Diamond expert, Eric McGuire told how lab-grown diamonds are fast becoming the favoured choice in the Irish jewellery market.
One Irish jeweller is at the cutting edge of the latest developments in ethical jewellery.
Finding that special sparkler no longer means choosing a diamond that has been mined in the third world, as the latest technology presents a laboratory-grown alternative.
Diamond expert, Eric McGuire, gives the Irish Mirror the lowdown on how lab-grown diamonds are fast becoming the favoured choice in the Irish jewellery market.
He also debunks the theory that lab-grown diamonds are of inferior quality to naturally-occurring gems.
Speaking from his store in Gorey, Co Wexford, Eric, told us: “Our clients look for exquisite design and ethically sourced precious stones.
“Laboratory-grown diamonds strike a perfect balance between the delivery of truly beautiful jewellery and sustainability credentials.”
Eric, 45, continued: “Jewellers no longer need to go underground to harvest precious diamonds.
“A revolutionary new technology has empowered leaders in the craft to create precious jewels scientifically.
“Laboratory-created diamonds are becoming increasingly popular for their stunning sparkle and exceptional quality.
“They are man-made, consisting of actual carbon atoms arranged in the characteristic diamond crystal structure.
“Using advanced technological processes that replicate the conditions in which diamonds develop in nature, the result produces the identical optical and chemical properties as natural diamonds.”
Eric was just 24 when he opened McGuire Diamonds in 2000 and he explains the benefits of lab-grown diamonds.
“As well as significant savings that allow you to reduce your budget or supersize your diamond, part of the allure of laboratory-created diamonds is a supply chain that promises no human rights violations and less environmental damage.
“Lab-grown diamonds are deemed a responsible choice given that no mining is required.”
“Historically, naturally occurring diamonds have been mined from beneath the earth’s surface, but now jewellers can deliver this same brilliance and sparkle without mining.
“The process of exposing carbon to a simulation of the exact geological conditions it needed millions of years ago to create diamonds can be simulated in a high-tech laboratory environment.”
The result, experts insist, is neither synthetic, nor inferior, but it does represent a unique way for the client to purchase diamonds at a considerably lower cost.
Lab-grown diamonds come in all the shapes, sizes and colours.
Eric, who has almost three decades’ experience in the industry, explains that they are very versatile to work with.
He said: “Each piece of jewellery in our collection can be modified to the most intricate detail, meaning that our clients leave with the confidence that their diamond is tailored especially to their unique taste and design.
“We tailor a design around your choice of diamond or gemstone.
“Then you can choose from an array of metal alloys—coloured golds to platinum—and from an infinite number of delicate details, to create a unique piece of jewellery personalized to your taste.
“They usually cost about 30% less than natural diamonds of comparable size and quality.”
“Since laboratory-created diamonds have the same physical, chemical and optical properties as mined diamonds, they offer the same brilliance and beauty as mined diamonds.
“Laboratory-grown diamonds are produced in high-temperature, high-pressure chambers that replicate the conditions in the earth’s crust.
“The result is carbon atoms arranged in the structure of a diamond crystal and diamonds that are every bit as magical as the ones created naturally millions of years ago and mined today.”
McGuire Diamonds counts many famous faces amongst its clientele and many travels afar to the Wexford store.
While many are looking for engagement rings, the bespoke jewellery range also features beautiful pieces inspired by his children.
His boys Philip, 10, and Jacob, 5, had their own ideas for their dad’s work.
A golden dragon pendant was based on a conversation between Eric and Philip.
Meanwhile, a half-moon diamond-encrusted necklace is another unique family inspired piece.
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