There are many ways to keep our spirits up now that Singapore has gone into to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert). We’ve done this before, and we can do it again. Consider indulging in a new beauty regime. Or focus on health and wellness if you’ve been neglecting your body for too long.
To prevent lockdown burnout, don’t forget to take care of your mental health as well, and if retail therapy works—well, e-tail anyway—now’s a great time to take a stab at lab-grown diamond jewellery.
Obviously the main argument for lab-grown diamonds is its negligible impact on the environment. We know that, and we all agree wholeheartedly as well. But the reason many are still holding off on lab-grown diamonds is the luxe factor and that nagging doubt at the deepest recesses of our mind that whispers: “they’re not real diamonds.”
Add to that the fact that leading jewellery maisons haven’t picked up on lab-grown stones, and those that did never managed to convince the mass market due to a variety of reasons such as technological limitations. For a while, lab-grown stones couldn’t be made larger than 1.5 carats.
Today, however, manufacturing techniques have improved vastly and stones of larger carat weights have entered the market. It is now possible to source for fancy cuts and colours to wear as sizeable solitaires on a ring or necklace.
Celebrities who have caught on to lab-grown diamonds include Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Zendaya, Emma Watson, Meghan Markle, Jennifer Hudson, Lana Condor, Regina King, Jennifer Lopez, Kate Mara, Deepika Padukone and more. Billy Porter, of course, wore a dazzling lab-grown diamond necklace by Lark & Berry at the 2020 Oscars.
While they’re chemically identical to natural diamonds, lab-grown diamonds do not enjoy the same value retention as their earth-grown counterparts, which takes millions of years to form. Lab-grown diamonds go through the same processes that create natural diamonds but are produced in a matter of weeks. So the forces of supply and demand at play here are completely different.
That said, it’s good news if you’re coming in from a consumer’s perspective, rather than an investor. For instance, unless one’s a Crazy Rich Asian or a recurring cast member of Bling Empire, a 2-carat heart-shaped pink diamond would probably never be within reach—unless one takes the lab-grown route. For a fraction of the price, you will be getting the exact same thing with none of the carbon footprint too.
And if you’re just looking for a little bling to stave away the WFH blues, not hunting for an heirloom piece for your next generation, a little cultured love can go a long way.
Here’s Vogue Singapore’s lab-grown jewellery edit to spark a little joy in your life today.
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Backed by none other than the De Beers Group, this US-based lab produces 200,000 stones a year, all of them VS clarity, perfectly cut, and always near colourless. Other options include blue and pink stones, with a one-carat solitare necklace priced from S$1,550.
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Lark & Berry
Created in 2018 with the aim to bridge sustainability with quality and luxury, Lark & Berry was the first jewellery brand to use cultured diamonds exclusively. The collection today has expanded to include cultured sapphire in multiple hues, as well as emeralds and rubies.
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Pushing for sustainable jewellery to be inclusive and accessibly priced, Matilde Jewellery uses solely lab-grown diamonds and 100 per cent recycled gold. Delicate designs featuring simple, timeless motifs and patterns make them great add-ons to your jewellery stack.
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This London-based jeweller was founded by a couple of Antwerp natives who literally grew up in the diamond trade, but sought a more ethical and transparent way to design and create jewellery. Each piece is handmade in Antwerp using 100 per cent recycled gold.
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It’s modern high jewellery meets ethical sustainability. London based jeweller to the stars Anabela Chan mixes lab-grown gemstones with a combination of natural and manmade materials evoking romantic, sculptural forms inspired by nature.
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Classic designs featuring lab-grown diamonds in a wide variety of iconic and exotic cuts. Here, all the attention goes into the stones, as Vrai is the jewellery arm of Diamond Foundry which leads the industry in zero-emission diamond production.
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Started by a team of jewellery industry veterans, Clean Origin offers simple classics at affordable prices. With the goal to deliver an environmentally conscious approach in the jewellery industry, bridal and engagement jewellery make up the bulk of its designs.