nature by environmental conditions and the ice created by your freezer. Both create ‘real’ ice, the only difference is the point of origin, just like a lab-created diamond versus a mined diamond.”
This jewelry innovation is actually not that new, but it is recently trendy. In January, Voguespotlighted Diamond Foundary, a Silicon Valley-based company that grows its stones in a lab and raised $100 million just last year (Leonardo DiCaprio was one of its first 12 investors, so you know its good for the environment).