A very quick overview of diamond options……If you went online, and typed how to choose a diamond, they’d tell you it was all about the 4 C’s – cut, colour, clarity and carat.
I’d like to add another category, SOURCE.
My values (the things I’m personally concerned about) are: Ethical & Responsible Sourcing, Sustainability and Recycling, Fair Trade, Veganism and making sure we take care of the Environment.
Diamonds (and other gemstones) can sometimes be one or two of the above, but not usually all of these things at once. Diamonds are “tricky”, there is no perfect way to source diamonds at the moment.
If you want a natural diamond, then in my opinion, it must be traceable. The best option I have found so far is the Canadian diamonds. We know where they come from, they can be traced and the mines have some of the highest standards around health and safety and environment. That said, these mines are still a huge hole in the ground in formerly pristine areas. The image below is of the Ekati Diamond Mine in Canada.
A guarantee that a diamond is conflict free is not worth the paper it’s written on. If you want to know more, go here.
If you want a laboratory diamond, then you want one from the UK – many lab diamonds come from China and Russia. There are companies in the USA, but then you need to add in the air miles 🙂 There are only two companies creating lab diamonds in the UK (Skymined and Bring Diamonds) and neither offers melee (small diamonds that you’d use in a halo for instance). So these are diamonds generally for people with larger budgets.
If you need small diamonds, your options are natural Canadian or recycled. Recycled diamonds are likely to be relatively (or very) modern. If you want recycled diamonds, then you have to be reasonably flexible about the 4 C’s. You need to appreciate that there is no traceability whatsoever, BUT, it’s always more sustainable and uses less energy, to reuse what we already have.
If you want a bigger diamond, over half a carat, then you’ll also have the option of antique diamonds. These are old cuts, not at all like modern brilliant cuts, sometimes rose cuts, and they are very beautiful. Again, you’ll need to be flexible about colour, cut, carat and clarity. Antique diamonds are not practical where you want a very precise halo of small stones as they won’t be all the same size and they’re unlikely to be perfectly round. No antique diamond is traceable.
Artisan mined diamonds – not currently available although there are several schemes trying to do this.
Another alternative is to use white sapphires from artisan mines in Sri Lanka. They’re mined in a very low intensity way, are fairly traded, traceable and support local communities.
That’s it in a nutshell, hope this is helpful