According to last week’s announcement, the Responsible Jewelry Council is planning to set up the standard for laboratory-grown materials (LGM). The standard will include guidelines that refer to the practice and sourcing of the lab-grown diamonds and gemstones used in jewelry production.
The RJC, one of the leading standard-setting organizations for the global jewelry trade, has over 1,500 members, and according to the Council’s executive director Iris Van der Veken, a lot of them are selling lab-grown stones along with the mined gems. The number of such companies only increased over the last year, so it seems about time for the group to introduce the “social, environmental, and business integrity requirements” into the lab-created diamond supply chain. The organization is planning to start implementing the LGM standard by June 2022.
This announcement marks another big step for certification of ethical sourcing of lab-grown gems. A highly acclaimed certification organization SCS Global Service made news earlier this year by starting to use their Certified Sustainability Rated Diamond system for man-made diamonds, along with the mined ones. This summer saw the first carbon neutrality and ethical sourcing certificate applied to a lab-created diamond.
It’s no coincidence that two huge third-party certification groups have been working on their standards for lab-grown diamonds practically simultaneously. According to Van der Veken, these new system guidelines are aimed to “drive consumer confidence, trust, and transparency.” As more and more retailers start providing man-created diamond jewelry and the volume of sales rapidly increases, the necessity for such guidelines is a given.
In contrast with SCS’s system, the Responsible Jewelry Council is aiming to diversify their standards for mined and created stones. Their Lab-Grown Materials guideline will be more focused on complete transparency and full disclosure of sourcing, while the Code of Practices applied to the natural materials will stay the same. The RJC is looking to discuss their standard with ISEAL and big industry players before its implementation in 2022.
With each year the ethical sourcing of the diamonds is becoming more important to today’s consumers. Millennials and Gen Z also crave for credible ratings on how sustainable their jewelry choices are. With lab-grown gems having the potential to be sourced by even more ethical and environmentally-friendly ways than the mined diamonds, the reputable systems for certification of sourcing and practice have been long overdue.
LaBrilliante supports these new guidelines as transparency of the craft and trade has always been one of the company’s main values. We believe that the standards by both RJC and SCS are able to spread awareness and legitimize lab-created diamonds even further for the industry and for the final consumers, while also swaying the jewelry retailers who’re still hesitant to start selling man-made gems to satisfy a new wave of customers.