Perhaps some jewelers experienced it as a provocation, who knows. But for a couple of years in Place Vendôme in Paris, the capital of high jewelery, there has been a new Maison specializing in jewelry with laboratory-grown, that is, synthetic diamonds. The brand has an equally provocative name: Courbet. It is the name of the French painter of the nineteenth century also famous for being the author of a painting, The origin of the world, which portrays a female sex in the foreground (today it causes less scandal, but then it was a shock), Courbet, curiously , during the Paris Commune he was among the promoters of the destruction of the bronze column of Place Vendôme, considered an anti-pacifist monument (but it was later rebuilt).
The brand is headed by Manuel Mallen, who spent 20 years as a manager of Piaget and Baume & Mercier. The designer is the Swedish Marie-Ann Wachtmeister, former marketing manager in Europe for Procter & Gamble. The Courbet shop is located on the fifth floor of Cour Vendôme, just behind the square. The jewels have as their flag the label of sustainability, of an ethical product. In addition to lab grown diamonds, Courbet emphasizes the use of recycled gold. And not only from other jewels: it also uses gold present in obsolete computer and industrial material. While a very good mine produces only about 5 grams of gold per ton of ore, one ton of e-waste can contain up to 1 kilogram of yellow metal.
In short, jewelry with synthetic diamonds, a stone’s throw from the boutiques of Boucheron, Van Cleef & Arpels, Damiani, Piaget… the world is really changing.