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Lab Grown Diamonds and environmental impacts

Published: 25th May, 2023

Context

Traditionally, diamonds have been assessed based on the four Cs: cut, color, clarity, and carat. However, a fifth C, Climate Neutrality, is now emerging as a factor for judging diamonds

What are Lab-grown diamonds?

Status

  • In India, the share of lab-grown diamonds in overall diamond business is presently just 2-3 per cent.
  • In India, lab-grown diamonds are mostly used for jewelleries and exports.
  • About 80 per cent of the cut and polished LGDs are exported, while only 20 per cent are consumed locally. 
  • Naturally-formed diamonds are pure carbon, crystalised in the isometric cubic form beneath the earth’s crust. 
  • Method: Lab-grown diamonds (LGDs), on the other hand, are manufactured in laboratories with either of the two methods — chemical vapour deposition (CVD) or high pressure, high temperature (HPHT) using a chemical composition
  • Duration: It takes less than a month to make a distinctively-shaped crystal.

How environment-friendly are Lab-grown diamonds?

 

Natural Diamonds

Lab-grown diamonds

Carbon Footprint

The process of mining natural diamonds involves significant energy consumption and carbon emissions

Lab-grown diamonds, on the other hand, require less energy and have a considerably lower carbon footprint. This is because they are produced in controlled laboratory environments using advanced technologies.

Ecological Disruption

Diamond mining often involves extracting large quantities of earth, leading to habitat destruction and ecosystem disruption.

Lab-grown diamonds eliminate the need for such environmentally harmful mining practices, minimizing ecological damage and preserving natural habitats.

Water Conservation

Mining diamonds typically requires extensive water usage for various purposes, including extraction, processing, and washing.

Studies and reports claim that 1 carat of a lab grown diamond can save upto 250 tonnes of land and gallons of water.

Pollution

Diamond mining can lead to pollution through the release of hazardous chemicals, sediment runoff, and soil erosion.

1.       Lab-grown diamonds eliminate the associated pollution risks, as they are produced without the use of harmful mining practices, thereby reducing environmental contamination.

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