Frankly, the modern diamond industry is strife with misery. A large portion of diamonds are anything but 'conflict free'. They can play a part in funding violence and war, human rights abuses, poverty, and the environmental damage resulting from mining techniques and practices. For these reasons Lori McLean uses re-purposed diamonds where ever possible. Happily it is almost always possible. Our use of vintage and antique cut diamonds is an aesthetic choice, we love them, as well as the history behind them. Their eco-friendly aspects are a great bonus.
Re-purposed, re-cycled or used diamonds are those that have been previously set in jewelry then removed, and re-introduced into the supply chain for resale. We use Harmony Melee diamonds (as well as larger certified stones) from the company Hoover & Strong. Used diamonds also tend to be less expensive than newly mined stones and are at least one generation away from new.
Many vintage and antique diamonds are purchased at auction or scrapped, leading to the recovery of loose older cut diamonds for sale or re-setting into new mounts. We work with several diamond dealers in the US that focus on these old cuts.
The majority of the old cut diamonds that we work with date from the late 1800's and the early 1900's. Their imperfect shapes and proportions reflect the world they existed in, lit by candles and gaslight, where diamonds were cut entirely by hand and shaped by the ideals of one craftsman. Compared to modern brilliant cut diamonds, they have larger and more irregular facets giving them a softer sparkle and glassier appearance. Each one has its own personality and unique shape and is truly one-of-a-kind. They are also often a bit more affordable than newly mined stones.
We are also happy to work with our customer's family diamonds which are often both re-purposed and vintage. The sentimental value is often priceless.