Last year I went to the Wedding Show at Excel and visited a lot of stands. This one, Ethica Diamonds, formerly KinetIQue, stood out and it was here I met a very inspiring couple, Elaine and Jason, whose business, brand, and product is ethical to its core. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but if you put a real diamond next to a laboratory-grown one, would you be able to tell the difference? I couldn’t, and my hand actually shook when I got to try on several of these stunning alternate diamond rings. They sparkled and if I had one, and knew what it stood for (aside from the undying love of my partner!) then I would be very proud to wear it and tell its story.
Elaine has shared with me a bit more about Ethica Diamonds, its origins and company ethos.
The name KinetIQue just started out as a name (pronounced the same as the end of the word “Boutique”). We liked the fact that it it has a boutique sort of ring to it, and at the same time incorporates energy and movement (kinetic), bringing together the laboratory-grown element of our business with the “IQ” in the middle of the name which reflects our branded product, the IQ Diamond.
Who are the faces behind the name?
I started the business 5 years ago with my husband, Jason and last year our daughter, Emily-Grace joined us. It is very much a family business.
When looking for a diamond what should you look?
The 4Cs (Cut, Clarity, Colour and Carat) of a diamond work together, not individually to determine the intense sparkle and eternal beauty within the finest diamonds. Cheaper diamonds have a combination of inclusions, an inferior cut and are further down the colour scale, giving a more yellow tint. This leads to diamonds that are dull, lifeless and visually poor.
Only the best attributes from the 4Cs are used to create the IQ diamond and because it is a lab-created diamond, you have the luxury of buying a larger sized diamond for a fraction of the price.
What does mining a Diamond do to our environment?
The sad history of diamond mining awareness plays out on many levels. In large scale mechanised mining, there is often little regard for the environment.
The danger to biodiversity begins when roads are built for purposes of exploration and land is cleared for settlement. These operations are also terribly destructive both to the land and to adjacent aquatic ecosystems. And all too often, the spoils of the process continue to poison the environment long after commercial operations have ceased.
When a diamond mine is exhausted, the procedures for closing the mine are unregulated and little infrastructure is in place to restore the ecosystem. The extracted material is not always replaced or not replaced adequately, leaving the former ecosystem unable to restore itself. This often results in water pollution, leaving the land unsuitable for farming other uses, susceptible to severe erosion and flooding.
The remains of many diamond mines are so enormous that they can be clearly seen from space.
Mining a 1 carat diamond from Mother Earth requires the removal of at least 250 tons of ore.
What makes the IQ Diamond eco-friendly?
Our IQ Diamonds are created in a laboratory, and with a waste-product of water – only water – they are an alternative that’s kind to the earth, kind to our fellow humans, and also kind to your wallet (10% of the price of an equivalent mined gem).
Why would you even consider a mined diamond, really? That is why our diamonds are the perfect eco-friendly choice, without the compromise on ethics or cost.
* Excavation – No soil movement
* Carbon Emissions – Negligible air pollution
* Water Usage – Water usage is lower than a mined diamond by a factor of 5
* Humanitarian Injury Rate – High employee safety standards
* Human Rights Abuse – all employees in the production value chain are paid fairly
IQ Diamonds are not mined in conflict territories so they don’t start life in possession of those who want to trade them illegally. Furthermore, IQ Diamonds can’t be passed off as mined diamonds because they have a microscopic laser-etched inscription to identify them.
Who designs your rings?
Our ring designs are carefully chosen from a wide range of styles produced by a large UK manufacturer. We choose to work with this company because they use recycled precious metal in the manufacturing of their jewellery which fits with our ethical ethos.
Our custom design service is growing at a considerable rate as most people love to be able to design their own engagement ring using eco friendly diamonds and metal, having a piece of diamond jewellery made to their exact requirements and pay just a fraction of the cost. It’s a win win!
What are your top tips for looking after your new sparkly ring?
What we love, we look after. Taking care of precious metals, diamonds and gemstones is not that difficult. With a little tender loving care, you can go a long way to keeping your jewellery in excellent, sparkling condition.
Quick tip, common to cleaning all jewellery is warm water and a mild soap solution. Always use a chemical free soap—no-one likes chemicals.
* Diamond is the hardest mineral we know of, but just like your IQ Diamond/s, they are not indestructible. They can be scratched, chipped or split by sharp edges. No one wants that, so take care when wearing and storing your diamond jewellery. We always recommend you keep your diamond jewellery in its box or case. Also always be aware of diamonds scratching diamonds, so lay your diamonds out flat wherever possible.
* Clean your diamonds with kettle hot, but not boiling water & soapy eco-friendly liquid with a soft toothbrush, rinsing the stone and setting thoroughly to ensure no soap is left on the jewellery including the underside crevices and then air dry.
* The lustre and patina of gold is gorgeous. It does not tarnish or fade over time. In its pure form however it is very soft and care should always be taken not to scratch or bash it.
* We recommend that you wear rings of a similar carat together, e.g. your wedding and engagement ring, as the higher the karat of gold you wear, the softer the metal and one may wear down the other over time.
* Gold should be cleaned regularly in order to maintain its beauty. A soft, lint free cloth is a very effective way to keep gold jewellery looking beautiful. Gold does not like chlorine or bleach so be aware of this when in a swimming pool or hot tub.
* Platinum develops a natural patina that many people prefer over the “just polished” look. When this happens, you can send it to us or take it to your local jeweller to have it re-polished back to its new high gloss look.
* As with diamonds and gemstones, you should take care to protect any precious metal jewellery by keeping it safe in the jewellery box it came with or a chamois bag.
What is the best engagement story that one of your clients told you?
There is a lovely real story from one of our customers on our site. His journey to the proposal meant a lot of research into finding the right ring and then designing it. Once he had done that, all he had to do was pop the question!
The proposal itself meant taking a steam train to Bodiam to the annual hop festival, unbeknownst to Beccy, they went up to the top of a tower in the castle for the main event: “I had planned in my mind beforehand to pop the question here, but when the time came it dawned on me – how do I start this? Eventually Beccy asked if we should head back down, time was up! So I said ‘there’s just one more thing … you know I love you right?’ And as I dropped down on to one knee, ‘Will you marry me?’”
Although she had suspicions, Beccy was taken totally by surprise and (of course) said yes. Aware of a round of applause, the happy couple had a small audience and the proposal turned into an impromptu photo shoot, saving the memory forever.
Matt and Beccy are aiming for a Spring 2018 wedding, everyone at Ethica Diamonds and Paperless wish them the best of luck in their future together!
A big thank you to Elaine for sharing her company with us. There is so much to read on their website and some amazing photos for you to pin to your Pinterest boards!! We would love to hear about the story of your engagement ring – leave a post below!