Yorkshire's diamond geezer: Ethical lab-grown gemstone heads to Europe

Yorkshire's diamond geezer: Ethical lab-grown gemstone heads to Europe

Bespoke diamond engagement ring specialists Nightingale are set to become the first British jewellers to export a lab grown diamond gemstone to Continental Europe.

The Yorkshire-based firm’s founder and chief jeweller Stephen Nightingale will personally deliver the historic gem - a lab grown, 0.33 carat, brilliant cut diamond - to a buyer in Vienna, Austria this weekend.

The diamond will be set in an 18 carat white gold engagement band.

The gem was grown at a laboratory in the US, using the process known as chemical vapour deposition (CVD). CVD produces perfect diamonds from a heated mixture of hydrocarbons and hydrogen inside a low pressure growth chamber. The whole process takes just a few weeks - a blink of an eye compared with the millions of years over which diamonds are formed by geological processes.

3497Chemically identical to natural diamond, lab grown diamond has been used in heavy industry since the 1950s. Thanks to recent improvements in the CVD process, synthetic diamonds can now be produced to gemstone quality - a revelation which has sparked significant investment in lab diamond firms.

Oscar winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio and Twitter founder Evan Williams were amongst a group of ten billionaires who invested in the American synthetic diamond producer Diamond Foundry last year.

Nightingale are the sole high volume British trading partners of Washington Diamonds - one of a small number of firms capable of producing gem-quality lab diamonds at this time. This exclusive relationship gives rise to Nightingale’s position as the only UK jeweller currently exporting lab diamond jewellery to buyers in Continental Europe.

3498Nightingale’s special delivery to Austria is the first recorded export of an item of lab diamond jewellery to Continental European by a British jeweller. The company’s founder Stephen Nightingale hopes it will be the first of many.

He says: “There is significant demand for lab diamonds in both the UK and mainland Europe, and we are proud to be the first jeweller to answer the call.

“Lab grown diamonds are ethically sound, economical and identical to naturally occurring mined diamonds. In so many ways they are the superior option, as more and more consumers are realising by the day.”