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Why jewellers’ new ethical diamonds really are forever

PUBLISHED: 15:36 07 July 2020 | UPDATED: 16:36 07 July 2020

Lucky winner Louise Winston with her partner Mike Parapanos receiving the earrings at Zelley jewellers. Pic: submitted

Lucky winner Louise Winston with her partner Mike Parapanos receiving the earrings at Zelley jewellers. Pic: submitted

A family-run jewellers is doing what it can to help protect the planet thanks to its collection of man-made diamonds.

The 'lab grown' diamond earrings given away by Zelley jewellers. Pic: submittedThe 'lab grown' diamond earrings given away by Zelley jewellers. Pic: submitted

Zelley in Norwich is not only one of a handful which has made the move to stock the ethically-sourced jewels, but has also given some away to a key worker.

The St Giles-based business sources diamonds grown in a lab, meaning they are use a fraction of the carbon dioxide emissions than those mined in natural circumstances.

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Chemically and physically they are the same but are created using extreme pressure and heat inside a machine rather than the earth.

Alistair Zelley, the fourth generation in his family, at the shop in Norwich. Pic: ArchantAlistair Zelley, the fourth generation in his family, at the shop in Norwich. Pic: Archant

As a result man-made diamonds are fast becoming hugely popular as businesses look to go greener.

On top of this, Zelley wanted to spread the word about the quality of environmentally-friendly diamonds.

The shop decided to give away a pair of stud earrings with 0.5 carat diamonds set in fairtade platinum and invited people to tag someone who was registered as working for the NHS or a care giver.

The lucky winner was Louise Winston, from Norwich, a medical examiner at the Norfolk & Norwich University hospital, who only got engaged last year to partner Mike Parapanos and now has a earrings to match her engagement ring.

Inside the jewellery shop. Pic: ArchantInside the jewellery shop. Pic: Archant

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She said: “My partner tagged me in the competition and having worked for the NHS during the pandemic, I was so happy and grateful to win.

“I am very keen on lab grown diamonds; my engagement ring is made up of cruelty free diamonds so this was also a huge part of us entering the competition. Zelley were lovely and the earrings are beautiful.”

Alistair Zelley, who is the fourth generation of Zelley, with the business started up by his great-grandfather, said people were starting to ask for lab grown diamonds and they were stocking more.

“The conditions used to create the diamond recreate what mother nature does and the fact they are lab grown is very difficult to detect.” But he said it wasn’t easy being a jeweller in times of coronavirus. “Luxury items aren’t high on people’s agenda but we’ve been doing a lot of repairs, as people have been looking out items in lockdown and we are also buying gold a lot, people are selling as the price has gone up.”

Zelley was started more than 100 years ago by Frederick John Zelley. The shop moved to St Giles Street in 1982.


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