Cornwall LivingIssue #77
A true Cornish Gem
Elaine Reffell, founder of Ethica Diamonds tells us about her inspiring Cornish business that combines beauty with an ethical stance.
Nothing beats a proper Cornish success story, and we’ve found a real gem for you! Ethica Diamonds (rebranded from KinetIQue Jewellery in 2019) is a forward thinking, award-winning jewellery company with strong ethical credentials, specialising in bespoke designs and off-the-shelf engagement, wedding and anniversary pieces, all set with the IQ Diamond.
“Jewellery is given from the heart, so why give a diamond that has caused harm to people or the environment?”
As founder Elaine Reffell tells us, the company is driven by creating beautiful jewellery that’s free from environmental damage or humanitarian issues. As we all become more aware of the questions surrounding the sourcing of natural diamonds, it’s heartwarming to find a business that’s doing it right – and doing it right here in the Duchy!
KinetIQue Jewellery was founded in 2011, which was the first form of the business and as technology improved, a retailer relationship was established with the manufacturers of the IQ Diamond, a unique and innovative engineered diamond that matched the ethos of the business.
“The journey towards our Earth-friendly diamond business has been an organic process from humble beginnings, says Elaine, “I noticed that prices were high, quality was dubious and ethics were non-existent.
In the early years, my children, Emily and Tom, would come home from school and see me working all the time, watching me grow the business from nothing. Yet they were always so encouraging and supportive towards me and never complained. In 2016, Emily decided to join me after completing her studies, which has turned into the most rewarding and humbling experience.”
“my children have been a true blessing and I will always be grateful to have such beautiful people in my life”
Emily says.. “Ethica Diamonds, entwines several different passions, environmental and ethical good practice, the delivery of excellent customer service, but most of all .. making people happy!”
Doing things differently
The IQ Diamond is an exceptional engineered diamond that has the toughness, longevity, brilliance and independent grading which exactly matches that of pure diamonds.
This incredible gemstone has been created in collaboration with a university who work closely with market leaders in gemstone science, combining the latest technology together with the least impact on the environment. It is also independently certified by a trusted global research institute and each stone is laser marked for identification and verification purposes.
Since the creation of the IQ Diamond is not tied to the diamond industry, and unlike mined diamonds, it is independently priced, based on the cost of research, development and production rather than being artificially inflated, it is therefore at a far more accessible price point to the consumer.
Indeed, at only a fraction of the cost of traditional diamonds, IQ Diamonds represent excellent value, without the conscience. The company’s ethical stance and technological innovation have led to a number of awards, including a Cornwall Sustainability Award 2017 and, most recently, an award for ‘Environmental Best Practice’ from the Green Organisation.
Emily says .. “Jewellery is given from the heart, so why give a diamond that has caused harm to people or the environment? This is a contradiction!”
We’re keen to discover why Elaine and Emily headquartered the business in Cornwall, rather than in, say, London or elsewhere. “Ethica Diamonds was always destined to be based here. We are proud to be part of Cornwall which is why we have also incorporated into our company logo. We have a beautiful boutique showroom in Truro and many of our customers come to see us whilst enjoying a weekend break away from the hustle of the bigger cities. Also, the IQ Diamond is a unique product that is kind, not mined, so how fitting is it that we operate from a place that was once a mining region?”
As Elaine explains, Cornwall also offers the perfect work-life balance: “Cornwall has so much to offer in terms of variety and abundance of new and exciting businesses, why would we want to be anywhere else? There are amazing restaurants and pubs, beautiful scenery and the coast is pretty much all around us… we’re living the dream! Charlestown is such a lovely spot, with amazing places to eat and drink as well as great coastal walks.
“Since no mining is necessary, IQ Diamonds are a vote for what you believe in and our mission is to develop a 100% sustainable diamond jewellery brand. We hope you will join us”