GACKT Official news update. Translation below:
GACKT has been appointed as the Executive Organiser of the Japan Grown Diamond Association as of 1 July.
■ Comment from GACKT
Q. Did you originally have any connection with diamonds and the jewellery industry?
Until about 10 years ago, I owned a jewellery accessory brand company where I made my own designs and it had a shopfront at famous department stores too.
With diamonds, I always had an interest in them from the beginning, and I learned about them on my own. I’ve even collaborated with an ex-craftsman from Cartier to produce and sell diamond accessories that I designed. After that, I’ve partnered with famous foreign brands and domestic jewellery companies to create their own watch and jewellery brands.
Q. Did you know about grown diamonds?
I knew of their existence, but it was only last year when I got to touch the real thing myself.
By chance, I happened to get acquainted with Ishida-san from the Association and when he showed me the lab-grown diamonds, I was blown away by their quality.
I’m now living in Malaysia, but even now, I’m still travelling around the world in search of a place for me to live my life. Travelling to all kinds of countries, I’m incapable of being indifferent to their problems with conflicts, environmental protection, and natural resources.
When I held a lab-grown diamond that was born from a focus surrounding those issues, it looked like a “crystal that represents the wisdom of the human race”.
I understand the value of natural diamonds. Its position is globally unshakable, but I am also a person who is fascinated by new possibilities.
Q. Why did you choose to be appointed as an executive organiser?
Ever since the advent of the internet, the world has changed drastically and all existing markets are shrinking. Even in the music industry that I’m in; its scale has shrunk a lot in the past 10 years. However, there are still many musicians who are going up against each other even as they share this market.
I’ve come to feel that in these next 20 years, what’s important is how someone drives the market and how the existing market evolves to grow bigger in all of this. What comes about from this process of this evolution are new categories, businesses, and content.
The music market was originally dominated by business from records and CDs, concerts, but it is now an era where anyone can easily stream and distribute. These days, the difference between pros and amateurs have disappeared, and musicians cannot only live within the box of music. They need to progress out of all genres to produce results. Because in their everything exists music needs.
While I’m also a musician, there’s a reason why I’ve dipped my toes into movies and stage plays, and furthermore, from SNS to property, fashion, jewellery, food and even the supplements business.
By creating and leading new content and markets, this will, as a result, go on to enrich the industries that these are linked to.
I think that it’s the same for the jewellery market too and the content of this new category killer is the lab-grown diamonds. I believe that it is the role of GACKT to find businesses and talents that will become new innovators and challengers, to bring them together and create new market value for lab-grown diamonds which transcend all categories, to organise a new market, and to show consumers this value.
■ What are lab-grown diamonds?
Laboratory-grown diamonds are real diamonds that were created in a clean facility on earth. Natural diamonds take millions of years to form deep in the earth’s mantle under high-heat and high-pressure conditions, but by reproducing this environment on earth, these millions of years are miraculously condensed into mere days, making it possible to grow real diamonds.
Laboratory-grown diamonds are made of the exact same carbon as natural diamonds with the exact same hardness and shine; it is scientifically the same substance. The only difference is the place that it was grown, like how wild orchids compare to orchids grown in a greenhouse.
Also, while natural diamonds grow in external environments, in most cases, they take in and absorb the impurities present around them. But with laboratory-grown diamonds, it is possible to grown pure diamonds devoid of these impurities and a characteristic of it is the beautiful glow that it emits.
In the past 4 to 5 years, these laboratory-grown diamonds have become exceptionally popular in America. The reason for this is because it is a socially clean diamond with considerations towards environmental issues and human rights issues. With natural diamonds, extracting the raw stones that are buried deep underground requires large-scale mining operations. This is at times considered to have a significant impact on the world’s environment. In addition, natural diamonds are often geologically found in places like Africa where veins are plentiful. In areas where political situations are unstable, these are called blood diamonds as they end up turning into a source of funding for civil war. At the same time, it has historically suffered problems such as slavery and child labour.
Laboratory-grown diamonds have recently attracted attention as clean diamonds that solve these problems. This is especially so with the growing supporters of laboratory-grown diamonds, particularly among Hollywood stars and celebrities with a strong interest in environmental issues like Leonardo DiCaprio, who starred in a film about blood diamonds and has recently stirred talk about having heavily invested in a laboratory-grown diamond company. In addition, celebrities such as Emma Watson and Quincy Jones wear jewellery made with laboratory-grown diamonds on the red carpet to show that they are environmentally conscious. In recent times, it has also been said that Meghan Markle, a member of the British royal family, wears laboratory-grown diamond jewellery, while Penelope Cruz has announced that she is designing laboratory-grown diamond jewellery.
Translation: GACKT ITALIA Team
Translation © GACKT ITALIA