Pandora ditches mined diamonds for lab-made gems at a third the price; Montreal jewellers balk

Jewelry brand Pandora wants to make diamonds everyone’s best friend, including the climate-conscious, as they pledge to only use lab-created gems in their new products.

But not everyone is happy about the idea, including some traditional jewellers in Montreal.

“We’re able to make diamonds today they are identical to what nature can make, and about a third of the price, so we’re taking that into our assortment and aim to bring diamond jewelry to many more people,” Pandora's Mads Twomey-Madsen told CTV News.

The company says its new line of products, which is being rolled out in the United Kingdom before going global next year, has gems that are not only cheaper than mined diamonds, but more environmentally sustainable.

Pandora says by the time the Brilliance line lands in stores around the globe next year, the lab-created gems will be made using 100 per cent renewable energy.

For traditional jewellers like Bijouterie Rosas in Montreal, lab-grown diamonds don’t carry the same weight.

"Nothing is like the beauty of Mother Nature,” said Eduardo Nunez, the store's owner.

He questioned whether diamonds will be able to retain their value if they can be lab-grown. But he also said the primary concern he sees from customers isn't the environment, but ethics, particularly towards the human-rights impacts of diamond mining in some regions.

That's why he encourages clients to buy Canadian diamonds, he said.

Pandora says that the cheaper price point isn’t about undercutting the current industry, but about opening up diamonds to use as more than rare special-occasion gifts.

“We think diamonds will […] become a little of an every day piece of jewelry,” said Twomey-Madsen.


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