6 reasons to choose an ethical diamond engagement ring

May 12, 2022 | Engagements

There's nothing quite like the excitement of choosing a diamond engagement ring with your beau. It's like being a kid in a candy store, but so much more sparkly and romantic! You may have heard about the four Cs (carat, cut, clarity, and color) and they're a great place to start, but the sustainability of the diamond in your ring is another key consideration.

Did you know that there is an alternative to diamonds mined from the earth? Sustainable diamonds are real diamonds grown by scientists in a lab, and are increasingly popular with couples keen to make an ethical and environmentally conscious choice.

Curious how sustainable diamonds are made and how they compare with mined diamonds? We spoke to VRAI, the world's first certified carbon neutral diamond producer and one of our go-to brands for exquisite jewelry, about why a sustainable diamond engagement ring is the right choice for your proposal.

​What is a sustainable diamond? Pin it

A sustainable alternative

A sustainable diamond is one that is grown by scientists in a laboratory, replicating nature’s process above ground. Lab-grown diamonds are identical to those mined from the earth, sharing the same physical, atomical and chemical properties, just with a different origin. Lab-grown diamonds have ushered in a new era of sustainability, offering environmentally friendly choices in an industry historically dominated by mined diamonds.

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Produced with zero emissions

If you care about the environment, a sustainable diamond ring is the obvious choice. Sustainably made diamonds have not been extracted from the earth so help to avoid the depletion of natural resources. Their production helps to protect the environment, rather than threatening it.

The environmental impact of production methods is another key consideration, and VRAI diamonds are the world’s only diamonds produced with zero emissions. Their superior efficient technology combined with the zero-emission power of the Columbia River allows VRAI to sustainably grow diamonds in America’s beautiful Pacific West.

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They're just as real as a mined diamonds

Both lab-grown and mined diamonds are considered to be real by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Officially, the FTC defines a diamond as “a mineral consisting essentially of pure carbon crystallized in the isometric system” and whether a diamond is mined or created, both share this chemical composition.

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How are sustainable diamonds made?

Now here's where it gets a little scientific, so bear with us. Lab-grown diamonds are produced by two methods: chemical vapor deposition (CVD) or high pressure, high temperature (HPHT). Vrai uses CVD, which is a more economical and sustainable process, using vacuum chambers to convert carbon-heavy gasses into plasma with less energy consumption. Kinetics allow the carbon atoms inside the chamber to build on top of the diamond seed in a single vertical direction, so the rough diamond grows into a cleaner square shape. Once formed, rough diamonds are cut and polished to perfection.

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Each diamond is a one-of-a-kind

Identical to mined diamonds, lab-grown diamonds have natural unique variations in color and clarity, known as inclusions. These distinct markers are what make each diamond truly one-of-a-kind. The polished diamonds are then graded on the same scale as mined diamonds, known as the 4C’s, and receive a certificate documenting their individual cut, color, clarity and carat weight.

The difference between lab-grown and mined diamonds could be compared to the difference between ice formed outside on a winter’s day versus ice that’s formed inside your home freezer. To look at them, you would never know they have a different origin.

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Sustainable diamonds generally cost less than mined diamonds

Mined diamonds still come with a long supply chain which can make production costs and mark ups high for the end consumer. VRAI on the contrary is a vertically integrated company and does everything in house. The absence of middlemen allows sustainable diamonds produced by VRAI to be priced around 30% less than mined diamonds.

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