Lark & Berry is the brand paving a new way for sustainable and ethical jewellery.
To say diamonds are big business would be a giant understatement: in 2016, the industry was valued at a whopping $80billion. You only have to talk a walk down Bond Street (or flick through a glossy magazine) to see dazzling displays of diamonds from the likes of Harry Winston, Graff, De Beers, Chopard, Cartier and Tiffany & Co (the list of unattainable jewellery brands goes on). Beautiful, yes. Steeped in heritage, desire and the promise to be a ‘girl’s best friend’, definitely. Affordable? Hard no.
With these traditional houses comes traditional methods of sourcing their stones, namely mining. And while the aforementioned leading houses promote responsible diamonds and have a handle on every step from mine to market, there are some diamond merchants who will still be linked to conflict and ambiguous methods of production.
Enter Lark & Berry. The fashion-forward, sustainable jewellery brand that launched in Cannes this year – and did we mention the prices are much more affordable too? With a collection that includes fine and demi-fine jewellery, Lark & Berry is revolutionising the way we shop for diamonds by creating lab-made diamonds.
Founder Laura Chavez explains: “I wanted to create a brand that I would buy myself. If I am spending money on expensive shoes, I also want jewellery to match, but when I try to find something in budget it is always plated or a lower quality stone. Things start to tarnish or break, and you simply can’t afford those amazing pieces – they are way out of budget and ultimately you don’t know where the diamonds are coming from.”
“When I started thinking about my brand and about diamonds it was terrifying to think that blood diamonds could be mixed in with mined for diamonds. When I discovered that you could actually make these diamonds in a lab and they are the exact same chemical component, they shine the same – you can even get better quality because you can determine the colour and the clarity – I knew I wanted to create something.”
The diamonds are grown in a lab, where scientists create an environment that mimics the traditional diamond-creating process, albeit much more quickly. And the resulting diamonds are such good quality that expert gemologists are not able to tell the difference between mined and lab-grown diamonds. Impressive, right?
Cutting out the lengthy wait (the entire diamond-forming process can take between 1 billion and 3.3 billion years) and determining exactly where these diamonds are made has allowed Lark & Berry to create stunning pieces at a price that won’t make your knees buckle.
The collection is the mastermind of the brand’s creative director and renowned jewellery designer, Katie Rowland, and comprises stand-out cocktail rings, subtle stacking pieces and breathtakingly beautiful fine jewellery.
Prices start at £300; shop the collection online at larkandberry.com