Beauty & Fashion
Diamonds. Just saying the word out loud conjures up warm, wonderful feelings of luxurious spoils, special occasions and family heirlooms. Beautiful, brilliant stones that have been sourced for thousands of years for their timeless beauty, diamonds really are a girl’s best friend.
But now cultured diamonds are changing the way we look at jewellery and the beautiful stones that set women’s hearts a flutter the world over are more accessible and less damaging to the environment.
Former North Coast resident Anthony Matthews owns a company called Shiny Rock Polished which, he says, was the first bespoke jewellery company to recognise and support the lab-grown or cultured diamond market.
Originally from Zululand, Anthony studied at Rhodes University before working in London for many years. When he returned to South Africa he started Shiny Rock Commodities and, in 2015, saw a gap in the market to create a luxury bespoke jewellery brand online. The company changed to Shiny Rock Polished, which now has clients around the world.
“Cultured Diamonds are in every way a diamond – in brilliance, beauty and durability. They are also valued using the same grading system. The only difference is, one is natural and the other is not, which affects the price,” says Anthony.
Basically a cultured diamond is a diamond grown above the ground in a lab rather than grown underground and then mined. He says cultured diamonds are revolutionising the industry in much the same way cultured pearls did in the late 20th century.
“When it became clear the world’s great pearl beds had been depleted, cultured pearls provided natural pearls to a still thirsty market. Today, you will buy a cultured pearl necklace and be none the wiser that it was cultivated.
Anthony says that big retail stores often force jewellery prices up and gemstones, diamonds and jewellery are expensive purchases.
“Although there is a price difference between mined and cultured diamonds, cultured diamonds are by no means cheap,” continues Matthews. “They would still be regarded as a luxury purchase, especially in the higher grades. The price differences between cultured and mined diamonds is especially more noticeable when comparing to coloured diamonds,” says Matthews. “For example, a natural blue diamond could cost millions versus a similar cultured blue diamond that could cost around R200k to R300k.”
He says cultured diamonds give you access to the most exceptional array of colours, from the traditional white diamond, to the more vivid colours of blue, pink, and green, with the most common being yellow.
“There is definitely an increase in demand for cultured diamonds and the array of colours that the cultured diamonds come in allows buyers the opportunity to infuse a special stone with their own personality and make their own statement pieces that suit their skin colour without breaking the bank. The added bonus is that they are sourced ‘ethically’”.
Not to be confused with crystals, cubic zirconia or moissante, Anthony says these are diamonds in every way, shape and form.
Details: www.shinyrockpolished.com / 087 820 1073