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Lab-grown diamonds threaten a controversial industry

Signal of change / Lab-grown diamonds threaten a controversial industry

By Alisha Bhagat / 20 Mar 2017

Scientists have discovered a way to grow diamonds in a laboratory setting in just eight weeks – a process that takes billions of years naturally. These diamonds are almost indistinguishable from those that come out of the ground. Sales of lab grown diamonds currently comprise 1% of the industry and are primarily used for industrial purposes. However, according to Morgan Stanley, that percentage could jump to 7.5% by the end of the decade.

So what?

The traditional diamond industry has been historically fraught with controversy. Diamonds are mined in largely developing countries and often using inhumane practices. While much has been done to reform the diamond industry, many gems are still tainted by conflict and forced labour. Still, jewellery aside, diamonds have intrinsic properties that make them appealing for industrial applications such as scientific and medical instruments. Producing diamonds cheaply in a lab, under good working conditions, will increase access.


What might the implications of this be? What related signals of change have you seen?

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