Lady Gaga has dazzled in them, Meghan Markle is a fan, and Penelope Cruz has created her own collection using them; yes, lab-grown diamonds have definitely reached A-list status. We are now familiar with the bright-white sparkle, indistinguishable from mined diamonds, but these man-made treasures are about to get a whole lot more colourful.
Lab-grown diamonds are made, as the name suggests, in a laboratory under simulated conditions that mimic the heat and pressure carbon requires to turn into a girl’s best friend in the wild. Just as in nature, certain tweaks can be made to create coloured diamonds, and Swarovski has just revealed a new collection of chromatic lab-grown diamonds.
Swarovski first launched its own lab-grown diamonds – or Swarovski Created Diamonds, as it prefers to call them – in 2018, starting with colourless gems. Set in ethically sourced gold, and sprinkled with some stardust thanks to a design collaboration with Penelope Cruz, the gems were presented at Paris Couture Week through its brand Atelier Swarovski to huge fanfare.
At Paris Couture Week this year, the next phase of Swarovski Created Diamonds was unveiled, and it was a fiesta of colour. The offering included an assortment of colours, with fantastical names such as Surrealist Butter, Electric Arctic and Draped Fire, all offered exclusively in cushion cuts to accentuate the colour.
Inspired by what Swarovski calls the “four man-made wonders” of fashion, art, music and architecture, there are four hero colours of Swarovski Created Diamonds, from which numerous gradients of the shades derive. These are Androgyny Flamingo (pink), Cubist Sky (blue), Heavy Metal Cherry (red) and Gothic Cognac (orange).
Lab-grown diamonds usually offer a saving of up to 30% compared to comparable white diamonds. What makes these coloured lab-grown diamonds particularly exciting from a financial perspective, is that the savings could be even bigger, as many shades of natural coloured diamonds – such as the pink, red, orange and blue in the Swarovski Created Diamonds debut offering – are incredibly rare, and therefore much more expensive than colourless diamonds. This could open up the possibility for many of us who might not have the budget for a mined coloured diamond, to own a lab-grown coloured diamond .
“Swarovski is probably most known for our precision-cut crystals, but as a company we are increasingly focused on exploring new materials,” says Markus Langes-Swarovski, member of the Swarovski’s executive board. “Swarovski Created Diamonds are the marriage of art and science, with a touch of magical realism. It’s also a true celebration of human ingenuity and creativity.”
Swarovski Created Diamonds are part of the Austrian company’s Conscious Luxury programme of ethical jewellery. Each diamond, which has a microscopic laser inscription to guarantee authenticity, is “a conscious choice, produced according to the utmost environmental, safety and labour standards,” it promises.
For the Parisian showcase, Swarovski showed its coloured lab-grown diamonds in large cuts – hero colours were 2.5ct with other shades grown to 1.25ct. However, the standard supply, which will now be made available to jewellery designers to work with, as well as being set in Swarovski’s own jewellery collections, will be available in carats ranging from 0.25ct to 1.5ct.
“I’d like to think that these stones have endless potential and are able to bring any idea to life,” says Langes-Swarovski. “The colours, cuts and sizes are created to inspire jewellery that has never been made or even dreamed of. It’s a toolbox of unlimited creativity.”