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Down to Earth

Lab-grown vs mined diamonds: How green is your gem?

By: Mairead DUNDAS Follow | Juliette LACHARNAY | Guillaume BRUNET | Valérie DEKIMPE | Julia GUGGENHEIM
1 min

They are cheaper and boast all the characteristics of their mined counterparts. In recent years, lab-grown diamonds have become increasingly popular among millennials, who are more in tune with environmental issues. We take a closer look.


Man-made diamonds were first produced in 1954 by General Electric. Smaller and duller than natural diamonds, they were ideal for cutting, grinding and drilling. As technology advanced further, lab-grown diamonds have come to disrupt the jewellery world.

So how do lab-grown diamonds stack up against mined ones? There’s the environmental impact to consider, but also the ethics. Either way, faced with perhaps its biggest threat to date, the diamond miners have united.

In this episode of Down to Earth, we travel to Antwerp, Belgium – the world’s diamond capital – to meet the man in charge of leading the attack.

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