The 2020 Oscar ceremony opened with an exuberant musical performance by Janelle Monae, accompanied by Billy Porter dressed to the nines in crimson silk and a gold duster coat. But perhaps the most eye-catching thing about the ensemble was his glittering diamond necklace. Crafted specifically for the occasion, the necklace is a partnership between San Francisco-based lab-grown diamond company Diamond Foundry and fine jewellery brand Lark & Berry.
Featuring over 500 diamonds set in 18K white gold, the collar necklace was inspired by “the natural wonder of a celestial supernova,” according to a press release, making it a fitting choice for the Hollywood supernova that is Billy Porter.
“Having the opportunity for Billy to wear our jewellery is an incredible honour,” said Laura Chavez, founder of Lark & Berry. “He is such an inspiring icon; not only for his larger than life looks we all wish we could pull off, but also for his talent in pushing current issues forward faster than they would normally progress.”
Awareness about lab-grown diamonds, also known as cultured diamonds, has grown exponentially in recent years. Diamond Foundry’s zero carbon footprint diamonds, which are made sustainably in a laboratory as opposed to obtained in an ecologically-damaging mining process, have attracted investors such as environmental activist and actor Leonardo DiCaprio. Lark & Berry, which was founded in 2018, is the first designer fine jewellery brand in the world to use only cultured diamonds and stones. Celebrities like Emma Watson and Meghan Markle—who have both worn pieces by Kimai, a lab-grown diamond company based in Antwerp—are exploring this new frontier of fine jewellery for their public appearances, and according to the BBC, “nearly 70% of millennials [are] considering buying a lab grown alternative” due to the environmental and humanitarian costs of conventional diamond mining.
The Lark & Berry x Diamond Foundry necklace is part of a 3-piece limited edition collection that includes a set of long earrings and a pair of studs, and will soon be released for purchase.
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