Having first launched lab-grown diamonds in 2018, the Austrian crystal dons Swarovski have launched a new suite of lab-created diamonds during S/S 20 Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week. The gems, which come in 16 new colours, meaning Swarovski now offers the most extensive colour range of lab diamonds available today.
Each shade has been given an 'extravagant, fantastical name', in order to 'emphasise their creative potential' according to Swarovski: the evocative names are Androgyny Flamingo, Cubist Sky, Heavy Metal Cherry, Gothic Cognac, Punk Lipstick, Surrealist Butter, Draped Fire and Electro Arctic.
But what is a lab-created diamond anyway? Simply put, it's 100% diamond, but developed in a laboratory and not the earth. By replicating the growth process, the result is identical to mined diamonds, possessing the same chemical composition, hardness, brilliance and fire. For jewellery experts, Swarovski Created Diamonds are graded in the same manner as mined diamonds, per the four Cs of clarity, color, cut and carat weight.
As the fashion industry undergoes some deep soul-searching about how to marry innovation with concerns about the exploitation of natural resources, could lab-grown diamonds provide an alternative to offset the demand for mined diamonds? For Swarovski, their lab created diamonds could allow for specialist couture use, pushing the traditional handiwork of couture into a futuristic dimension.