(CNN) – Pandora produces more jewelry than any other company in the world. And on Tuesday, it announced a big change: no more mined diamonds will be used in its products.
The Copenhagen-based company said it was instead switching to using diamonds made in laboratories, stressing that they have the same “optical, chemical, thermal and physical properties”. The collection, named Pandora Brilliance, will be launched in the UK and is expected to launch globally next year.
“They are a symbol of innovation and progress, as well as lasting beauty and evidence of our ongoing and ambitious sustainability agenda,” said Alexander Lacik, CEO of Pandora, in a statement. “Diamonds are not just forever, they are for everyone.”
Lab-grown stones were billed as an ethical, traceable alternative to mined diamonds. Pandora said they are rated on the same “4Cs” as mined diamonds (also known as the cut, color, clarity and carat) before they are sold.
The new collection includes necklaces, earrings and rings. Prices start at around $ 350 and can be “gathered and layered,” a nod to the previous collection for which it is known.
The new Pandora collection is also more environmentally friendly as it consists of more than 60% renewable energy on average. The new diamonds are expected to be 100% renewable energy when the collection is launched worldwide.
Lab-grown stones are becoming increasingly attractive to consumers looking to buy products from sustainable supply chains. Pandora announced last June that it will only use recycled gold and silver in its products by 2025.
Last year, Tiffany & Co. announced a traceability initiative to help customers find the exact country where stones are cut, polished and set. But Pandora’s latest move marks a major shift.
The company caters to mainstream buyers, which means diamond sales totaled just 50,000 pieces of jewelry, out of a total of 85 million sold last year. Still, it’s still a significant step by a great player.
Pandora tries to stay one step ahead of the curve and is seeing a huge surge in demand for lab-made stones.
“In the US, and especially in China and India, younger consumers say sustainability is part of their decision-making process and could have an impact on whether or not they buy diamond jewelry,” Bain & Company said in a report released earlier this year.