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A Recycled Diamond, an Ethical and Ecological Option

A Recycled Diamond, an Ethical and Ecological Option

Consumers seeking to minimize the environmental impact of their purchasing decisions should consider recycled diamonds.

What is a recycled diamond?

A recycled diamond is a diamond that had a prior use and that is reintegrated in the supply chain. It can be a diamond that was part of an estate jewelry piece or set on a ring.  The jewelry industry is unique in the sense that most of the material that was used in the manufacturing process can be re-used to make new jewelry items.

Why purchase a recycled diamond?

The most ecological diamond is the one that you don’t need to mine or make in a laboratory.  It’s a decision that is part of a broader movement which encourages the development of sustainable and circular economies.

What about Lab-grown diamonds?

We do not encourage the purchase of laboratory grown diamond because unlike natural diamonds, they do not have any resale value (see article: Why laboratory-grown diamonds are such a bad investment). Furthermore, the manufacturing process of lab-grown requires the use of a significant amount of water and electricity from polluting sources.  In fact, over 50% of the synthetic diamond productions comes from China.[1] The Chinese electrical production is generated at 65% by the combustion of charcoal[2]. Burning charcoal to create ‘fake’ diamonds is an environmental non-sense in our opinion.

How to choose a recycled diamond

The criteria’s used to purchase a recycle diamond are like the ones used for a recently mined diamond.   The classification is based on the appraisal of 4 criteria’s namely, the weight, the clarity (purity), the cut and colour. These are obviously criteria’s use to establish rarity and not beauty.

Also, because recycled diamonds are often old, it is possible they were produced prior to the arrival of the modern brilliant cut which was established by Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919.

Price comparison

The price between a recycled diamond and one which was recently mined should be relatively the same. It’s not because the diamond is old or was worn, that it’s less valuable. After all, diamonds are already over 1.5 billion years old on average. The purchasing price might be lowered if the diamond needs to be repolished or recut.

In the case of very ancient diamonds, that meet very strict cutting and symmetry standard’s, it is possible they can convey a premium price. This is the case for Old Miner or Old European cut diamonds.


In conclusion

A recycled diamond is an interesting alternative for those seeking to minimize the environmental impact of their purchasing decisions. It is a truly unique object that which can have a significant historical value. Recycled diamonds are not less expensive or of inferior quality. The experts at Laferriere & Brixi Diamantaires can help assist you to purchase a recycled or old cut diamond.  Do not hesitate to contact us for any further information


Laferrière & Brixi Diamantaires

Saint Lambert | Montreal | New York


[1] Electricity generation by source, People’s Republic of Chine 1990-2021 IEA Retrieved 17 October 2020

[2] China’s lab-created diamond production hit by power crisis Nov 4, 2021 Richard Chiu