Making a valid and visually enticing case for lab-grown diamonds, Swarovski brings its striking new collection to our shores

Swarovski, the heritage Austrian brand best known for their crystal products, are bringing their first lab grown diamond collection to New Zealand, with a campaign that is everything you’d expect from Creative Director Giovanna Engelbert; enticingly bold and confident, and fabulously over the top. But don’t let that scare you. Yes, the Galaxy necklace shown in the campaign is a made to order explosion of 156.62 carats of lab grown stones priced at US$250,000, but much of the collection is below NZ$1000, like a simple eternity band in sterling silver for $550, or a solitaire ring for $730. 

Lab grown diamonds first became ubiquitous in the world of jewellery only in the last ten years, but they’ve been around a lot longer than that. Diamonds were first grown in a laboratory in the early 1950s and were grown to gem quality standard (white enough and clear enough to be considered worth cutting and faceting like natural diamonds) in the early 1970s, but it wasn’t until recently that the technology evolved enough to make growing them for the jewellery market financially viable.

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Anok Yai at the Met Gala wearing Swarovski Galaxy necklace, earrings and ring

Today, there are thousands of brands who use lab grown diamonds in their jewellery, and hundreds of ‘labs’ scattered around the world, from the USA to Russia, China to India. There are factories that run on heavily polluting coal power, and others than claim to run on 100% renewable energy. (Swarovski is in the latter category.) 

Galaxy bypass ring laboratory grown diamonds 1.25 CT TW, 14K white gold from Swarovski
Eternity halo solitaire ring laboratory grown diamonds 1.5 CT TW, 14K white gold from Swarovski

Unlike many companies using lab grown diamonds, Swarovski isn’t making any claims about them being ethically superior to their natural counterparts, which is a relief in a climate where many of their contemporaries are doing exactly that. What Swarovski does point out is the only difference between natural and mined diamonds is their origin, and their price. Lab grown diamonds are priced lower than their natural counterparts, and — as Swarovski points out — every single one of theirs is independently certified by the International Gemological Institute, along the same lines that natural diamonds are graded; according to the 4Cs: cut, colour, carat weight, and clarity. 

So while you might not yet be pumping for a chest-sweeping necklace for a cool half million, you can still get a fantastic Swarovski lab-grown creation for around $500, and no-one will be any the wiser that your ring’s diamond was made in a lab, not by mother earth.


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