With more of our clients expressing interest in sustainable, ethical lab created options for diamonds, our Bario Neal gemstone specialists went in search of climate neutral lab diamonds that align with our commitments to sustainable and ethical jewelry practices. Our new US-grown diamonds come with a first of its kind Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) Certified Sustainability Rating. Our clients can now choose lab grown diamonds for select jewelry in our collections, including diamond engagement rings and wedding rings, and for custom jewelry designs.
Read on to find out more about how these high-quality lab grown diamonds are created, their certified sustainability rating and climate neutrality, and why we’re confident that these diamonds connect with our desire to craft jewelry of lasting value.
How Our Lab Grown Diamonds Are Made
Bario Neal’s lab grown diamonds are made by chemical vapor deposition (CVD). The process starts with a sliver of a natural diamond “seed” placed in a chamber. The lab adds carbon and heat, mimicking the way diamonds form naturally in earth. The seed grows into a high-quality diamond that only a trained eye plus magnification can tell apart from a mined diamond. Our lab grown diamonds are then cut and polished, and graded and certified.
US-Grown Diamonds With SCS Certified Sustainability Rating
SCS is an independent testing and certification organization that evaluates a variety of food safety and environmental claims. Their science-driven certification standard for diamonds, known as SCS-007, was developed over years, with input from academics, diamond grading experts, and social and environmental justice advocates. SCS even has a public comment period when shaping its standards. SCS-007 affirms that our lab created diamonds meet five criteria.
1. Origin Traceability
Our US-grown diamonds are tracked and traced throughout the supply chain. They come with the highest traceability assurance: Source Certain International, an Australian science company that specializes in verification, uses technology to confirm our US-grown diamonds have been created using specific lab equipment. Gem Certification and Assurance Lab and GCAL and the International Gemological Institute grade and laser inscribe each diamond. All of these organizations undergo independent, third-party auditing. Jewelers like Bario Neal must be accredited to work with these traceable diamonds.
2. Ethical Stewardship
Each diamond producer and handler in the chain of custody must meet the most stringent social and environmental requirements aimed at providing maximum protection for workers, communities and the environment in keeping with international best practices. As a SCS-007 Certified Diamonds partner, Bario Neal has to follow these principles. Our Sustainability Report shows why we’re at home in this ethical company, and we pay close attention to every aspect of our sourcing of precious gemstones and metals
3. Climate Neutrality
SCS-007 lab grown diamonds have to be climate neutral. Notably, while carbon neutral refers to CO2 emissions only, climate neutral takes into account several additional pollutants linked to climate change. Further the SCS-007 standard compels companies to think about legacy emissions. In other words, they have to look at current and past environmental impact.
4. Sustainable Production
“Zero impact” on the environment during the process of growing diamonds in a lab or mining natural diamonds is currently not possible — whatever some may claim. Both require water and nonrenewable energies like oil, gas or coal to fuel them. That’s one reason that Bario Neal long ago began sourcing recycled diamonds, a lower-impact alternative. However, with many of our clients drawn to the price of lab grown diamonds as well as the assurance of no harmful human impacts, we searched for this ethical, sustainable lab grown option.
Our diamond lab prioritizes making their operations as low impact as possible and achieving “net zero impact.” They do this by diligently measuring their greenhouse gas emissions and offsetting that impact with financial contributions to the Himalayan Climate and Clean Air Project and artisanal and small-scale mines (ASMs).
5. Sustainability Investments
Our lab grown diamond supplier directs 20% of its Diamond Certificate fees to support ASMs and the Himalayan Climate and Clean Air Project. The support for ASMs — which helps mining communities with climate mitigation, reducing air pollution, and protecting ecosystems — resonates with the Bario Neal team. In sourcing our ethical colored gemstones, we already partner with ASMs who are making an effort to minimize pollution. (They also aim to ensure worker safety and fair pay.) We feel a deep obligation to ensure that mining is a resource benefit in places that have been negatively affected by it in the past. “Mining can be environmentally sensitive and done artisanally. Artisanal mining creates jobs and economic activity,” says Anna Bario, Bario Neal Principal + Lead Designer.
The Himalayan Climate and Clean Air Project is aimed at upgrading the brick kilns that serve as the building materials for homes in many developing countries, including those in the countries of the Himalayan Mountains watershed. The kilns are one of the single biggest sources of climate and toxic air pollutants.
No jewelry designer can honestly claim 100% sustainability when it comes to the processes of diamond mining or lab grown diamond creation. But Bario Neal is committed to finding ethical sources that, like us, are continually looking for ways to improve the environmental and social impact of fine jewelry, and create positive benefits throughout the supply chain. Our Certified Sustainability Rated lab grown diamonds, alongside recycled diamonds and ethically mined gemstones, are an important part of handcrafting jewelry of lasting value. If our approach fits with your values or you want to know more about our ethical sourcing and lab grown diamonds, make an appointment today for a virtual consultation or to visit our Philadelphia or New York City showroom.