Discover the sustainable options available in jewellery design. 

Diamonds and other gemstones have long since been a way to celebrate love and commemorate special occasions. We met up with Charen Nortje, a jewellery designer and young entrepreneur who’s changing the way we think about bridal jewellery and helping to promote a more sustainable approach by encouraging the use of lab made diamonds. 

“My love for Diamonds started when I was a child. I had seen lots of magazine ads of diamonds and it really captured me. In my spare time I would do a lot of research about diamonds and read up about it on the internet and I’ve just always been really obsessed with gemstones and diamonds,” shares Charen Nortje, owner & founder of Ring Artisan.

She explains that traditional diamonds are mined from the earth, while lab grown diamonds are made in a laboratory that mimics the underground process, just with high pressure and high temperatures. 

There are 2 types of lab grown diamonds, those made from carbon, and moissanite diamonds that are made from silicon and carbon – making them sparkle even more.

“There is absolutely no difference between mined diamonds and lab grown diamonds. They are chemically, optically and physically exactly the same. It’s actually very difficult for professionals to even tell the difference if they don’t have the correct equipment,” comments Charen.  

Ring Artisan works closely with gemstone cutter, Daniel Malan who explains that, “Gem stone cutting is an ancient art.”

He adds, “In South Africa we don’t practice gem cutting – from an industry perspective – that much any more. There’s only a few of us left.”

The good news is that a younger generation focused on artisanal production are starting to show an interest in reviving this art, so hope is not lost. 

The world around us may be changing rapidly, but with people like Charen Nortje at the forefront of tomorrow considering more sustainable approaches, we think we may just be in good hands.



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