Jewelry giant Pandora has announced that it will stop selling mined diamonds by launching a collection using lab-created versions of gemstones.
The Danish company said it was looking to “transform the diamond jewelry market with affordable and sustainably created products.”
Pandora made 85 million pieces of jewelry last year and sold 50,000 diamonds.
The company said lab-created diamonds are identical to mined diamonds except that they are made in a laboratory rather than dug underground.
They have the same optical, thermal and physical characteristics, Pandora said.
Laboratory diamonds are guaranteed not to be “blood diamonds” from conflict zones – a question which has been the subject of increasing scrutiny in recent years.
They are also up to ten times cheaper than their mined equivalents according to recent industry data from consulting firm Bain.
In 2018, De Beers, one of the biggest names in the industry, rescinded its decades-old policy of not using synthetic gemstones in its jewelry.
Pandora’s new collection will initially launch in the UK and go on sale in other markets next year, the company said.
Managing Director Alexander Lacik said of lab-grown diamonds: “They are as much a symbol of innovation and progress as they are of lasting beauty and a testament to our ongoing and ambitious sustainability agenda.
“Diamonds are not only forever, but for everyone.”
Pandora, whose jewelry is sold to consumers in more than 100 countries, said the growth in demand for lab-created diamonds is outstripping the growth of the diamond industry as a whole.
He said he would source the stones from suppliers in Europe and North America.
Any remaining mined diamonds held in its stores would still be sold, the company said.
The announcement came as Pandora reported a better than expected increase in operating profit from Kronor 204million (£ 24million) to Kronor 903million (£ 105million) for the first quarter , with sales rising 8% to 4.5 billion crowns (£ 525 million).
Mr Lacik said it was a good start to the year as 30% of its 2,700 global stores had been closed – aided by online sales that had more than doubled and US economic stimulus packages boosting the market. consumer demand.