London Diamonds is an innovative London-based jewellery designers and online retailer that looks to the future and utilises technology to improve the process for clients.
James Sanders, founder and managing director of London Diamonds explains: “My career has taken me into a number of sectors, from technology to art and I decided to launch this company following a personal revelation regarding the traditional engagement ring industry.
“My wife and I were looking to replace our original engagement ring, and soon realised that the traditional jewellery sector is a community that works only for itself. Its success lies in marking up everything, from its offices to the service it provides. This ends up adding lots of money to the price of diamonds, in a way that I felt was quite clearly unfair to the customer.”
The launch of London-based online retailer London Diamonds
Utilising his experience in start ups, on how to raise money from investors and to take on new markets, James Sanders started London Diamonds.
While it’s based in the City, it’s an online-only retailer, and as managing director James Sanders leads his team in continually improving services.
James Sanders says: “I created the business in association with all kinds of experts, including designers and those with experience and expertise in diamonds specifically. One of the most important things we do for our clients is to keep on top of stories around the world about the sector and diamond markets so that we can improve our service.”
Lab grown diamonds and an expanded approach to selling diamond jewellery
Early on in the process of launching and developing London Diamonds, James Sanders was determined to break from past attitudes towards diamonds.
Explains James Sanders: “A diamond engagement ring is often one of the most important purchases people make in their lives. And that’s why keeping on top of the latest research is important for everyone at the company.
“In order to keep offering the best service well into the future, we continually immerse ourselves in articles and on-page information about the diamond industry.”
James Sanders on the new research on natural diamonds
While London Diamonds has expanded its reach towards selling lab grown diamonds, something that James expects to continue to increase into the future, keeping up to date with general news about the diamond industry is obviously always of interest.
James says: “New research has emerged that shows us more about how diamonds are formed and their impact on Earth’s tectonic plates, which could feasibly give clues as to where they are. Below, I’ve laid out the basics of this research, and provided links to all the detail for those interested.“
What does the new research say?
Researchers from a number of different countries have found that diamonds appear to demonstrate a break-up of the tectonic plates of the earth.
Diamonds are, of course, the hardest naturally occurring stones in the world and therefore need immense temperatures and pressures in order to form. James adds: “Lab grown diamonds are created by basically re-creating this process in a scientific and controlled setting, allowing scientists to artificially grow a diamond from a natural seed.”
Formation of diamonds is dependent on specific conditions deep in the earth
The formation of natural diamonds is only possible thanks to specific conditions found very deep within the Earth. Getting the diamonds from there to the surface is a complex process. They are carried up in magmas (molten rock) known as ‘kimberlites’.
Until this research (published in July 2023), the process that forced the kimberlites through the earth’s crust was unknown. These kimberlites have spent potentially billions of years stored deep inside the earth before they are propelled to the surface.
The theory of supercontinent cycles
The majority of geological scientists say that the explosive process that leads to the unleashing of diamonds to the earth’s surface occurs at the same time as the supercontinent cycle. This cycle is a pattern of fragmentation and formation of landmass that has so far defined the entirety of the geological history of the earth.
And while this has been generally agreed, it hasn’t been understood exactly how this happens. Broadly speaking, there are two theories:
- Kimberlite magmas take advantage of the splits that occur in the earth’s surface when tectonic plates shift and split up.
- Mantle plumes of molten rock from around 2,900km deep in the surface of the earth.
There are various problems with both of these theories, and an AI/machine learning study by Associate Professor in Earth Science Thomas Gernon from the University of Southampton shows that kimberlite eruptions happen up to 30 million years after the tectonic break up of the earth. This is just one example of differing theories.
New and ongoing theories into kimberlite eruptions
For a full run-down of the newest theories related to Assoc Professor Gernon’s research please click here.