The Pandora Brilliance jewellery range features CVD lab-created diamonds in sizes 0.15–1 carat, priced from £250–1,290. Pictured: Actress Rosario Dawson models the Pandora Brilliance range. Image credit: Pandora Pandora Jewelry introduces lab-created diamond range, phases out natural diamonds Posted May 06, 2021 | By Arabella Roden • Editor Pandora Jewelry has launched its first collection set exclusively with lab-created diamonds, and has announced plans to phase out natural diamonds from its product lines.
The jewellery company had previously used both man-made and mined stones across its collections, albeit in very limited quantities. Worldwide, natural diamonds were set in approximately 50,000 of the 85 million pieces it manufactured in 2020, the New York Times reports.
"With sustainably lab-created diamonds, we intend to make diamond jewellery available to more consumers and to extend its usage from special occasions to something that can be worn and enjoyed every day"Pandora spokesperson
In Pandora’s Pacific division – which comprises Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji – only one diamond-set piece was introduced into the range in 2020, a spokesperson for Pandora told Jeweller.
“This was a limited edition piece, currently representing approximately 0.02 per cent of sales, and we will be phasing out this item in the coming months,” the spokesperson added.
A statement from Pandora noted that the development of the range was based on “extensive consumer research in North America, Europe, and China”.
The Pandora Brilliance lab-created range launched exclusively in the UK on 6 May, with an international rollout – including Australia – planned for 2022. The man-made stones will be graded for cut, clarity, colour, and carat weight before being set in sterling silver or 14-carat white or yellow gold.
The Pandora spokesperson told Jeweller, “The spirit of the collection mirrors Pandora’s brand mission: to create desirable, affordable jewellery that empowers self-expression and radiates enduring beauty. With sustainably lab-created diamonds, we intend to make diamond jewellery available to more consumers and to extend its usage from special occasions to something that can be worn and enjoyed every day.
“Pandora’s decision to move away from mined diamonds signals our commitment to sustainability and is a result of our ability to source high quality, sustainably lab-created diamonds, and in doing so, bring diamond jewellery to consumers at a very attractive price.”
While the spokesperson was unable to confirm Australian prices at the time of publication, the collection currently retails on the Pandora UK website from £250 ($AU448.82) for a 0.15-carat sterling silver bracelet to £1,290 ($AU2,316.03) for a 14-carat white gold solitaire ring set with a 1-carat VS2 G–J colour lab-created diamond.
At the time of publication, a 14-carat white gold solitaire engagement ring set with a 1-carat VS2 G-colour natural diamond retailed for $AU7,474 on JamesAllen.com, and a similar ring set with a 1.01-carat VS2 G colour lab-created diamond was priced at $AU2,837.
Alexander Lacik, CEO Pandora, said, “I’m proud to announce the introduction of Pandora Brilliance. 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.”
"[Lab-created diamonds]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"Alexander Lacik, Pandora
Sustainability has been a focus for Pandora in the past year; the company recently set a target to become fully ‘carbon neutral’ by 2025, and pledged to increase its use of recycled gold and silver from 71 per cent to 100 per cent across its supply chain.
The Pandora Brilliance range – including the lab-created diamonds, metals, and packaging – has been certified as ‘carbon neutral’ by The CarbonNeutral Protocol, part of carbon-offset retailer and corporate sustainability advisory firm Natural Capital Partners.
The lab-created diamonds are manufactured using the chemical vapour deposition (CVD) method and sourced from a third-party supplier whose manufacturing facilities are powered by “more than 60 per cent renewable energy on average”; the remaining emissions are offset in compliance with The CarbonNeutral Protocol’s framework, according to Pandora’s statement.
In addition to The CarbonNeutral Protocol, Pandora also commissioned environmental, social, and corporate governance firm Sphera to provide an independent third-party assessment of the CVD lab-created diamond production process, from raw materials to synthesis, cutting and polishing, and transportation.
The Sphera report found that electricity consumption during synthesis was responsible for “more than 90 per cent” of total CO2 emissions “in most scenarios”; the emissions per carat could range from 612kg for a lab-created diamond produced in India, to 17kg for one produced in Europe using 100 per cent renewable energy.
Based on 2016 data, a 2019 report commissioned by the Diamond Producers Association (now the Natural Diamond Council) estimated that natural mined diamonds produce 160kg CO2 per carat.
Pandora said it expects the lab-created diamonds in the Brilliance range to be manufactured using 100 per cent renewable energy by 2022.
Notably, the environmental impacts and sustainability of lab-created diamond manufacturing – and natural diamond mining – have come under renewed scrutiny in recent months.
In April, a US advertising watchdog recommended the Natural Diamond Council remove claims that natural diamonds produce “three times less carbon emissions” per carat than lab-created diamonds.
Similarly, jewellery industry commentators have noted a lack of transparency from the lab-created sector, and in 2019 the US Federal Trade Commission warned lab-created diamond producers against using ‘eco-benefit’ claims in advertising, such as “eco-friendly”, “eco-conscious”, or “sustainable”, noting, “It is highly unlikely that they can substantiate all reasonable interpretations of these claims.”
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