Leading trade organizations have lashed out at Pandora’s recent statements about lab-grown stones, claiming the retailer misrepresented natural diamonds and caused harm to the industry.
Pandora announced it would no longer sell mined diamonds and would instead stock synthetics, linking the decision to its environmental goals. The launch of a lab-grown line will help “transform the market for diamond jewelry with affordable, sustainably created products,” the Danish jeweler asserted last week.
Pandora’s proclamation wrongly positioned lab-grown as an “ethical choice versus natural diamonds,” five jewelry groups said in a joint statement Friday. The signatories were the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), the Natural Diamond Council (NDC), the World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO), the World Diamond Council (WDC) and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA).
The diamond industry employs tens of millions of people around the world, the organizations pointed out. The communities that benefit from the sector need its support “more than ever” given the hardship resulting from Covid-19, they added.
“The misleading narrative created by the Pandora announcement implying the natural-diamond industry is…less ethical and the impetus behind Pandora’s move to lab-grown diamonds, particularly given the inconsequential [quantity] of diamonds Pandora features in its collections, can have unintended but substantial consequences on communities in developing nations,” the groups said. “The industry organizations have called upon Pandora to support communities by correcting the record.”
Pandora used mined diamonds in about 50,000 of the 85 million pieces it created in 2020, it said.
Pandora was not immediately available for comment.