At Fortunoff Jewelry, we’ve always sold jewelry meant to last, designed and conceived as something to love, to value, to enjoy. Not every piece of jewelry is expensive, but often it marks a special occasion or a moment in life, such as a birthday or anniversary – or even just to go with a new outfit! But we hope to spark memories, and an emotional connection, every time that piece is worn.
That’s why we sell only natural diamonds, mined from the earth. These formed deep within our earth, over 90 million years ago (some even billions of years ago, almost as old as our planet), fueled by the tremendous pressure and heat of the earth’s core. They are rare, they are finite in supply. It seems to us a fitting match for jewelry that’s meant to last.
As you know if you’ve grown up with a Fortunoff store in your area, we also support community. In recent years, the natural diamond industry has made great strides in "beneficiation." Diamonds, mined in countries all across the globe, are more often being cut and polished there as well these days. The jobs created at each step, from mine to polishing factory, and proceeds of the sales of those diamonds, provide funds for infrastructure such as hospitals, schools, roads, clean water, and more. In some countries, it is a primary source of employment for the population.
While all natural resources require the use of energy to extract, the diamond industry has made great strides to reduce its environmental impact. Mining giants, including DeBeers, now require environmental improvements, and care for the local wildlife, at each mine location. Unsure about energy use and natural resources? Independent studies show that natural diamond production may be just as "clean" as lab-grown, the latter of which requires massive amounts of electricity. With most lab-grown diamonds now being created “offshore” there may be less transparency about ownership of the factories or energy use. And the equipment used to manufacture those diamonds in the "lab" use metals – which had to be mined and engineered to create the equipment in the first place, so in fact lab-grown is not "mining-free."
Finally, we believe in the inherent long-term value of jewelry. We do not advise natural gemstones be purchased as investment assets. Jewelry is meant to be worn and enjoyed, not just put in a vault. Nevertheless, natural diamonds have historically held or increased in value over longer periods of time, and they are becoming more rare with each passing year. Their quality does not change over the years. Lab-grown diamonds are quite new. Their long-term stability and durability are still unknown, and prices continue to plummet, as more factories churn them out.
For some, "fast fashion" suits their budget and lifestyle. It’s just not us. For the same reason that we choose to offer our customers items with lasting value, we choose only natural diamonds for our jewelry. We hope you will feel the same way.
Some images courtesy of the Natural Diamond Council. Visit their website to learn more.