Would You Purchase Diamonds Grown on Demand?

It’s a moist summer season morning in New York, and Mona Akhavi, CEO of Vrai, the lab-grown jewellery line backed by Leonardo DiCaprio and different high-profile traders, is recounting the corporate’s current orders by way of Zoom. “It’s insane,” she says, matter-of-factly. “We’re getting orders for 10-carat diamonds as soon as per week. We simply had a 10-carat gradient diamond order and a three-carat heart-shaped diamond—we additionally had a 10-carat emerald reduce diamond.”

lab grown diamond

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In June 2023, Vrai launched its “Lower for You” program, which permits anybody to purchase a diamond, grown only for them, to no matter specs their coronary heart needs. Meaning selecting from 30 completely different shapes—hexagon, lozenge, trillion!—alongside the extra conventional choices like spherical good, in addition to the reduce. No extra hours spent trying to find your dream diamond; clients can then customise their jewellery piece—be it an engagement ring, wedding ceremony band, or anything. The method takes nothing quite a lot of clicks, and also you don’t should undergo any unique showroom, aggressive brokers, or showy salespeople (except you wish to, that’s—Vrai additionally has a pop-up in New York Metropolis this summer season). It’s additionally a zero-emission course of. As soon as ordered, artisans reduce and polish your {custom} piece.“We’re very shocked and shocked how shoppers have acquired it as a result of it’s virtually like they’re feeling empowered and free,” Akhavi provides. Up to now, the most important custom-grown diamond Vrai has created for a buyer was a 12-carat diamond in an emerald form, however Vrai can also be presently stocking free diamonds on its web site which are above 13 and 14 carats, clocking in at over $30,000 in some instances.

The concept of permitting anybody to develop their very own diamond was born out of the numerous requests Vrai was receiving from clients wanting particular shapes and much more particular carat sizes. “We’re vertically built-in the place we now have our personal cutters and polishes and we develop our personal diamonds,” Akhavi says. “So it was virtually like opening the door to the workshop to clients and giving them precisely what they wished. I believe that’s highly effective.”


Courtesy VRAI

To be clear, lab diamonds have fairly unceremoniously been solid as extra accessible variations of pure diamonds, even though they’re made up of the identical chemical composition as pure diamonds (they’re actually equivalent, bodily and optically). That’s due to the affordability issue. In truth, the one strategy to inform the distinction is thru “subtle gadgets developed by GIA and different organizations,” in line with the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). “Based mostly on the truth that lab-created diamonds are a lot cheaper than pure, the typical price range usually spent permits for a a lot bigger diamond,” says Jeremy Auslander, founding father of the diamond, jewellery, and watch brokerage agency Roxbury Jewellery in Los Angeles, which offers in each lab and pure diamonds. “The typical carat weight of a lab-created diamond engagement ring is considerably bigger than a pure diamond engagement ring.” Provides Akhavi: “Diamonds can alternate palms as much as 15 instances from excavation to the cutter to the distributor to the polisher to the dealer to the vendor. That’s why we are saying we’re not diamond sellers, we’re diamond creators. And due to that clear, clear provide chain, we’re in a position to move on the financial savings that occurs.”

The lab diamond house is stuffed with different manufacturers, too. Take, as an example, Ring Concierge, which provides a luxurious bespoke course of involving lab diamonds. Clients can select the diamond form after which absolutely customise their piece of knickknack, from setting to band and extra.

Then there’s Good Earth, maybe one of the crucial well-known lab diamond manufacturers. It shares each pure diamonds (within the firm’s personal phrases, “from accepted mines with robust social and environmental governance practices in Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, South Africa, and Canada, that are ranked low or average danger”), in addition to lab diamonds. Searching for a 28.42-carat Asscher-cut diamond? Or maybe a 25.63-carat cushion-cut diamond? Possibly a 20.69-carat spherical diamond is extra your factor? Good Earth has all of them, but it surely’ll price you considerably greater than a number of the different lab diamond rivals—not less than over $100,000 every, to be precise.


Courtesy Dorsey

Dorsey, a lab diamond model that angles itself as extra style conscious than a conventional lab diamond model, was based by Meg Strachan in 2019. Strachan, who beforehand labored at Anine Bing, Goop, Girlfriend Collective, and Bandier, named the corporate after her late grandmother, and focuses on ready-made on a regular basis jewellery with lab diamonds, like a piece impressed by the {custom} Nineteen Sixties wedding ceremony ring worn by Dorsey herself, rendered in 14k gold with 0.86 carats of lab-grown diamonds. The model additionally provides diamond necklaces, like a collar that includes 44.80 carats of flower-shaped lab-grown diamonds.

Vrai could also be spearheading the posh facet of lab diamonds, in addition to the idea of diamonds grown on request for the lots, however others are additionally taking part within the grow-your-own diamonds renaissance, and are providing it for causes past the standard engagement ring, too. For instance, one in every of Auslander’s shoppers misplaced a big pure diamond stud earring. “It was a novel form that would by no means be discovered…and could be insanely costly to chop a brand new one both from pure tough materials or alter an present form,” he says. So, he created an identical lab diamond as a substitute. “It got here out excellent and she or he now has a brand new match—there isn’t a strategy to inform which is which.”

That, mixed with the ethics element, is why extra persons are choosing lab-grown diamonds. Rachael Johanson, a luxurious advisor, philanthropist, and up to date bride, bought a three-carat rectangular cushion-cut diamond due to the historical past of pure diamonds. “My grandmother was a jewellery designer, and rising up as a younger woman I used to be surrounded by the dialog of the merciless nature of sourcing diamonds,” she says. “I at all times have seen jewellery as a private heirloom…a lab-grown diamond engagement ring felt in alignment with one thing I’d wish to move right down to future generations.”


Courtesy VRAI

Nonetheless, there’s rather a lot to the high-end facet of lab diamonds that isn’t widely-known, because the course of is comparatively new and the expertise and choices are continually being up to date. One other method lab diamonds manufacturers are innovating is by creating brand-new cuts, corresponding to James Allen’s octagon diamond, which the retailer claims is the primary of its sort. “It’s reduce with knowledgeable methods to optimize mild, brilliance, and sparkle,” says CMO Shannon Delany-Ron. “It displays extra mild than a conventional spherical diamond which solely has 58 sides—versus 88 with octagonal diamonds—and permits for extra shine, even underneath low mild.” The retailer additionally provides largely design-your-own experiences and True Hearts lab-created diamonds, with the much-loved and premium hearts and arrows reduce. “Our True Hearts diamond has excellent inner symmetry, proportions, and the best gem grading for reduce and polish,” Delany-Ron provides.

And for the bougiest of bougie, Vrai provides purple carpet-worthy lab diamond items which were worn by the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Rita Ora, Emma Watson, and even Joe Jonas, and has achieved high-ticket collaboration with the likes of Ana Khouri, Delfina Delettrez, and Sophie Bille Brahe by way of Dover Avenue Market, in addition to Givenchy and Balmain. It additionally makes excessive jewellery items, just like the Cascade necklace, which sells for $80,000 with a complete weight of 49 carats.


Courtesy VRAI

Diamonds have traditionally been dangerous investments—pure or not—and the subject has additionally been hotly debated by the Federal Commerce Fee and The Promoting Council. However each Good Earth and Vrai are additionally attempting to safeguard your funding—particularly if you happen to’re getting diamonds for upwards of $30,000—by providing an improve program that just about feels as simple as switching out your iPhone for a brand new one. Anybody who buys a diamond from Vrai or Good Earth that’s not less than 0.5 carats can take part. “You may at all times come again to us and get the complete worth of your diamond towards one other buy,” Akhavi says. The one catch is that, at Vrai, your new buy needs to be not less than 50 p.c larger in worth. “It could possibly be an funding into your future purchases and future gross sales. And if you happen to determine to have a special diamond piece or a special design, it’s virtually like a revolving credit score.”

It was once that individuals opted for lab diamonds due to ethics and affordability, however now, it’s additionally as a result of you will get precisely what you need on the contact of a button, and extra of it too—all with much less influence on human lives and the atmosphere. Possibly they are surely a woman’s greatest good friend.

3.10 Emerald in the Trinity Bezel with Trapezoid Side Stones
Ring Concierge 3.10 Emerald within the Trinity Bezel with Trapezoid Aspect Stones
2.08 Radiant in the Keystone Cigar Band
Ring Concierge 2.08 Radiant within the Keystone Cigar Band
Bessette, Lab-Grown White Sapphire Baguette Rivère Necklace
Dorsey Bessette, Lab-Grown White Sapphire Baguette Rivère Necklace
Damas, Single Stone Strand Bracelet, Silver
Dorsey Damas, Single Stone Strand Bracelet, Silver
Pavé Diamond Huggie Earrings
Good Earth Pavé Diamond Huggie Earrings
Luxe Sienna Diamond Open Ring
Good Earth Luxe Sienna Diamond Open Ring
Connected Earring
Knife-Edge Bezel Necklace
Vrai Knife-Edge Bezel Necklace
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Contributing Editor

Kristen Bateman is a contributing editor at Harper’s Bazaar. Her first style article was revealed in Vogue Italia throughout her junior yr of highschool. Since then, she has interned and contributed to WWD, Glamour, Fortunate, i-D, Marie Claire and extra. She created and writes the #ChicEats column and covers style and tradition for Bazaar. When not writing, she follows the most recent runway collections, dyes her hair to match her temper, and practices her Italian in hopes of scoring 90% off Prada on the Tuscan shops. She loves classic procuring, dessert and cats.