Nothing polishes off a look quite like a piece of fine jewelry.
But for years, those looking to make a statement with their baubles paid the price – a hit to the wallet as well as the environment.
Now, as the modern age of intelligent machinery meets the movement to become more socially responsible, the industry is responding to the call to do better, and e-commerce jewelry company Clarabelle is leading the charge.
Headquartered in Chicago with operations across the globe, Clarabelle is leveraging the use of advanced technology to produce high-quality, environmentally-friendly lab-cultured gemstones and diamond simulants. The company’s line of handmade necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets is transforming the industry, allowing customers to enjoy more of what they want, at more reasonable prices and less damage to earth’s natural resources through mining. The result is customers receiving jewelry featuring sapphire, ruby, emerald, and diamond-like centerpieces that carry nearly identical qualities of mined stones. Clarabelle’s range features styling ranging from avant garde to classic standbys.
The start-up has been built on a mission to offer the finest in lab-grown jewelry products in the most ethical way possible. Clarabelle’s innovative business model to exclusively use lab-produced gemstones and diamond simulants is what separates them from the competition.
“The beginning was scary – having to find suppliers that are excited to embrace new technologies in the lab-made gemstone and diamond space hasn’t been easy,” said Alex Gilbert, CEO. “But we believe that we can help foster in much-needed change to the fine jewelry space.”
Lab-produced gemstones and diamond simulants, like moissanite or diamond-like stones, appeal to consumers because they are more affordable and cause less destruction to nature. But how exactly does Clarabelle do it? A process of hydrothermal synthesis, a laboratory-based emerging technology that replicates the natural production of gemstones.
The hydrothermal technological process involves placing ingredients special to the desired gemstone in a high-pressure vessel with hot water. The ingredients vary, depending on the gemstone. For example, to produce an emerald in a laboratory setting, property elements known to be in that stone, like aluminum and chromium oxides among others, may be used. The contents are then heated in the sealed vessel for a lengthy period of time until the gemstone crystals are formed. The result is a brilliant, elegant and natural-looking stone with the same depth qualities as those mined from deep in the earth’s surface.
Clarabelle offers a full line of jewelry, from unique to traditional and bold to dainty. The product line features everything from engagement rings to a stunning necklaces showcasing the company’s lab-made emeralds. Other choices include fashion bracelets and everyday jewelry wear in a variety of settings, styles and metals. The jewelry is adorned with Clarabelle’s lab-grown gemstones in ruby, sapphire, emerald or diamond simulants.
Trends and Ethics
Clarabelle has offices in the United States and Europe, and sources precious metals from Australia, while operating seven jewelry creation stations in Asia. In other words, the company operates globally as the demand soars for more sustainable, lab-produced jewelry stones.
The trend to lab-made gemstones just makes sense. Who doesn’t want a high-quality piece for a fraction of the price? In fact, according to wedding planning website, The Knot, lab-made gemstones can cost 20% to 50% less than the naturally-mined equivalent. Consumers are taking note according to a study noting that 70% of millennials polled reported they would consider buying an alternative to mined gems.
“We’ve heard from so many consumers that are just over buying into the old-school approach to traditional jewelry made with mined stones,” said Alex. “Traditional purchasing expectations are taking a back seat to sustainability and price-conscious buying decisions.”
Today’s generations are more environmentally conscious, becoming active in reducing the carbon footprint, and they are looking at how all aspects of their lives – including their jewelry – play a role in that. The mining of natural diamonds and gemstones uses more water and energy, emits more carbon in the earth’s air, and disturbs the natural minerals found in the earth’s land. Turning to lab-made products is an ethical way to enjoy their jewelry with less environmental damage. And since consumers always know where a stone came from, human rights abuses are a moot point. Sustainability is at the forefront of Clarabelle’s mission. Determined to double the efforts of preserving the environment’s precious resources, the company partners with onetreeplanted.org to plant a tree for every piece of jewelry sold.
“Clarabelle creates beautiful jewelry with lab-made gemstones and diamond simulants in a way that doesn’t destroy our environment,” said Alex. “We will continue to do what we can to not only produce the finest in lab-made gems, but we are also committed to putting back what so many others have taken away from Earth for far too long.”