We are honored that Green America featured MiaDonna amongst their Top 11 Coolest Eco-Friendly Companies. We have always strived to be at the forefront of the diamond evolution using the best and newest technology to create man made diamonds of the finest quality. Whether you consider us an ‘Energetic Newcomer’ or Seasoned Pioneer’…
“At MiaDonna, we wanted to raise the ethical bar and help reinvigorate our love affair with diamonds without guilt about where they come from and how they are sourced,” says Anna-Mieke Anderson, MiaDonna Founder and CEO.
Check out the article Green America wrote on MiaDonna in their November issue of the National Green Pages
Article by Krisna Bharvani
“A kiss on the hand may be quite continental…but diamonds are a girl’s best friend,” sang Marilyn Monroe in the classic film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Diamonds held Kiwi-born jewelry designer Anna Mieke Anderson under the same spell as the iconic actress, until she discovered the truth behind her beloved diamond wedding ring.
“I was completely unaware that I’d most likely bought a conflict diamond, which meant I was unintentionally contributing to terrorizing an entire generation of children in Africa,” she says.
The United Nations defines conflict diamonds, also known as war or blood diamonds diamonds, as “diamonds that originate from areas controlled by forces or factions opposed to legitimate and internationally recognized governments, and are used to fund military action in opposition to those governments or in contravention of the decisions of the Security Council.”
According to Amnesty International, diamond-fueled wars, occurring mainly in African countries and Russia, have killed over four million people and displaced millions more—while war criminals in these countries often capture and enslave children, turning them into ruthless killers.
As a mother of two, Anderson felt compelled to take action. She began sponsoring a nine-year-old boy from Liberia, and it was while sharing letters with him that she came up with the idea of starting a conflict-free diamond jewelry and gem company.
Having grown up immersed in the world of fashion thanks to her parents, a model and a film art director, Anderson had long been designing her own jewelry. So it wasn’t a stretch for her to found MiaDonna, a combination of her daughter’s name, Mia, and her mother’s name, Donna.
Her first step in forming the company was to research a diamond alternative. She learned that important advancements in diamond science were already taking place, allowing people to create diamonds in a lab that were nearly indistinguishable from those found in mines.
Today, the MiaDonna online boutique provides beautiful yet affordable wedding and engagement sets and other fine jewelry made with conflict-free, lab-created diamonds and gems. A portion of the proceeds from each sale are passed onto The Greener Diamond Foundation, which reinvests the money in rebuilding communities suffering from unethical harvesting of mined diamonds.
“At MiaDonna, we wanted to raise the ethical bar and help reinvigorate our love affair with diamonds without guilt about where they come from and how they are sourced,” says Anderson.
Many people are under the false impression that lab-created diamonds are synthetic, when in actuality, they are real diamonds. Even a seasoned jeweler has a hard time telling the difference between the two—both have the same physical, chemical, and optical properties; both are polished using the same equipment and techniques; and both have the same brilliance. The difference is mainly in the time and methods of creation. Diamond labs use highly controlled conditions to create a diamond in a way that mimics nature’s process, but is several times faster—taking weeks to create, rather than years—and at a cost of 10 to 25% of extracting a conventional diamond.
The company also offers its “Diamond Hybrid” as an even more affordable jewelry option. It comprises a crystal core with an outer layer made of lab-created diamond, and it retails for three percent of the cost of a conventional diamond, says Anderson.
In addition, all MiaDonna jewelry is set in recycled gold, palladium, and platinum, making it even more sustainable. Nearly 20 tons of earth is removed to produce enough gold to create just one wedding band, says Anderson. Moreover, chemicals like cyanide and mercury used in mining can leak into water sources and are hazardous to human health.
The company also creates a nontoxic, eco-friendly jewelry cleaner and makes all its jewelry in the USA. Overall, the response to MiaDonna has been very positive. Anderson was named “The Queen of Eco-Friendly Engagement Rings” by Engagement 101 Magazine, while MiaDonna has earned a spot on the Portland Business Journal’s list of the “Fastest Growing Private Companies” for the last two years.
Having started with one sponsored child from a blooddiamond community, Anderson now channels MiaDonna profits into a foundation that sponsors entire villages torn apart by diamond-fueled conflicts. The Greener Diamond Foundation works in one diamond-mining community at a time, “helping to repair the damage created in the wake of the diamond trade.”
Thus, with lab-created diamonds, there’s no need to worry—diamonds can still be a girl’s (or guy’s) best friend!