Pandora is going no naturel.
As part of its launch of a new lab-grown diamond line, the Danish charm-maker announced it will no longer use natural diamonds in its products.
The company’s commitment to lab-grown is for the moment relatively modest—the new line, Pandora Brilliance, is only being introduced in the United Kingdom, but other markets could be added if it proves successful.
Still, the announcement sparked headlines around the world with its blunt, disdainful declaration that “mined diamonds will no longer be used in Pandora’s products”—playing into the sometimes-disputed contention that man-made diamonds are more sustainable.
Yet, Pandora—generally a low-end brand—hasn’t historically sold many natural diamonds, says spokesperson Johan Melchior.
“In recent years, we’ve only used diamonds in our annual limited-edition Club Charm—around 50,000 pieces per year,” Melchior says. “For context, Pandora sold more than 85 million pieces of jewelry in 2020.”
The new line features prices starting at 250 pounds (about $350) with stones ranging from 0.15 to 1 ct.
The diamonds are grown using 60% renewable energy, but Pandora hopes to grow them with 100% renewable energy by next year. The diamonds are grown in the United States and Great Britain, according to the company.
The news comes as Pandora announced its first quarter financial results.
Despite 30% of its stores being closed in the first quarter because of the pandemic, organic growth was 13% over the first quarter of last year, and 3% less than the first quarter of 2019, when there was no COVID-19 impact.
Online growth soared 136% over last year.
“We have had a good start to 2021, not least considering that many of our stores have been closed,” said CEO Alexander Lacik in a statement. “Performance in the U.S. and online continues to be strong.”
He adds the company can now “turn the page on the next chapter for Pandora and announce our new strategy, moving us from turnaround to sustainable growth.”
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