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Why are Lab-grown Diamonds A Great Alternative to Mining?

Why are Lab-grown Diamonds A Great Alternative to Mining?
Lab-grown diamonds rings earrings

$76 billion US

 in sales 

In 2018, the value of the diamond jewellery market was $76 billion U.S. dollars. 

This was an increase of $2 billion U.S. dollars from 2017 and it will grow, on average, by 8% for the next five years. 

Where do mined diamonds come from? 

The majority of the world’s diamonds come from three countries:

1. Russia

russia map mining

43 millions carats 

of diamonds 

in 2018

2. Botswana

Botswana map mining

24.4 millions carats 

of diamonds 

in 2018

3. Canada

Canada map mining

23 millions carats 

of diamonds 

in 2018

The remaining countries are Canada, Angola, South Africa, The Democratic Republic of Congo and Namibia.

What are the different methods for mining diamonds?

There are three key methods:

1. Pipe mining

pipe mining

Pipe mining © Stapanov Alexander

Large amounts of earth are removed to find diamonds.

2. Alluvial mining

Alluvial mining

The Abaeté River mine in Brazil. © GIA

Water is extracted to source diamonds from areas such as riverbeds. This requires a wall or diversion, then once the water is drained out, the soil is extracted.

3. Offshore mining

Offshore mining

Offshore mining © Aislinn Laing

Ships have pipes or vacuum tubes and high-tech equipment are used in deep-sea mining for off-shore extraction.

What is the impact of diamonds mining?

‘A few industries in the world have a larger environmental and social footprint than mining’. 

The Use of Water

The exhaustive amount of energy used for diamond mining is linked to the direct pollution of surrounding water systems. 

Water and energy are two of the key issues with waste management in diamond mining. 

On average, mined diamonds consume around 480 L of water per carat! In comparison, lab-grown diamonds “only” require 70 L per carat. 

mineral waste

Mineral waste is created during the extraction process and then disposed of through a waste management system, in the best case scenario… 

Most of the time, this waste is a threat to the environment and poses major contamination risk for the surrounding ecosystems, especially to groundwater and rivers.

air pollution

Mined diamonds often produce a chemical called Sulphur Oxide, which is very harmful, not only for the environment but also for the communities living around the mines.  

Moreover, on average, mining one carat of diamond produces 65 kg of CO2, much more than lab-grown diamonds (12kg in average).

Marange diamond fields Associated press

Groups of miners in the diamond fields in Marange. © Associated Press 

Human Rights

The diamond mining industry still fuels a wide array of human rights abuses.

Its supply chain is often very opaque and is a source of conflicts and serious human rights violations, as highlighted recently by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. 

One of the main issues is the traceability of the diamonds when experts agree that a diamond will likely change hands eight to ten times from the country of export to the final consumer.  

In 2018, 147 million carats of mined diamonds were estimated to have been produced globally. 

And the demand might reach 292 million carats in 2050. 

Sustainable alternatives are definitely needed!

What are lab-grown diamonds?

Lab-grown diamond

Lab-grown diamonds are diamonds cultivated in a laboratory using the latest technology.

They are man-made and consist of the same chemical composition as mined diamonds. 

Cultured diamonds arouse suspicion and questioning, yet during the summer of 2018, the Federal Trade Commission that regulates commercial practices amended its jewellery guide to remove the word natural from the definition of diamond. 

It continues by clarifying that "it is no longer accurate to define a diamond with the word natural when it is possible to create a product which has essentially the same optical, physical and chemical properties as a mined diamond." 

In summary, lab-Grown Diamonds display the same beautiful physical look as mined diamonds. The sparkle without harming the planet.

So, how are lab-grown diamonds made?

What are the benefits of lab-grown diamonds?

Lab-grown diamond

Sustainability is one of the many positive benefits of purchasing a beautiful lab-grown diamond.


There is a higher level of transparency for consumers. 

Research shows that even the biggest of brands do not always have a clear idea of where their diamonds come from. This is due to a complex supply chain that operates all over the world. Lab-grown diamonds go directly from the lab to the jewellery workshop, no more middle men. 

Scéona brings you a collection of jewellery inspired by nature and simplicity, using only lab-grown diamonds. 

The sparkle without hurting the planet.

Sceona jewellery

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