The production of lab diamonds doubled between 2018 and 2019, to reach 7 million carats in 2020, according to a report on Diamonds.net. Today’s consumers are more conscious about reducing their carbon footprint than ever before. As a result, they invest more in eco-friendly products, including jewelry from precious stones. Thanks to advanced technologies, you can now wear earrings or rings embedded with diamonds made in a laboratory.
Lab-produced diamonds are real gems, only that the carbon crystallization process is done in a lab setting and not in the earth’s crust. What’s more, they are an excellent alternative to mined diamonds, as they reduce the troubles linked to mining. But, are lab-grown diamonds an eco-friendly choice than mined ones? In reality, these diamonds don’t come without baggage. If you factor in ethics, though, they have less impact than mined diamonds. Here’s why lab-grown diamonds are considered more environmentally friendly.
Minimum Water Usage
Water usage is one of the most significant areas where lab diamonds and mined diamonds differ greatly. Note that for every carat of a mined diamond, 126 gallons of water are used. On the other hand, lab-grown or artificial diamonds consume 18 gallons of water only. Furthermore, mining diamonds causes water pollution due to the continuous discharge of wastewater in water sources.
Growing diamonds requires less energy compared to mining gems from the earth’s crust. Typically, lab-produced diamonds use 250 million joules per carat, while mined diamonds use 538.5 million. Even more interesting, the energy used to produce diamonds is renewable, according to Frost & Sullivan’s research.
Reduces Land Disruption And Mineral Waste
When consumers shop for diamond rings, they rarely consider how the mining process disrupts the environment, just as they overlook the importance of diamond’s culet. It is crucial to know that diamonds mined using conventional methods disrupt the environment. In fact, a single carat of mined diamonds is responsible for disturbing approximately 100 square feet of land. And about 5,798 pounds of mineral waste is produced. Mining also affects biodiversity, making land that was once fertile unusable, even after mining projects have ended. By comparison, diamonds made in labs disrupt only 0.07% of land per carat and produce one pound of waste. Since lab diamonds are created in controlled conditions inside buildings, there is zero threat to the environment and biodiversity.
Low Carbon Emissions
The amount of carbon emitted by lab-grown diamonds is significantly lower than that of mined diamonds. Research findings by Princeton University reveal that lab diamonds have a carbon footprint of about 18-22% of mined diamonds. Even more appealing, some synthetic diamond producers are carbon-neutral, while mined diamonds produce about 30 pounds of Sulphur Oxide.
There has been a hot debate about how eco-friendly lab-grown diamonds are compared to mined diamonds. While lab gems aren’t 100% environmentally friendly, they are better than mined ones based on recent research findings. Studies show lab diamonds consume less water and energy. They also cause minimum land disruption and produce low carbon gases.