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Hastings-born Anna-Mieke, 32, based in Portland, Oregon, creates ethical
diamonds that celebrities adore.
How did you end up founding a jewellery company?
I went to work as a makeup artist in the States when I was 20. I met my
American husband and when we got engaged, my father came over from Australia and
asked me if I knew anything about where my engagement ring came from. I did some
research and realized there was a good chance it was a blood diamond,
considering the dime and place it was bought.
Why man-made diamonds?
The thought that my ring could have helped fund war and been mined by
African people in inhumane conditions was too much for me. I was haunted and
took the ring off. Understandably my fiance wasn't overly impressed that I
wasn't wearing it, so I tried to find an alternative. Problem was, there wasn't
one. So I started researching how to make a diamond alternative that was not
only ethical and environmentally friendly, but also beautiful (and affordable!).
Thus MiaDonna & Co. was born.
So how is yours different to man-made alternatives out there?
The MiaDonna Diamond Hybrid® starts with a porous crystal core. We then
infuse the core with crystalized carbon - aka diamond. Since it's made with
diamond, its refractive index is closer to an earth-mined diamond than any other
simulant. We are also able to get it to a D to F in colour, a VVS1 to VS2 in
clarity and in larger sizes, up to 6.0 carats. Every stone is cut by hand, for
quality that only one in 1000 earth-mined diamonds will ever achieve. Many other
companies just sell cubic zirconium with hype and marketing. This is new and
It's obviously been a huge success. Stars such as Britney Spears own them,
and you've also been on the Tyra Banks Show. How does all that hype make you
This is going to sound ridiculous but none of that really means much to me in
terms of what I am trying to do. The really exciting coverage has been from
those interested in the Greener Diamond.
Tell us about Greener Diamond.
This is the company I founded which works in tandem with MiaDonna to repair
some of the damaged lives and land impacted by the unethical diamond industry. I
have sponsored a boy in Liberia for years and his accounts of what was going on
in his country inspired us to help. We also tried to raise awareness of the
impact of conflict diamonds on communities and the environment so consumers can
make informed choices. When women realize there are small African children
involved, they understand why this has to stop. They love knowing the money
spent on their jewellery is feeding back to those who need it most.
See www.miadonna.com and
www.thegreenerdiamond.org for details.
Alexia Santamaria - Next Magazine - Dec 2010