London School of Business Graduate, Laura Chavez has always loved fine jewellery and wanted to have her own brand but was put off as she didn’t want to contribute to the controversial practices of the mined diamond industry.
While doing her MBA she found her obsession was unshakable and decided to take a course on the history of jewellery and this is where she happened upon the science of diamond culturing and was “amazed.”
“I learned with culturing diamonds, we could avoid all the negative aspects of mining. I took it as a sign, like, “Yes! This sustainable method is the only way I’m going to get involved in diamonds!”’
“Cultured diamonds” is Chavez’s preferred term but many refer to these stones as “lab-grown diamonds.”
The process of “growing” diamonds uses actual carbon atoms arranged in the characteristic diamond crystal structure.
These atoms are then exposed to either extreme pressure and heat or a special deposition process known as CVD to mimic the natural method of diamond formation.
The cultured process is far quicker and cleaner and forms the purest category of diamond – the Type IIa – which is so rare in nature that only 2% of mined diamonds found are of this superior quality.
Plus, cultured diamonds produce less waste, use less water and have less environmental impact than mined stones as no land or wildlife is ever displaced in the act of searching and digging up mines that may or may not be harbouring gem-quality diamonds. And to top it off, they are completely conflict-free.
In 2018, Chavez set up Lark & Berry — the world’s first luxury jewellery brand to exclusively use lab-grown diamonds. This has earned Chaves the moniker “diamond disrupter” to the press.
The innovative brand has been praised by a multitude of fashion magazines for their sustainable high-end jewellery and also recently won an Editor’s Choice design award at the 2019 JCK Las Vegas conference.
Lark & Berry now has 3 brick & mortar locations in London, 3 in the USA and one in Hong Kong and Sweden.Tags: jewellery, sustainability, sustainable fashion