How to avoid buying conflict or blood diamonds, and still find a beautiful diamond engagement or wedding ring

Published by Claire Gould on

ethical diamond engagement rings by MiaDonna London

A guest article by Anna-Mieke Anderson

Anna-Mieke Anderson, a mother and consumer turned philanthropist and entrepreneur, is the CEO and founder of MiaDonna. In 2006, Anna-Mieke had the vision to create a conflict-free diamond and has led the evolution of the lab-grown diamond industry. Even before the technology to create diamonds was perfected she knew that the only way to combat conflict diamonds was to grow them in a modern day lab environment.

The MiaDonna story started in 2005 when a 7-year-old boy named Ponpon living in an African diamond mining community told me, “I had a great summer because only one of my classmates was killed.” Those words changed my life forever. While I was on bed rest during my pregnancy, I realised my diamond engagement ring that represented love most likely orphaned children. I took off my ring and began sponsoring Ponpon, who spoke those resounding words.

In order to save more children and make a greater impact, I started MiaDonna in 2006. At least 5% of profits from selling our fine jewelry support our foundation, The Greener Diamond, to help repair the damage caused by the unethical harvesting of earth-mined diamonds, gems and precious metals. MiaDonna and The Greener Diamond were created together to work as a system toward the common goal of eliminating the demand for conflict diamonds. We are proud to say that in 2017, we donated 22% of our profits and we are in the process of developing a new agricultural training center set to open in Liberia, Africa in early 2019. 

As MiaDonna has grown, I’ve also seen the demand for lab-grown diamonds increase, as consumers become more conscious of the ethical consequences of their purchases. With that in mind, I wanted to create a resource for The English Wedding Blog’s readers that explains what lab-grown diamonds are, how they benefit us all, and where to find them.

What is a Lab-Grown Diamond?

One of the questions we’re frequently asked is whether or not a lab-grown diamond is a ‘real’ diamond. The answer is yes, lab-grown diamonds absolutely are real diamonds! A diamond is a mineral consisting essentially of pure carbon crystallized in the isometric system. Earth-mined and lab-grown diamonds are exactly this, and both are chemically, optically and physically identical. It’s just science! Think of it like a natural glacier and ice made in your freezer – both are frozen water. 

In my experience, when a consumer is presented with a lab-grown diamond and sees the sheer beauty of it, they’ll usually choose the lab-grown diamond over the earth-mined diamond.  

It is all about the conscious consumer. If consumers are arming themselves with knowledge, they are able to make a choice that is right for them. With increasing prices and more concerns about our environment, people are learning more about our technology and how marvelous it really is. 

Keep in mind that lab-grown diamonds are indistinguishable from earth-mined diamonds, even under a microscope. The Gemological Institute of America backs us up on that claim. Lab-grown diamonds are not fake or synthetic diamonds; they are real diamonds. 

MiaDonna ethical diamonds UK

Why Choose a Lab-Grown Diamond?

Potential customers are often also curious about the benefits of choosing  lab-grown diamonds. This is a topic we love to discuss, as these alternatives to earth-mined diamonds have numerous positive effects on the environment and society. 

First off, lab-grown diamonds have incredible environmental benefits. The difference in amounts of resources used in the production of earth-mined diamonds and lab-grown diamonds is huge. Below are some numbers from 2017 to give you an idea of just how eco-friendly lab-grown diamonds really are. 

Water: lab-grown diamonds at 13,619 litres compared to earth-mined diamonds 93,389 litres. 

Disturbed land: lab-grown diamonds at 0.0001 hectares compared to earth-mined diamonds 0.1771 hectares.

GHG Emissions: lab-grown diamonds at 5.45 grams compared to Earth-mined diamonds 11.09 tonnes.

Energy Used: lab-grown diamonds at 48.73 Gigajoules compared to earth-mined diamonds 104.79  Gigajoules. 

Secondly, and most importantly, lab-grown diamonds do not negatively affect human lives. The violent diamond mining industry has hid behind The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), which is a rough diamond certification scheme to try to reduce the trade of conflict diamonds. The issue with KPCS is that its definition is too narrow. It defines a ‘conflict-diamond’ as a “rough diamond mined in an area controlled by insurgent forces whose sale is used to finance anti-government military action.” Still over the past 6 years, it is estimated that 60 million carats of blood diamonds hit the international diamond market, sold as clean and conflict-free diamonds under the KPCS.

Where do I Buy Lab-Grown Diamonds?

If after reading about the benefits of lab-grown diamonds, you’re ready to make the ethical switch to lab-grown diamonds, we’ve got good news for you. We are an online based company, which means you can shop at from the comfort of your home. We ship globally, so no need to stress, we’ll ship your beautiful lab-grown diamond jewelry straight to your door! Recently, our shipments worldwide have risen and we don’t see this trend stopping anytime soon. Feel free to email us at if you have any questions about lab-grown diamonds or our fine jewelry… we hope to hear from you! 

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.

1 Comment

KASHKA Jewellery · August 17, 2018 at 3:39 pm

Hello @theenglishweddingblog love this article and so pleased to see the discussion about lab grown diamonds. We offer them as well if anyone in interested in conflict free natural and lab grown diamonds.

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