Diamonds and engagement rings go together like a horse and carriage…

They’re expensive and often the first major investment soon-to-be-weds make. “The person shopping for the ring is often under immense pressure to buy as big as he or she can, and to choose a stone with the best grade,” comments Anthony Matthews, founder of Shiny Rock Polished, the African diamond and gemstone specialists based in Johannesburg and Cape Town. “All these attributes can be achieved, through a more eco-conscious route and at a more affordable price point” he comments.

Enter the cultured diamond

For thousands of years the earth’s most brilliant stones have been sought after for their timeless beauty. Today, with the need for sustainability casting a question mark over mining practices, a new kind of diamond has come to the fore.

“Cultured diamonds are in every way a diamond – in brilliance, beauty and durability. They are also valued using the same grading system,” says Matthews.

A cultured diamond is a stone created under laboratory conditions. Colours range from the traditional white diamond, to the more vivid colours of blue, pink, and green; with the most common being yellow.

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“Cultured diamonds come with the added benefit of being more socially and environmentally conscious, which in this day and age is becoming increasingly important for consumers,” says Matthews.

A cultured diamond is a stone created under laboratory conditions

Shiny Rock Polished’s specialists have been working with natural and cultured diamonds for over 20 years. Their foresight is now catching on. World leading diamond supplier The De Beers Group, the company responsible for the iconic ‘A Diamond Is Forever’ slogan, has recently announced that they will produce cultured diamonds.

Vivid Fancy Pink cultured diamond set in 18kt white gold, and a Vivid Fancy Blue cultured diamond set in 18kt rose gold. Both set in a halo of white diamonds. Designed by Shiny Rock Polished.

Cultured diamonds are by no means cheap

“There is the added benefit of a price difference between mined and cultured diamonds, but cultured diamonds are by no means cheap,” says Matthews. “They would still be regarded as a luxury purchase, especially in the higher grades.”

“The price differences are more noticeable when comparing to coloured diamonds,” continues Matthews. “For example, a natural blue diamond could cost millions versus a similar cultured blue diamond that could cost around 20 to 30 000 dollars.”

The ability to create what in the past had to be mined, often at massive cost, has brought the wonder of diamonds to far more people. “These stones should not be confused for crystals, cubic zirconia or moissante,” comments Matthews. “These are diamonds in every way, shape and form,” he concludes.

To see more examples of these exquisite stones, visit Shiny Rock Polished’s Instagram account