An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: The world’s biggest jeweller, Pandora, says it will no longer sell mined diamonds and will switch to exclusively laboratory-made diamonds. Concerns about the environment and working practices in the mining industry have led to growing demand for alternatives to mined diamonds. Pandora’s chief executive, Alexander Lacik, told the BBC the change was part of a broader sustainability drive. He said the firm was pursuing it because “it’s the right thing to do.” They are also cheaper: “We can essentially create the same outcome as nature has created, but at a very, very different price.” Mr Lacik explains they can be made for as little as “a third of what it is for something that we’ve dug up from the ground.”
Pandora’s lab-made diamonds are being made in Britain, and the UK is the first country where they will be sold. The new diamond jewelry will start at $350. […] One problem with lab-made diamonds, though, is that they can take a lot of energy to produce. Between 50% and 60% of them come from China, where they are made in a process known as “high-pressure, high-temperature technology.” The use of coal powered electricity is widespread. However in the United States, the biggest retail market for lab-grown diamonds, there is a greater focus on using renewable energy. The largest US producer, Diamond Foundry, says its process is “100% hydro-powered, meaning zero emissions.” Both types are chemically and physically identical to mined diamonds.