Nearly 70 years have passed since Gentlemen Prefer Blondes premiered, and yet the words of Marilyn Monroe's bombshell character reign supreme. That's right, diamonds are a girl's best friend thanks to their famous heritage.
As the most prized precious stone, the appeal of a diamond is hard to resist. However, with the precious stones being rooted beneath the earth's core, we now know much more about how dangerous the diamond mining process can be, and the adverse impact that it can have on its workers and their communities.
With recent technological advancements, many jewellery makers have explored the option of lab-grown diamonds due to ethical and economic reasons.
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What are lab-grown diamonds?
Lab-grown diamonds are still authentic diamonds, but they are created in a laboratory setting rather than sourced from a mine. Diamonds are usually formed via heat and pressure, whereas lab-grown versions mimic these conditions, heating a diamond fragment in a sealed chamber to extreme temperatures.
They have the same optical, chemical, thermal and physical features as a natural diamond.
Where can I buy lab-grown diamonds?
Hello! Fashion picks the top lab-grown diamond makers that ought to be on your radar:
All of Kimaï's pieces are made to order, meaning that waste is avoided. Founded by two friends who grew up with families inside the diamond trade, the Antwerp jewellery brand was born out of their frustration with the lack of transparency within the industry.
Using recycled gold and lab-grown diamonds, minimalistic necklaces and delicate bracelets are some of its bestsellers.
US-based label Grown Brilliance have over 40 years in the jewelry industry, with the goal of removing the mystery behind lab grown and ethical diamonds.
Their lab-grown diamonds are conflict-free and ethically made in a controlled laboratory environment, designed to duplicate the conditions that mined diamonds are found in the earth to produce stones with the same fire, scintillation and sparkle.
If it's something extra sparkly you're after, Pandora's Brilliance collection is a range of lab-created diamond jewellery, and every piece features a round, brilliant cut gemstone. This means that the diamonds are cut with several facets, so each piece has a special luxury gleam that will make it really stand out.
Since launching back in 2016, Queensmith has won the award for UK Bridal Jeweller of the Year not once, but twice. Its part-workshop, part-showroom studios give you the chance to feel fully immersed in the process, so that you can see your bespoke piece come to life in the hands of industry experts.
A piece from Swarovski's Created Diamonds collection would make a great gift for the sustainable shopper. The historic jewellery retailer offsets the energy used to produce its lab-grown diamonds, meaning that the creation process is carbon neutral. We love the subtle elegance of their stackable rings – they're super wearable and would go with every single outfit.
With over 80 years of experience, Steven Stone has an extensive online selection of loose lab-grown diamonds to choose from, and you can even filter by colour, clarity, carat and cut. Some of their gemstones are lab-grown whereas others are natural, so be sure to look out for that if you have a strong preference.
If you have any questions or need help with a bespoke piece, its website has a live-chat option, or you can pop by one of their stores.
Vrai diamonds are grown in North America in the beautiful Pacific West, and its foundry is powered 100% by the Columbia River. Vrai is passionate about producing quality diamonds that are cut and polished to exceptional standards and we love that Leonardo DiCaprio is on board too, as one of its investors.
This San Francisco-based jewellery brand has a range of lab-grown diamonds that are available in a variety of colour ways, from yellow, to green, to pink. Brilliant Earth also strives to use 100% recycled metals in its pieces, in order to lower its environmental impact.
Founded in 2017 by a team of "industry veterans", each member of Clean Origin's customer service team has a minimum of five years' experience in the diamond industry, meaning that you can make the most of their expertise. If it's an engagement ring you're after, you can filter by aesthetic style, from Art Deco to minimalist, and find the piece that is perfect for you.
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