Some people credit De Beers’ “A diamond is forever” ad campaign for the worldwide desire for diamonds. On engagement rings, they’ve come to symbolize and promise love, and on other forms of jewelry they have long been objects of desire. Because of their unparalleled sparkle, statement pieces have been created with diamonds, like Wallis, Duchess of Windsor’s panther bracelet (sold for more than $12 million at Sotheby’s) and Elizabeth Taylor’s Taj Mahal diamond pendant (sold at $8 million at Christie’s).
"We no longer have to excavate millions of ton of land to find these gems.”
Natural diamonds, composed of pure carbon crystallized by immense heat, are the purest of all gemstones. However, chemists have been producing diamonds from other forms of carbon like coal since the 19th century. All it takes is a diamond seed and a piece of graphite placed in a highly pressurized diamond-growing dome or greenhouse. These cultured diamonds have the same properties as mined ones, and their production has made diamonds more accessible to people all over the world.
Cultured diamonds, mostly grown in Singapore, arrive in Manila exclusively through Golcondia. Tomy Florencio, the company’s president, advocates them to lessen mining across the globe. “We no longer have to excavate millions of ton of land to find these gems,” he shares. Magaing director Daniela San Agustin adds, “They are environmentally friendly. We are here to offer the consumer a new choice.” Golcondia sells loose stones on the wholesale market and crafts beautiful diamond jewelry available at its retail space at Shangri-La Plaza East Wing. Golcondia has a private salon for buyers and those eager to learn more about the fascinating gem.