Pandora Uses Lab-Grown Diamonds Now

Recently, Pandora announced that they will no longer be mining their diamonds; rather, they will be creating them within a lab. They have many different motivations, but the three main ones were a concern for the environment, convenience, and price. 

It’s no doubt that the world’s environment has only gotten worse and worse with little hope for recovery. Many different factors feed into this inevitable fate, including car exhaust, the wasting of water, the destruction of forests and aquatic ecosystems, but a lesser-known problem is mining. Mining can create unstable lands or destroy the ground underneath forests, causing them to die. In addition, mining isn’t good for the people performing the actions either. For one, it’s obviously dangerous. Cave-ins happen. Miners could get lost or stuck underground. But a larger problem is the health problems that arise. They are at risk of a disease called pneumoconiosis that can cause respiratory issues and even death. Pneumoconiosis means “dusty lung” and is used to describe the condition when miners’ lungs get coated in superfine dust.  

Another reason for Pandora’s shift is convenience. It is way more convenient and cheaper to produce diamonds in a lab. It is only a third of the price of mining diamonds, and they don’t have to go through with the hassle of actually trying to look for the gems. 

To make these diamonds, labs have two options. They can use HPHT (high-pressure, high temperature) or CVD (chemical vapor deposition). Pandora uses CVD. 

CVD methods involve taking a small amount of diamond called a “seed.” This seed is usually an HPHT diamond. They then take the seed and insert it into an oven that is heated to around 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit. The air around the oven is filled with methane and hydrogen because those two gasses are filled with carbon. The gasses are ionized and turned into plasma, and then the plasma sticks to the seed, turning it into a diamond. 

HPHT also uses a seed, but this seed is inserted into some carbon. The carbon is then pressurized with a weight of 1.5 million pounds per square inch. The carbon-diamond combination is then heated up to a temperature of 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. The diamond is born. 

Pandora’s shift has sent a ripple down the jewelry world, and many different jewelry lines are sure to follow next.