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Lab Grown vs. “Real”

Can Diamonds be  Earth’s Best Friend?  

Today, most natural products have man-made alternatives, but the one question that remains in most of our minds is – is natural better than man made? 

The same goes for lab-grown diamonds. We know that they are created by man  as opposed to being mined from the Earth, but what does this mean for the  environment? 

We’ve all seen, or at least heard about Leonardo DiCaprio’s Blood Diamond at  some point or the other. The film did a great job at exposing the realities of the  mined diamond industry, but the atrocities don’t stop at land degradation, child  labour and armed military conflict. 

Lab-Grown Diamonds vs Natural Diamonds

Lab-Grown Diamonds & Natural Diamonds have the same chemical, physical, and optic composition.

How are Natural Diamonds Procured?

There are several methods of mining that can be used to extract diamonds from  the Earth, each of which requires heavy machinery, lots of energy and water.  These techniques often cause massive destruction to the ecosystem and habitat  and kill lots of flora and fauna. Mining practices are deemed unethical not only  because of their impacts on the environment but also because the conditions that  the workers face can have adverse effects on their health. 

So what then? Do we Give Up the Bling?

Absolutely not! As with most things, mankind has found a way to create the Eco-Friendly Girl’s Best Friend.  

Lab-Grown Diamonds are identical to mined diamonds in appearance and  chemical composition and have a tiny fraction of the impact that mined diamonds  have on the environment

How are Lab-Grown Diamonds made?

Like natural diamonds, even in lab-grown diamonds, it is the conditions that  cause the carbon atoms to change their chemical bonds, which in turn changes  their structure and composition to that of a diamond.  

Owing to this, it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between a mined  diamond and a lab grown diamond with the naked eye. There are few  microscopes that can find the difference, but they are very technologically  advanced and not feasible for all. 

Why are Lab-Grown Diamonds more  sustainable? 

Although lab grown diamonds require the same resources for polishing, cutting  and inspection, they do not need to be extracted from the Earth, hence saving  lots of energy, water and land.  

Water Usage  

The amount of water used is one of the biggest differentiating factors. While  mined diamonds use up 126 gallons of water per carat of diamond, their lab  grown counterparts use up only 18 gallons.  

The process of underground mining contaminates ground and surface water while  open-pit mining can severely damage the water table of the area.  

Energy Usage 

Lab grown diamonds use 250 million joules of energy per carat whereas mined  diamonds use 538.5 million joules, more than double. Also, if done in a  sustainable lab, the energy used in lab grown diamonds is renewable energy,  causing less damage to our depleting resources.  

Carbon Emissions  

A mined diamond produces 125 pounds of carbon for every carat, while a lab  grown diamond produces a mere 6 pounds. Additionally, lab grown diamonds  produce no sulphur dioxide whereas mined diamonds produce more than 30  pounds.  

Frost & Sullivan’s study reported that in terms of overall emissions, the growth  process involves little or no emissions of significance.  

Land Disruption and Waste Management 

Nearly 100 square feet of land is disrupted and around 5,798 pounds of waste is  generated for every carat of a diamond produced through traditional mining  techniques. In comparison, lab grown diamonds use only 0.07 square feet of land  per carat and generate only 1 pound of mineral waste.  

Moreover, mining disturbs entire habitats and ecosystems, causing a loss in flora  and fauna and leaves the land unusable, even after the mining activities have  stopped.  

Human Impact 

The term “Blood Diamond” was coined for a reason. Diamond mining subjects the  workers to extremely unsafe working conditions and the industry is known for its  human rights violations, child labour and exploitation of the workers. Miners live  in the fear of explosions and collapse and are subjected to very high levels of  mercury and other elements that can cause their health long term damage. A  study has shown that those who worked in mines in South Africa have a 20%  higher mortality rate than the general population. 

Lab-grown diamonds result in 0 injuries whereas mined diamonds result in 1  injury per 1,000 workers annually.

Is there a thing as sustainable mined  diamonds? 

Although efforts have been made and rules put into place to make mining more  sustainable, more often than not they are not followed. For example, after  diamond companies are done with a pit that has been created, they are asked to  rehabilitate the land. That essentially means they create a soil ‘profile’ and  introduce plants and animals back to the habitat, in hopes of rekindling the  ecosystem. However, most of these mines stay abandoned with no efforts to  rehab seen. Many diamond companies claim to have eco-friendly mines, but even with the  most precautions taken, mining in itself is unsustainable as it requires the  extraction of non-renewable natural resources, not to mention the environmental  impact.  

In conclusion, natural diamonds may have sentimental value due to their status,  but having a guilt-free gem with you, that is truly forever, is a feeling unmatched.  Conscious Consumers are making the switch to these ethical, sustainable and  affordable diamonds and in doing so, are taking their little step forward for the  environment. 

 

 

Celebrities Flaunting Their Lab-Grown Diamonds

What are lab-grown diamonds?

Lab-grown diamonds are diamonds that have been created in a lab instead of being mined from the earth. They are chemically, physically, and optically identical to a mined diamond. However, they have much lesser impacts on people and the environment and hence are more sustainable and eco-friendly. They make for the perfect jewellery for the Conscious Customer. 

Today, many people are making the switch to lab-grown diamonds because of their benefits and also because of their price point. Renowned celebrities have not been left behind on this trend; here are some of the celebrities that have been spotted sporting some beautiful lab-grown pieces.

Meghan Markle

The duchess of Sussex and former actress has been famous for her progressive thinking and ways. Hence, it came as no surprise when she was spotted in a pair of earrings created with lab-grown diamonds at an event in London in January 2019. The earrings were crafted by Kimai, a Dutch jewellery brand that specializes in lab-grown jewellery.

Bindi Irwin

Daughter of the late crocodile hunter Steve Irwin, Bindi stayed true to her environmentalist roots when she got engaged to her boyfriend Chandler Powell in 2019 with a lab-grown engagement ring. She also went on to post the details of her ring on Instagram and mentioned how happy she was that her boyfriend chose a ring that “captures her essence” so well.

Lady Gaga 

 

The American singer, songwriter and actress known for her striking voice and amazing performance in A Star Is Born  has always tried to give back to the community with her philanthropic acts. In 2018, at the premiere of A Star Is Born she accessorized her gorgeous outfit with some Anabela Chan earrings donned with lab-grown diamonds. 

Emma Watson

English actress, model and activist known for her role in the Harry Potter series and more recently, her outspoken activism on ongoing issues in the world made a statement with her jewellery at the 2018 Academy Awards. All of her jewellery was ethically sources, featuring lab-grown diamonds, recycled gold and a recycled sapphire from designers Vrai & Oro, Ana Katarina and Ana Khour. 

Swara Bhaskar 

 

Swara Bhaskar, an Indian actress, best known for her lead roles in many independent films is a three time Filmfare award nominee. She was seen at a launch party in September 2018 sporting an ear cuff, earrings and rings embedded with lab-grown diamonds by DiAi Designs, an Indian jewellery brand specializing in lab-grown diamonds. 

To read more on lab-grown diamonds and whether they’re for you, check out the following links:

https://www.diaidesigns.com/archives/16262

https://www.diaidesigns.com/archives/9764

 

 

Lab Grown Diamonds FAQ

4 Questions You Should Ask Before Buying Lab-Grown Diamonds

The rapidly growing lab-grown diamond industry has caught everyone’s attention and lets many consumers wonder, “What are lab-grown diamonds?” In the simplest terms, lab-grown diamonds are diamonds that have been created in a lab instead of being mined from the earth. They are chemically, physically, and optically identical to a mined diamond. For customers, they present a great alternative when buying jewelry and have several other positive benefits.

1. How are Lab Grown Diamonds made?

Lab-grown diamonds go by many different names – lab-created, lab-made, synthetic, and even engineered diamonds. They are created through two main processes; High Pressure, High Temperature (HPHT)& Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD).

In the HPHT process, the labs mimic the high pressure and temperature conditions of natural diamond formation in the earth. However, the newer technique of CVD enables scientists to grow lab-grown diamonds using moderate temperatures (700°C to 1300°C) and lower pressures.

2. How Long Does It Take to Make a Diamond?

Lab-grown diamonds typically take a few weeks to be created in the laboratory. This is a much shorter period in comparison to natural diamonds, which can take millions of years. The eventual size of a lab-grown diamond depends on the time allowed for growth.

 

3. What is the difference between a Natural and a Lab-Grown Diamond?

The main difference between a natural diamond and a lab-grown diamond is that the former is created in the earth’s bowels, and the latter in a lab (just like a test-tube baby!)

Even though they look and feel the same as natural diamonds due to the same chemical, physical, and optical values, lab-grown diamonds have more potential benefits. We define these benefits through DiAi’s three E’s, in addition to the standard 4 C’s of diamonds (Carat, Colour, Clarity, Cut).

Economical: A lab-created diamond is 35% of the price of a natural diamond due to the difference in supply. Natural diamond supply is limited due to the billions of years it takes for nature to create a diamond.

Ethical: Lab-grown diamonds are entirely traceable and are therefore more likely to be relied upon making them ethically sourced.

Environmental: Lab-grown diamonds are sustainable as they do not destroy the earth’s natural state through mining. We at DiAi Designs, go one step further to make our packaging and operations environmentally friendly and sustainable.

4.Is a Lab-Grown Diamond for Me?

With celebrities like Meghan Markle wearing lab-grown diamond jewelry, the industry is rising in popularity due to its sustainability and affordability factor. Ultimately, the choice to buy lab-grown diamonds is a personal one. If you love the look of diamonds but the traditional mining practices don’t align with your values, then lab-grown diamonds would be perfect for you. Lab-grown diamonds are guilt-free, timeless, affordable, and truly sparkle forever.

To learn more about Lab-Grown Diamonds follow us on Instagram to see our lab-grown diamonds highlights. To read more about the topic follow the links below:

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200207-the-sparkling-rise-of-the-lab-grown-diamond

https://4cs.gia.edu/en-us/laboratory-grown-diamond/

https://www.gia.edu/gia-news-research/manmade-diamonds-questions-answers

 

 

 

How did Disha begin DiAi Designs – one of the only Lab-Grown Diamond jewellery brands at the time, against all odds?

 

We’ve all seen the jewellery, we love the pieces, but what’s the story behind it? The brand speaks to us, but who speaks to them? We spoke to Disha Shah, the founder and owner of DiAi Designs to get an insight into the sustainable fine jewellery that we love to wear every day; and we hope this story inspires the entrepreneur in everyone who reads it. 

Disha grew up in Hong Kong and majored in Economics and Management and then pursued the Family Managed Business course in Mumbai. Multiple jobs and internships later, she realised she wanted to do something different! She initially launched a high-end couture jewellery brand with one-of-a-kind pieces but did not get the response she had hoped. With the experience gained of jewellery craftsmanship and consumer needs, she was all set to start DiAi. Over the last two and a half years, the brand has received an overwhelming response with the designs and use of lab-grown diamonds. The one thing that stands out about DiAi is the personal connection they create with each client.

Did you work with diamonds before you started DiAi?

My dad is in the natural diamond industry, so I’ve grown up observing his work: how he talks to customers, how he handles things in the office, how he gets his supply from India (at that time we lived in Hong Kong) and then once I moved here I saw my uncles do the same. Basically I grew up listening to everyone around me talk about diamonds, but they were loose diamonds and I was not at all interested in that because I found the trading business quite boring. So if you ask me if I’ve worked in the diamond industry, yes I have. I helped my dad with accounting in his office and interned with a few big brands in jewellery after which I started working in my uncle’s jewellery business. That’s where I learnt almost everything from scratch; I’d go to the factory and learn the entire process of making jewellery. I also sat down with the “Karigars” to understand everything that goes into making the final product that we see. 

Since your family is into natural diamonds, how come you decided to branch out and start working with lab-grown diamonds?

One day I was on the internet and I read this article about lab-grown diamonds that completely blew me away. I’m not sure what it was but I was absolutely stunned and wanted to learn more. So I started doing a lot of research, reading, and asking people in the industry about it. When I learnt about how they were made, I was amazed by how environmentally friendly and affordable they are. I always wanted to create something that is luxurious and can still be worn every day, but I never knew how or what product to use. All my doubts ended when I found out about lab-grown diamonds. In my early 20s, I’d started another high-end jewellery brand which had very couture and one-of-a-kind designs but they were expensive and heavy on gold and so it didn’t work as well as I would’ve wanted it to. That’s when I realised I need to use my creativity in a way where I can make durable, everyday luxury without compromising on the designs. I wanted to create designs that were stylish and modern, yet timeless and lab-grown diamonds were the way to go for that. In our generation where everyone is much more practical, people want luxury without having to dig a hole in their pockets.

What/who inspired you to start DiAi?

Honestly, I think it was just the vision that I wanted a majority of the people to be able to afford diamonds and be able to wear fine jewellery everyday without having to spend too much on it. I wanted people to be able to have something to pass on for generations without having to think twice about it. So, that was my major motivation and inspiration. Apart from the lab-grown diamond aspect, the design aspect was equally a priority for me. I wanted to create modern, lightweight designs. I did a lot of research but I could never find the kind of dainty, minimal designs that I was looking for, so I decided to create them myself. 

When you started DiAi, you were one of the very few brands that worked with lab-grown diamonds. In a time when people in India didn’t really know much about lab-grown diamonds, what are some of the challenges you faced trying to build a business around it?

In the beginning I faced a lot of challenges, especially since I came from a background of natural diamonds. My family and other people from the industry were very apprehensive about it. “How can we start working with lab-grown diamonds? We’re into the natural diamond industry”, they said. However, this was a practical decision, it made more sense. People had a lot to say about my decision, but a few months down the line, those people started purchasing from us too. Because as time went by and people started to think more practically, with an environmentally – conscious mindset,
they realised that lab-grown diamonds are the future. Of course with any change, comes resistance, and people were unsure about how these diamonds would last. But once they started to realise that the composition is exactly the same and there’s actually no difference, they were on board with the idea. 

 

What inspires your pieces and collections?

We have a lot of collections but I think one of the most loved (and one of my personal favourite) collections is the Celestial Collection. It is inspired by the galaxy and the universe. A lot of our pieces are actually inspired by nature, just because I find it so fascinating. Then we have the Everyday Essentials, the After Hours and what these collections do is they show you how you can wear your jewellery in different ways. One thing that stays constant through all our collections is the minimal and dainty style. Speaking of minimal, one of our best-selling collections is the Minimal Mangalsutra collection. That was inspired by seeing how many young married women want to hold onto their roots but find it hard to wear something so chunky and traditional all the time. This collection was made for them, so it was actually inspired from the modern woman herself. I also love the Solitaire collection just because of how simple it is. Solitaires are classy and timeless, and there’s not much more I need to say about that. 

 

What is the best thing about having your own business?

The best thing about having your own business is that it’s not a job, it’s a dream and a vision that we’re all working towards together and that is something that inspires me every day- to be able to have a positive impact; whether it’s for my team, my customers or the environment.

 

Lastly, what are your staple DiAi pieces that you never leave the house without?

Honestly I keep changing my jewellery but there are a few pieces that I literally never take off. The first is my Mini Solitaire Studs, I’ve had them on since the day I made them and I don’t plan on taking them off anytime soon. I always have one choker necklace on. Right now it’s the Galaxy Necklace, before that it was the Mini Gold Disc Dangler, and if I feel like it, I pair it with a longer necklace, that just depends on my mood. In terms of rings, I think a staple is just some stackable rings, or a simple band like the Pure Possessions. These are things I never leave the house without. 

 

If there’s one thing we’ve learnt from this interview, it’s that if you’re really passionate about something, you should go for it. Begin small, and watch yourself grow. You will hit rough patches and you will face friction, but you have to begin somewhere. 

 

 

How to look like a Boss Lady

Top 5 Workwear Essentials in 2021

How to dress like a modern woman at work, in order to convey your boss babe vibe, without having to spend too much time and effort? Struggling to find what’s worth investing into and what isn’t? The answer lies in just 5 essential items to spruce up your everyday outfit and fill you with confidence. Only because, when you look your best, you do your best!

1. The Crisp White Shirt

The classic white shirt is the easiest way to downright dress up for those work
zoom calls and long team meetings. To make it extra comfortable opt for a cotton
shirt, it also helps avoid the dry cleaners! The shirt can also double down as a
beach cover up.

 

2. The Subtle Statement Earrings

Statement Earrings that are low-key for everyday use but also appropriate for a
girls night out are a must have in your wardrobe. DiAi Designs jewelry is so
durable and functional that you won’t have to worry taking it off for bed or even in
the shower! Yes, that’s right no nasty stains or dullness even when you wear it in
the shower. And they’re perfect to look chic in those zoom calls.

 

3. The Power Blazer

You can opt for a soft silhouette or a structured blazer with padded shoulders.
Either ways the blazer will add an added layer of confidence and instantly
elevates your professionalism! Wear the C-suite colors to really make a
statement- black, grey, and navy and pair it with custom stone jewelry for a pop
of colour. Nevertheless, to make it look more business casual you can pair it with
jeans or a plain white tee.

 

4. The Tasteful Necklace

Less is more! Style that boss lady outfit with a necklace to bring in that flair
without overwhelming your neckline. Take the sustainable route with lab-grown
diamonds for a more budget friendly option to make a statement.

5. The Socially Responsible Mask

Who says being socially responsible has to ruin your outfit or cause maskne –
acne breakouts from wearing a mask. Silk masks are trendy and luxe but also
shown to be an effective mask while preventing facial irritation. And no 2021
essentials list can be complete without a face mask, or five.

Mix-up things once in a while, styling is always fun! We use style boards to help
us create the quintessential look everyday. Tune into our stories on Instagram to
see which style board inspires you or better yet share your style boards with us
via email or tag us on social media. Let’s see how you use the five essentials to
create the perfect Boss Lady look for 2021.

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