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By Alex Martin | October 16 2019
An ambitious new company is promising to change the diamond market for the better by offering ethically and environmentally sourced stones. Great Heights launches in New York this week with a range of lab-grown diamonds that are just as precious as the natural counterpart but are completely free from sourcing concerns.
With the launch of its debut collection, Great Heights sets a new industry standard by offering consumers ethically-sourced diamonds that do not compromise on quality.
Great Heights claims to offer a 100 percent guarantee that its diamonds come from conflict-free zones. Every one of the company’s diamonds is artificially grown in a lab using techniques that recreate the natural process. The resulting diamonds are indistinguishable – physically, chemically and optically – from natural ones and are IGI certified.
Speaking exclusively to Elite Traveler, founders Alexander Weindling and Ryan Bonifacino underlined thier desire to offer the rapidly-expanding number of ethically motivated consumers a genuine alternative to diamonds from questionable origins.
Asked what they hope to change about the diamond market, Weindling said: “Three-word answer: Empathy; Simplicity; Affordability. Empathy for the young groom who wants to get this right and doesn’t want to disappoint their chosen partner, their partner’s mother nor their partner’s best friend. Empathy for the planet which can’t take much more of what mining and other 20th century, anachronistic procurement methods have wrought, and simplify the selection process of finding your perfect diamond.”
The company also claims to offer consumers an unprecedented level of customization when choosing their perfect piece of jewelry. Customers will are able to choose the cut, color and clarity of their diamond and view it in high-quality through CGI technology before it is set into a ring. And best of all, as the supply of lab-grown diamonds is far more controllable than mining, the price of your perfect ring is about to get a lot cheaper.
“Lab-grown diamonds are more affordable than mined,” says Bonifancino. “You can get the diamond of your dreams at a price you never dreamed possible. Great Heights customer advisors try to get customers to spend less and get more. Most traditional jewelers compensate their salespeople largely on how much more they get customers to spend.”
A major challenge will not be convincing consumers on price but on the actual product itself. Many assume that a diamond grown in a lab is inferior to one that has spent millennia forming in the depths of the earth. But their biggest obstacle will also prove to be a great asset as they claim lab-created diamonds are the only ones that are guaranteed to be ethically sourced.
“They are as much a 100 percent real diamond as a mined diamond,” says Weindling. “Our own FTC said so in July 2018. No one can tell the difference by eye. Only a machine can detect the difference. Lab-created diamonds are the only 100 percent conflict-free diamond. Contrary to the stories perpetuated by others, mined diamonds cannot make that claim, regardless of how much ‘blockchain’ language they confuse consumers with to obfuscate the truth.
“When a mined diamond is sent to India to be cut and polished, you are reliant on good faith that what comes out of the cutting factory was formed from the exact same piece of rough diamond that went in. There is no tag, barcode or radio frequency tag; It cannot be 100 percent verified before and after.”
Great Heights owns the world’s largest selection of lab-created diamonds so they can already offer consumers a huge range from 0.6 to 3.3 carats, priced at up to 40 percent less than the market price for a mined diamond.