BY Azzallure Chotani And Nada Al-Sulaiti
For by Azzallure Chotani
Lab-grown diamonds are a (very) hot topic in the luxury space. We asked two jewellery designers, Azzallure Chotani and Nada Al-Sulaiti to weigh in on the pros and cons
Lab-grown diamonds are the future – or rather the now – of luxury jewellery. Do you know why? Because lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds! This is the hard truth that every natural diamond retailer, miner or investor is sadly very aware of, but is desperate to keep a secret.
When I began my love affair with lab-grown diamonds three years ago, I wasn’t taken seriously as a jeweller. But I figured there had to be women like me who hold in high regard ethics and sustainability as much as beauty and aesthetics. This terra nova to luxury resonated with my heart. Fast forward to today and I am a formidable lab-diamond and lab-moissanite jeweller, thanks in no small part to the fact that more women are now buying their own jewellery. Women have begun to question the consequences of their choices and are much more conscious in regard to their carbon footprint as an integral part of their humanity.
“Women have begun to question the consequences of their choices and are much more conscious in regard to their carbon footprint as an integral part of their humanity”Azzallure Chotaninone
The first thing I did when I decided to start my jewellery company Azzallure, was get a better understanding of the luxury jewellery industry by taking diamond appreciation classes in Paris at the prestigious L’École, School of Jewelry Arts, which is supported by Van Cleef & Arpels. Then I applied every ounce of what I learned about the craft into building my brand. The next step was educating the public and my growing clientele about the benefits of lab diamonds. How can a stone that has the identical chemical composition and frequency of a real diamond not be the same? I have no doubt that if more women were aware of how mined diamonds were abominably acquired, how egregiously the earth was plundered and labourers mined in abhorrent conditions to extricate this coveted stone to satiate their vanity, diamonds wouldn’t hold such value.
I’m terribly glad that women are far more financially educated today and realise that they don’t need diamonds as security but can use their brains to trade and invest in stocks and real estate instead. The returns are financially far more rewarding than that of any diamond they might own.
My main mission and vision is to get women to proudly flaunt their lab-grown diamonds, saying, “Darling, this rock got me an apartment in Burj downtown, and I saved the earth while doing it.” That’s right, your carbon footprint just got lighter with a lab-grown diamond purchase. Also it’s worth noting that I’ve also begun insuring lab-grown diamonds for my clients. Yes, I still see them as a luxury asset deserving of insurance. When buying lab-grown diamonds, remember to insist on certification (IGI and GRA are both good) and check with your jeweller about their buy-back policy; many offer ones that are at least 75 per cent of the purchase price. So… have I convinced you that lab-grown diamonds are the stylish and sustainable future of jewellery?
Azzallure Chotani is the Founder of Azzallure.
Against by Nada Al Sulaiti
Lab-grown diamonds have become increasingly popular in the jewellery industry over the past few years. These diamonds are created in a laboratory and are chemically and physically identical to mined diamonds. But, while lab-grown diamonds may be attractive to consumers due to their lower cost, they are actually bad for the jewellery industry in a number of ways.
First, lab-grown diamonds are often seen as a cheaper alternative to mined diamonds. This has caused a decrease in the demand for mined diamonds and has had a negative effect on the global diamond industry. It has resulted in a decrease in profits for diamond miners and jewellers who rely on mined diamonds for their livelihood.
Second, lab-grown diamonds are not always as reliable or as durable as mined diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds may have flaws that are not visible to the naked eye, but can affect the diamond’s strength and durability. This could lead to a decrease in customer satisfaction and an increase in returns and refunds. In fact, the appeal of natural diamonds has been grounded in the understanding that it took the earth millions of years to form each diamond, making it the gemstone embodiment of the idea of eternal love. It’s a message that is hard to promote if the diamond is mass-produced in a factory.
“The appeal of natural diamonds has been grounded in the understanding that it took the earth millions of years to form them, making them the gemstone the embodiment of the idea of eternal love”Nada Al Sulaitinone
Third, lab-grown diamonds are often not as valuable as mined diamonds. This is due to the fact that lab-grown diamonds are not as rare or as sought-after as mined ones. This means that jewellers cannot charge as much for lab-grown diamonds as they can for mined diamonds. Not to mention that because lab-grown diamonds have no supply constraints, their value will only depreciate with time. A natural diamond will retain its value, and if necessary, can be sold or traded in times of need.
Finally, lab-grown diamonds may have a negative environmental impact. The process of creating lab-grown diamonds requires large amounts of energy, water, and other resources. They are mostly formed in factories by giant ‘oven’ machines that need constant uninterrupted power that runs at about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. And there are some laboratories that use potentially harmful gases like methane to extract carbon. This consumption of resources will have its own repercussions on the environment and can contribute to climate change. Currently, it is still not clear if lab-grown diamonds actually have a lower environmental impact than mined diamonds. We do not have a definitive answer to that question.
Overall, lab-grown diamonds are bad for the jewellery industry on so many different levels. Seen as a cheaper alternative to mined diamonds, they have caused a decrease in demand for natural diamonds. They are also not as reliable or as durable as mined diamonds and currently don’t retain their value – which could lead to a decrease in customer satisfaction. Finally, there is still no categorical proof that lab-grown diamonds are in any way more sustainable or environmentally friendly compared to mined diamonds. For all these reasons the industry should steer clear of lab-grown diamonds and stick with the beautiful gems that Mother Nature has created.
Nada Al Sulaiti is the Founder and Creative Director of Hairaat Jewellery.
Lead Image Courtesy of Shutterstock
Words: Azzallure Chotani and Nada Al Sulaiti
From Harper’s Bazaar Arabia’s February 2023 Issue.