More than a third of the world’s population has already started their sustainability journey; reflecting conscious decisions in what they eat, what they wear, and how they live. Jewelry continues to be important since the dawn of time, so isn’t it the need of the hour to have ethical and environment-friendly jewelry alternatives?

Meet Etika Jewels®, a UAE-based brand launched by a team of dynamic empowered women, who believe in ethical and accessible jewelry for everyday use. Diamonds, hailed and heralded as a girl’s best friend, have traditionally been a male-dominated industry. So, Etika Jewels®’ emergence is not only breaking the norm but is also trailblazing the diamond industry as one of the first lab-grown diamonds brand in the country, reflecting UAE’s mission to promote diamonds in an ethical and sustainable way. 

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Lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds comprising the same physical, chemical, and optical properties of a naturally mined diamond. The only difference is, instead of taking billions of years, these sets of diamonds are born in the laboratory under the same temperature and pressure conditions. Lab-grown diamonds are also free from any conflict and exploitation, hence, it is ethical. It does not cost the earth any depletion of resources, hence, it is sustainable. Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but lab-grown diamonds are mankind’s best friend. sat in conversation with Basma Chaieri, founder and product manager of Etika Jewels®. In a tête-à-tête, she answered all curious questions about the brand and helped shatter myths about lab-grown diamonds and the ultimate future UAE has in store for the ethical precious stones.

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Lab-grown diamonds have the same physical, chemical and optical properties as naturally mined diamonds, except that these are sustainably grown in the lab, is conflict-free, and sustainable. Browsing through the collection, the diamonds and gems are beautiful, and the designs are unique. What is the best-selling item in the collection so far? And why is it the customers’ ultimate choice?

Basma Chaieri: Thank you! We are glad to hear that you like our designs; we are always mindful of our customers’ needs, and we try to create jewelry that is trendy and modern but also timeless, something to value and wear for many years to come. So far, we have seen the biggest interest in our jewelry classics, such as the diamond stud earrings, floating diamond solitaire necklaces, and classic tennis bracelets. These are the pieces that will never go out of fashion, and by choosing Etika Jewels®, our clients can get bigger diamonds and the highest quality for their budget!  As the concept of lab-grown diamonds is relatively new, could you help clarify some myths? For example, many are of the opinion that lab-grown diamonds do not have much resale value. Can you give an insight on the value of lab-grown diamonds in the UAE market, especially as the first in the country?

Basma Chaieri: Lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds that are formed in a different environment. Lab-grown diamonds have the exact same chemical composition and physical properties of a natural diamond, which makes them practically indistinguishable from mined diamonds of equivalent quality. Instead of forming over billions of years in the earth’s mantle, Etika Jewels®’ diamonds are sustainably grown above ground in labs with the help of the latest technology that replicates the natural diamond growing process. Lab-grown diamonds are not to be confused with imitations or simulants. Chemically, diamond simulants (like cubic zirconia or synthetic moissanite) are not diamonds at all, and any gemologist can easily differentiate between them with a naked eye.

For half a century, we have been taught to believe that mined diamonds have a high resale value. In fact, except for very rare, high-quality, and large-size mined diamonds, most of the mined diamonds cannot be resold at the same or higher price than purchased. On the contrary, the moment we buy it, we will lose its retail value. That’s because we pay for the long supply chain and retailer’s margin for a diamond that is easily available from wholesalers for much less money.

So what’s a lab-grown diamond’s value, then? It comes down to the actual legacy it leaves as a precious, unique object. A lab-grown diamond is the new standard for responsible luxury. You can pass it down to your loved ones, making them proud of an ethical and sustainable approach. It represents the triumph of a generation that respects the environment and cares for the future of humanity.

It comes then as no surprise that in a place like UAE, a pioneer in innovation and responsible fashion, lab-grown diamonds are among the emerging trends in the local market. It reflects UAE’s mission to do diamonds the ethical and sustainable way. Specifically, DMCC is committed to turning Dubai into a global hub for the laboratory-grown diamond trade. Sophisticated consumers in the UAE care for the provenance and impact of each luxury product. They want to ensure that the gems they are wearing are conflict-free and eco-friendly, and Etika Jewels® is one of the very first jewelers in the UAE to offer this beautiful alternative.  

diamond bracelets  As a women-run business doing something completely new and unique, what has been the greatest challenge and the greatest triumph? 

Basma Chaieri: First of all, it’s important to highlight that the diamond and jewelry industries in our region are mainly male-dominated industries, which makes it extra challenging for a group of women to make their way. Yet, at the end of the day, like all businesses and industries, it comes down to building the right partnerships with the right people and sharing the same values of moral responsibility, trust, and willingness to make a difference.  Your designs do give an everyday jewelry appeal but some of the designs, especially the rings, can also be wedding day jewelry?  

Basma Chaieri: Our pieces are very versatile. Our clients can wear them on any occasion, alone or mixed and matched with other jewelry pieces. We believe in jewelry as a form of self-expression where the client is the ultimate stylist. We do offer a large variety of engagement rings. It is also important to highlight that we make customized jewelry for our clients as well as all their favorite designs using only lab-grown diamonds and gemstones. Where do you see the company in the next 5 years? Will there be a retail store in the future or will it stay digital? 

Basma Chaieri: Five years from now, we aim to be the company that has created awareness about lab-grown diamonds among the general public, a company known for making her part in building a more responsible fashion industry, and the one that has brought diamonds closer to you.  

As of today, and for now, we are a purely digital brand; however, this will certainly evolve and adapt to the demand and wishes of our customers.  Can you share any heartwarming stories of your clients?

Basma Chaieri: At Etika Jewels®, we treat every client as our first client; excellent customer service is at the center of our values. Every customer story is for us heart-warming, and we put all our passion and dedication into it.

Among the stories that are “extra” heart-warming, we must mention clients that come to us to pick an engagement ring for their partners. Helping and guiding them into making that big choice always warms our hearts. It makes us feel incredibly proud to be part of that special moment in their life together.