"Laboratory-made diamonds are a girl's best friend" may not have the same ring to it, but the world's largest jeweler is now banking on a shift in that direction and hoping it will be a lucrative one. The BBC reports that Pandora will cease to sell mined diamonds, switching entirely to creating them in a UK lab in the name of sustainability, and to produce the gems more affordably. "It's the right thing to do," says CEO Alexander Lacik, adding that the company thinks it can make these alternative diamonds for about "a third" of what it would cost to unearth them from mines. The announcement coincided with the company launching "Pandora Brilliance," the company's first collection of diamond-set earrings, necklaces, and rings made with the lab-grown stones, per the Guardian. Prices for each piece start around $350.
Bloomberg calls Pandora's move an "ethical stand," not only due to environmental and cost reasons, but also because of human rights abuses reported at mines and in factories. Not that switching over to a laboratory production environment isn't without its own issues. Creating diamonds in a lab can still require a lot of energy, though the BBC notes that larger retail markets, such as the US, will likely focus on using renewable energy. The World Diamond Council also isn't pleased, noting that the livelihoods of those living in mining communities will suffer. Lacik remains fully on board. "We want to become a low-carbon business," he says. "I'm leaving this Earth one day, I hope I can leave it in a better shape than ... what we've ... created in the last 50 years or so." (Read more diamonds stories.)