February is traditionally the month of romance and what could be more romantic than a piece of diamond jewellery? Forget the marketing spin about spending two or even three months’ salary on an engagement ring though. These days you can pop the question with a stunning hybrid diamond that doesn’t (literally) cost the earth.
That’s why Bodmin-based Elaine and Jason Foreman are passionate about the IQ diamond – a flawless stone that they co developed with the help of a leading university in 2016 and is the first of its kind to test positive for diamond on the industry-standard Presidium multi-tester. It’s the most technologically advanced diamond alternative in the world and, because it’s man-made not mined, its creation doesn’t damage the environment or put lives at risk.
Another enormous benefit is the cost. An IQ diamond ring that is equally as beautiful as anything you might find in a high-class jeweller’s for around £60,000, is being sold for less than a tenth of the price. And if that isn’t enough, it’s 30% tougher and unlikely to have flaws.
What’s the catch? There isn’t one. Unbelievable as it might seem, you can enjoy the feel and look of the finest quality mined diamond without making a huge dent in your pocket and without worrying about all the ethical concerns that are often associated with ‘the real thing’. The diamond industry may not be impressed with this kind of alternative thinking but is there really any romance in pulling something out of the ground that causes irreversible damage to the environment? Delicate ecosystems, wildlife, animal habitats, indigenous people and coral reefs – just some of those affected when huge holes are dug out that can even be seen from space.
Elaine and Jason set up KinetIQue because they wanted to make a difference. Having lived and worked all over the world, they were also keen to make a permanent home in Cornwall. Both aims have been fulfilled and although running any business requires a great deal of commitment – especially one that flies in the face of entrenched perceptions – they’re very happy with all that they’re achieving.
“The feedback we get from our customers is excellent and definitely makes all the effort involved worthwhile,” says Elaine. “We both feel very strongly about the false messages that are spread about mined diamonds being an investment when the truth is they lose an enormous amount of value as soon as you walk out of the shop you bought them in. IQ diamonds are significantly more resilient and wearing them makes you feel amazing. Why fall for the hype and pay more? As far as we’re concerned, it just doesn’t make any sense.”
IQ diamonds are a combination of a pure man-made diamond layer that’s grown directly onto the surface of a super white tech ceramic core in a laboratory. The chemical process involved is no different to that occurring naturally underground and, if that seems less romantic, think again.
“Mined diamonds come at human and physical cost and, at a time when we’re all doing our best to save the planet and be more sustainable, surely it makes sense to be more careful about what diamonds we buy – especially when the alternative looks and feels the same and is even more durable,” said Jason, who used to work in the oil industry as an engineer. “Elaine and I were as guilty as anyone else of falling for the hype in the past and not questioning where things come from but, since doing our research, we’ve become all too aware of the power and ruthlessness of greed. That’s why we believe the IQ diamond is so important. It’s a statement that beauty doesn’t need to come at a price many of us find unacceptable. You can wear a fabulous ring on your finger, enjoy the compliments and not feel guilty about where the diamond came from. When you’re giving a gift from the heart, surely that’s a priority.”
The Foremans’ ethical approach has led to several prestigious ‘green’ plaudits – including a recent Highly Commended in the ‘Tomorrow’s Contribution to Sustainability’ at the 2016 Cornwall Sustainability Awards. First established in 2012, their business continues to grow and they now employ designers throughout the country and abroad to fashion a jewellery range that includes engagement and wedding rings, pendants, earrings and bespoke items.
“We’re proud of what we do and are so delighted that our customers love our products too,” said Elaine. “We might be a small team but, in our own way, we’re making a big impression.”
For more information, visit www.kinetique.co.uk