Q Hi, I have been searching for a while trying to figure out where to buy a lab diamond but I want to make sure I am buying from company that at least has carbon neutral certification. Can you point me in the right direction? R.
A Hi R, thanks for sending in your question. I highly recommend you check out VRAI. They are the only diamond jeweler that I know of which boasts not only an excellent range of diamonds but they are certified carbon neutral.
Forbes said of VRAI:
“The innovation behind the diamonds in VRAI jewelry is an example of how technology and creativity can support a healthy future for our planet, without compromise. VRAI [diamonds] are created by Diamond Foundry, which powers its foundry with renewable energy and says it is the only above-ground diamond producer that’s Certified Carbon Neutral (R). According to Diamond Foundry, it’s estimated that for each carat of natural diamond mined, up to 250 tons of earth are removed in a process that use 127 gallons of water and releases 143 pounds of carbon dioxide. In bypassing mining, sustainably created alternatives help keep the earth intact and make it possible to remove ethical supply chain concerns entirely, by selling stones direct to jewelers and consumers.”https://www.forbes.com/sites/katematthams/2021/01/29/could-this-valentines-day-bracelet-be-the-ultimate-in-sustainable-jewelry
Fast Company also mentions them in their line up of ethical jewelry brands saying:
While their zero-carbon-footprint, lab-grown diamond engagement rings are tough to beat, [VRAI’s] traceable fine jewelry collection features playful designs that are set in solid gold and sparkle just the samehttps://www.fastcompany.com/90582442/the-best-ethical-jewelry-companies
The Knot says of them:
Everything [VRAI] creates is absolutely gorgeous, but it’s also sustainably crafted every step of the way using the highest quality materials. And the elegant, refined designs make them the kind of thing you’ll wear day in and day out—ignoring just about everything else in your jewelry box.https://www.theknot.com/
Fashion Week Daily’s Front Row says:
“The [VRAI line] contains a range of rings, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets—boasting zero-carbon emission diamonds and recycled gold, no less”https://fashionweekdaily.com/daily-news-super-stylists-rob-mariels-new-collab-tommys-latest-drop-meghan-markles-book-advance-and-more/
About VRAI Diamonds
VRAI diamonds are all created by its parent company Diamond Foundry which maintains carbon neutral certification.
VRAI had caught the attention of Diamond Foundry as a jeweler that was making its pieces from recycled gold. Upon acquiring VRAI Diamond Foundry stated: “VRAI is vertically integrated—a rarity in the jewelry world— which gives it total control from growing the diamond to the finished pieces.”
The fact that VRAI was already using recycled solid gold and recyclable packaging and aligned with Diamond Foundry’s partners who shared these core values of sustainability, transparency, innovation, and quality.
Genuine efforts at sustainability
VRAI diamonds by Diamond Foundry are grown in America and are carbon neutral meaning there is not added carbon footprint and of course no mining.
Every single carat of VRAI diamonds you buy helps save 250 tons of earth removed to mine a carat of diamond, 120 gallons of water used to mine a carat of diamond, and 143 lbs of carbon dioxide emitted to extract a carat of diamond. While the mining industry claims to not use the same harmful chemicals that are used in the extraction of gold there are a number of reported incidents of mines causing chemical poisoning of the environment.
While there are plenty of claims being made by diamond growers around the globe, to date, in regards to the ethical superiority of lab diamonds, few, if any, back up their claims with real facts. I have not come across any lab diamond growers, apart from VRAI/Diamond Foundry that can boast of having achieved carbon neutral status.
Hopefully more will follow suit. Presently VRAI has a strong competitive advantage in this area.
Of course while the environmental impact is super important, VRAI has not neglected the quality of the cut of the stones themselves. VRAI‘s diamonds are cut and polished to exacting standards internationally in their own workshops by their master craftsmen. The craftsmanship of VRAI diamonds competes with some of the best around.
Diamond Foundry employs GIA graduate gemologists to grade their diamonds. While this is not equivalent to a stone being graded in a GIA lab it’s one way VRAI are able to keep their prices competitive. For those who would like a GIA Lab Grown Diamond Report to accompany their VRAI diamond there is an option to have this added to their purchase.
VRAI offers a lifetime warranty for all Diamond Foundry diamonds.
All of VRAI‘s diamonds come with a full, true producer warranty. This certificate, backed by a lifetime warranty, guarantees the grade of your diamond. Other diamond grading reports, including those from the Gemological Institute of America, American Gemological Society, and the International Gemological Society do not offer a guarantee on the grade issued by the lab.
This shows that they stand behind their products and warrant their graded characteristics through their full legal guarantee and warranty.
In the unlikely case that your diamond turns out to not meet or exceed a 4C grade stated in the Certificate, Diamond Foundry shall, at its option: Accept the return of the diamond and provide you with a refund of the full purchase price; or replace the diamond with a diamond that meets or exceeds each of the characteristics warranted. Please see their Warranty for full terms and conditions.
VRAI/Diamond Foundry diamonds are created using Diamond Foundry’s own proprietary type of CVD. For the difference between CVD and HPHT see my article here on the differences between CVD and HPHT.
When you buy your diamond from VRAI it may be necessary to keep checking back every once in a while if you want a diamond with little to no color. The top color grades of often sell out very quickly. Diamond Foundry is very proud of the fact that they can grown diamonds very quickly. The down side of this is that the diamonds do not all come out perfectly colorless. Diamond Foundry can produce colorless diamonds, but not only does the general public snatch them up pretty quickly, other retailers also buy them. Their G color diamonds are usually the sweetspot where you will find the best value, and you can usually find G color round cut diamonds in stock at VRAI within the commonly sought after carat range.
If not try checking Ritani’s lab grown diamond offerings as they will sometimes stock Diamond Foundry diamonds with color grades which may no longer be available from VRAI.
Certain ways of cutting a diamond show up color more than others. Round brilliants are the best at hiding color due to their brilliance when viewed face up. (Provided the diamond is cut to optimal proportions).
In the above example the diamond hides its color very well when viewed face up due to its having been cut to optimal proportions and with complementary angles. It’s only when you view it from the side that some of the color becomes apparent.
Oval cut diamonds only hide their color so much, and again, depending on certain factors, cushion cut diamonds hide their color even less.
For more on the topic please see my article on choosing a colorless diamond here: Help With Choosing a Colorless Diamond, which talks not only about round brilliants but also shows the way oval cuts handle light which may or may not reduce apparent color.
This point is quite important because the color factor is the main issue with VRAI/Diamond Foundry diamonds and as of yet the only complaint I have seen relating to VRAI/Diamond Foundry diamonds. Usually this happens because a person does not have any idea what they are doing and they buy a diamond online without getting any advice at all. But this does not have to happen. You can get a great diamond while supporting a company that makes a concerted effort to reduce their impact on the environment. It just takes a little research
Send in your question
For help with choosing a VRAI diamond please get in touch with me. I’ve worked with thousands of people to help them choose a diamond that suits their needs.
As a matter of fact if you are looking to buy any type of diamond jewelry online you are welcome to send in whatever questions you may have.
As an affiliate of the some of the world’s finest jewelers I am motivated to find the right purchase that is perfect just for you. Every person has specific needs and every jeweler has specific areas in which they excel.
Thomas J Stevens GIA DG CSG