Are Pearls really eco-friendly?
Ours definitely are! We only get our pearls from farms that have developed safe practices for both the oyster beds and their communities.
The story of pearl farming takes us back about 100 years ago, when practices were very different from today. Reckless farming led to depleting oyster beds and endangered mollusk species. The industry had to get its act together, and for some time pearl farming was banned altogether. As the number of mollusks recovered, strict regulations were enacted to protect all sea-life near the few authorized farms. This prevented over-fishing and led to an emphasis on quality over quantity that allowed mollusks to complete their full life span and produce high quality pearls.
Since mollusks filter water to receive nutrients, excessive pollution can negatively affect their development. Local communities quickly realized how beneficial it was to have a clean environment to grow the mollusks they use for pearl farming, food, and even cosmetics (ie. Mother of Pearl). With the help of passionate pearl experts who migrated to these remote areas, communities were taught proven techniques to maintain, clean, and protect their livelihood. This has resulted in thriving pearl economies with a focus on environmental sustainability.
Extra fact: a single oyster can filter and clean up to 5L of water per hour! This means less harmful algae and a balanced ecosystem.
Do mollusks suffer from pearl farming?
Fortunately, no :)
Pearls are a natural occurrence in the wild. Mollusks are filter feeders, which means the organic matter around them is their food. Sometimes other non-organic particles such as sand, or larger bites of food enter the mollusk, which it can't absorb. Occasionally, when not expelled back to the ocean, the mollusk wraps them in nacre to form beautiful organic gems (pearls).
Additionally, mollusks lack a central nervous system. They have clusters of ganglia that form a simple peripheral nervous system, which makes them unable to feel pain. This system reacts the same way our immune system does to foreign agents. We do not feel our white blood cells fighting an infection, just as mollusks do not feel the nacre forming around the developing pearl. It's a primitive response to stimuli, not a conscious call to action and for this reason, many vegans consider it safe to eat oysters or wear pearls.
Lastly, technicians go through years of training to work with mollusks and avoid causing any disturbance to their life cycle. Remember that pearl farming is a delicate process and mollusks won't produce if their environment is not optimal.
Are Pearls durable?
100% Yes! With proper care, pearls will last for generations. Since pearls are organic gems, the chemicals in some of our daily use products can harm them. However, if you follow the rule of "last-thing-on, first-thing-off" and occasionally wipe them with a cotton cloth, they should be as lustrous as ever. Pearls can and should be worn daily.
How often do I need to restring my Pearl Necklace?
It all depends on how often you wear your pearls and how resilient the thread is. Most necklaces are strung with silk, which is both strong and pearl friendly. However, constant handling and wear can cause the thread to stretch, so you might notice the knots between pearls are further apart compared to when it was new. You should also check periodically for fraying and weak spots in the thread. These are the signs to bring your necklace in for restringing and some TLC!
How do Lab Grown Diamonds compare to Mined Diamonds in durability?
Lab Grown Diamonds have been mislabeled as "synthetic," which gives the impression that they are imitators of Mined Diamonds. That is simply far from reality. Both Lab Grown and Mined Diamonds share the same molecular composition and structure. Yes, they are the exact same when compared side by side. Lab Grown Diamonds are not imitators, but the real gem!
Both types of Diamonds are carbon based and go through the same process of pressure and heat to become the sparkly beauties they are, which makes them equally strong and comparable in durability.
The main difference resides in the fact that Lab Grown Diamonds were developed using human influence and technology, bypassing the billions of years that is required for a natural diamond to form, as well as the consequences of their mining. Some might still be in love with the history and lore of Mined Diamonds and we won't stop anybody from desiring one. However, we are passionate about this novel technological approach since it provides you with one more C* - Choice!
*The Gemological Institute of America has established specific parameters that assign value to a Diamond, also called the 4Cs: Colour, Carat, Clarity and Cut.
Are Lab Grown Diamonds comparable to Moissanite and/or Cubic Zirconia?
Hardly! They're potential substitutes for each other, but their composition, properties, and refraction (the way light moves through gems) are quite different.
- Lab Grown Diamonds are carbon based with atoms arranged in a "crystal structure". They are the hardest gemstones in the Mohs scale.
- Moissanite is formed with naturally occurring silicon carbide, which makes it almost as strong as a Diamond (mined or not). Moissanite has quite a distinctive metallic glimmer and a green/yellow tint that sets it apart from Diamonds.
- Cubic Zirconia is the crystalline form of Zirconium Dioxide. When cut and polished into facets, it refracts light in a "rainbow" with multiple colours showing through the facets. It is not as durable as the gems previously mentioned since it scratches easily and loses it's brilliance over time.
Are Lab Grown Diamonds environmentally friendly?
Absolutely! Forming diamonds in a Lab requires significantly less energy and produces less emissions than Mined Diamonds, which reduces our footprint on Earth.
This energy saving method is also cost efficient. Which is the reason for Lab Grown Diamonds to cost on average 30% less than a Mined Diamond.
Do you only carry Lab Grown Diamonds?
A few of our products are still made with Mined Diamonds and that is specified in the description of the item. However, we are slowly making the transition to a fully Lab Grown Diamond inventory that reflects our environmentally friendly and independent approach.