Positive Luxury Positive Luxury
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: New York, NY
Wednesday, May 31, 2023


Butterfly Mark certified Limelight Diamonds, founded and based in India, is leading the way with the creation of lab grown CVD diamonds. In this interview Managing Director & Founder Pooja Sheth, reveals the origins of the brand, plus we take a deep dive into the finer details of the CVD creation process and all the intricacies and considerations of lab grown diamonds. 

Alongside pursuing this innovative way of creating diamonds and jewellery, the brand has been implementing changes to their business practices in order to have less impact on the environment – such as the adoption of alternative materials, recycling of jewellery, solar energy at their CVD growing facilities and more. 

. . . 

Hi Pooja! Congratulations on recently becoming Butterfly Mark certified. Can you tell us about Limelight Lab Grown Diamonds and how it all began?

I was away from India for almost 8 years. I graduated from the London School of Economics, studied at Harvard Business School, pursued an MSc in Finance at Imperial Business School and then worked as an investment banker at Barclays, London. However, I always had the aspiration to be an entrepreneur – and build a category that could focus on bringing the “India” story to the limelight. With that thought, Limelight Diamonds was founded in 2019 to create a luxury niche in the world for lab-grown CVD diamonds from India. On one of my trips back home, I got a chance to visit the deep-tech labs of the Bhathwari Group in Surat, producing the finest quality diamonds at a very large scale. I was overwhelmed and inspired with the level of automation and efficiency of this cutting-edge technology that managed to establish the Group as one of the pioneers of the lab-grown CVD diamond industry. I felt an immense sense of pride to see how our country is progressing and I knew this was a story that needed to be the talk of the town. The decision to move back and build a brand around this product was a natural progression. Thus, I founded Limelight Lab-Grown Diamonds with the vision to be India’s first and most responsibly managed CVD diamond-studded jewellery brand – and create a luxury niche for lab-grown CVD diamond jewellery worldwide. Inspiring, beautiful, and totally couture, yet with less impact through lab-grown diamond jewellery.

In the last four years Limelight has managed to create strong waves in the gem and jewellery industry by building a differentiated product category in the class of luxury consumer goods. As one of the largest brands offering lab-grown CVD diamonds, Limelight’s efforts of bringing the true representation of these diamonds through education and promotion have been applauded, including support from the Royal families of India – who have been the prime custodians of the purest diamonds in the past too.

Why have you decided to go down the CVD lab grown route for creating diamonds over traditional methods? 

There is a lot of misconceptions about lab-grown diamonds being addressed as imitations or simulants, but this is incorrect. Actual imitations like cubic zirconia or synthetic moissanite — which only look like diamond — have very different chemical and physical properties which can be easily differentiated from the natural ones by a gemmologist. Lab grown diamonds (LGDs) are created in the lab with an artificial setting that replicates the natural diamonds found below the earth’s surface. There are two growing methods to produce LGDs, Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD) and High-Pressure High Temperature (HPHT). Initially, HPHT was the traditional diamond growth method. With the newer advancements, CVD process was introduced which produces type IIA diamonds, rare and purest quality as certified by all diamond grading laboratories. 

Studies and reports by the BBC and Times of India claim that one carat of a lab grown diamond can save up to 250 tonnes of land and 109 gallons (almost 500 litres) of water simply due to no mining. LGDs, a technology driven product, certainly seem to have an advantage in terms of reduced environmental and social damage that is usually associated with mining diamonds. They are 100% real and have less environmental impact and less human rights risks, so are more affordable than natural diamonds too. 

Can you tell us how your CVD lab grown diamonds are made?

Chemical Vapor Deposition exactly replicates the diamond creation process which occurs below the surface of the earth. Lab grown diamonds are molecularly identical to mined diamonds and grow in different sizes and qualities, therefore they have the same 4C’s too – same cut, colour, clarity and carat. 

It all begins with a natural diamond seed. The seed is placed in the CVD plasma chamber and an intense environment of temperature and pressure is created just like that found under the earth. Gases are infused and together with the right combination of pressure and temperature conditions, carbon formations develop into rough diamonds. Therefore, CVD method produces type IIA quality diamonds – the purest type of diamonds – which is a rarity to find even in natural diamonds.  

CVD diamonds are not only real diamonds grown in the lab but are also, in my opinion, superior in quality than mined diamonds. This is mainly because all CVD diamonds are nitrogen free (certified as Type IIA diamonds). Because of no nitrogen, these diamonds have a far better shine, lustre and sparkle.

What are the benefits of CVD method as opposed to others for both for your business and for the planet? 

If I were to list a few, the following would be: 

  • CVD technology produces the world’s purest diamonds CVD diamonds are more affordable than natural diamonds 
  • There is no mining involved 

Additionally consumers, especially millennials, are consciously making buying decisions based on the baggage of social impact closely tied with the impact on the planet. Consumer tastes and preferences in jewellery are changing rapidly in India too: more ethical and responsible sourcing is beginning to play an important role in every consumer’s purchase decision. Consumers are remaining extremely brand conscious, supporting brands not just for the product itself but also the philosophies and values that the brand carries.

Looking forward, what is your immediate focus for creating positive change in the jewellery industry?

Being a lab grown diamond grower with an innovative product is itself a progressive step towards increased visibility of our production, giving us a better understanding and management of our environment impacts. 

By earning the Butterfly Mark certification, we are embarking on a new chapter to profess our sustainability commitments through our actions. With this achievement, our consumers build more trust towards us, and this helps us to attract more conscious consumers.  

Our focus is on expansion, product launches, acquisitions, and other strategies to increase our market penetration and strengthen our position in the industry. We want to create more abundant awareness and educate customers on the environment implications of their jewellery choices. With our new certificate verifying high ESG standards, we will be able to empower consumers to make informed buying decisions and support companies on their sustainability journey. We believe in being transparent and confident in talking about our products and processes, which it is critical to be communicated well to our consumers. Lab grown diamonds are growing in popularity with the younger socially conscious consumer also, and we are proactively working towards increasing meeting their demand.

You just opened a new store, how important do you feel it is to have a physical retail space in this digital forward world?

The concept of physical stores and real-world retail experiences plays a vital role. With the opening of a retail store, our focus is not solely on goods and one-dimensional transactions but give a better experience of our jewellery. Having a personalised store helps us to connect with our desired customers on a personal level and increases customer rapport. With the retail space, we have the advantage to showcase a variety of products at the counter and customers can also adore the designs, feel and try them, before the purchase. Diamonds are very precious, and any customer would want to see the beauty in real life before making the buying decision.  

Our ethos of providing the most luxurious shopping experience we can finds expression in its thoughtfully created retail ambience. In addition to that, the brand’s customer services include design customisation, Enterprise Management Incentives, lifetime buyback and a 100% exchange guarantee instil further trust and confidence in the consumers visiting the store. It is a critical step to build a trust with your customers and with the right product innovation and store experience, it is achievable.  

Why was it important for Limelight to seek third party verification for your sustainability actions and performance?

The planet is witnessing the harmful effects of climate change, more so now than ever. The pandemic has become an eye-opener for many organisations in terms of understanding what they contribute to society and the environment, and it has led them to recognise the fact that sustainability is not just the need of the hour, but the fundamental starting principle under which companies must operate. As India’s largest CVD diamond jewellery brand on its sustainability journey, we at Limelight Diamonds are constantly working hard towards staying true to our core philosophy of establishing a luxury niche that is not built at the cost of our planet or our people. This recognition only further motivates us to continue at our future endeavours ESG+ certification allows customers to identify companies who are socially responsible towards the environment and the world in whole and demonstrate transparent business ethics. It was indeed an important factor to receive a third-party verification to signify our commitments. We are consciously doing our bit and wanted that significant third-party recognition to verify our actions.

Finally, how has working with Positive Luxury and earning Butterfly Mark certification changed or informed your approach to your sustainability journey?

At the heart of it, Positive Luxury looks at the effects that global brands have on people and the environment. It was an overwhelmingly positive experience we shared with Positive Luxury! We have gone through a rigorous assessment to demonstrate our contributions towards environmental preservation and social well-being. ESG+ assessment was an intense process and was completed using an intuitive yet detailed framework that considers over 150 factors across 75 categories, tailored to the specific impacts of the luxury industry, from climate, waste, and carbon management to animal welfare, biodiversity, and circular economy. 

The Butterfly Mark has given us an edge which proves our work towards sustainability practices. We feel grateful and privileged for this significant achievement. By choosing more responsible practices and using LGDs, we’re helping to reduce our impact on the environment. We are doing our best in developing newer practices to be able to make a tangible difference. With the help of Positive Luxury, we have been doing a lot more demonstrable progress on our sustainability commitments and recognised various factors which can be enhanced. We started implementing several changes in our business practices such as adoption of alternative materials and recycling of jewellery, zero plastic-based packaging from recycled papers, solar energy at our CVD growing facilities and even ensuring our office premises are all operating on green power. All these factors also contribute to the communities to make a positive impact on both people and planet. 

As we always say at Limelight, diamonds are very special for us and now, we have the power to preserve its legacy yet help protect our planet and progress towards a brighter future for all.  


< Back

About Positive Luxury

 Since 2011 Positive Luxury has been accelerating organizations' adaptation to the new climate economy, keeping clients ahead of cultural and economic shifts. The company's unique four-part methodology is the only ESG assessment and certification program designed specifically for the luxury industry and incorporates a particular focus on innovation. Visit: www.positiveluxury.com and follow @Positiveluxury  

 Rejecting the traditional model rating past performance, Positive Luxury provides clients with precise gap analysis and the ability to identify and address current and future sustainability risks and diagnostics. In addition, the Connected Butterfly Mark communication tool also helps them leverage areas of strength and opportunities for competitive advantage.

 Companies that meet Positive Luxury's exacting standards for certification are approved for the Butterfly Mark, a globally respected trust mark, independently verified, signaling that companies meet the highest standard of sustainability best practice across ESG+: environmental, social, governance and innovation. With a growing community of nearly 200 luxury companies, Positive Luxury has created a community of brands, retailers, and suppliers taking tangible action – measuring, managing, and reporting their ESG impact.


Diana Verde Nieto, Co-founder, and Co-CEO of Positive Luxury 

Diana Verde Nieto is the Co-founder and Co-CEO of Positive Luxury, a pioneer in ESG, and a globally recognized figure in sustainability. Diana holds a degree in Global Leadership & Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School, was trained by Former USA Vice President Al Gore at the Alliance of Climate Protection and was subsequently honored by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader. In addition, Diana sits on various boards, including BA&SH and Grass Roots Soccer, an adolescent health organization that leverages the power of soccer to educate, inspire, and mobilize youth in developing countries.

"Consumers, employees, and the investment community demand transparency and accountability from brands, and our new Connected Butterfly Mark answer to that. From a single source of truth, people can easily access an unparalleled depth of verified ESG+ verified performance data, including a brand's sustainability journey, clearly stating their actions and ambition. This level of disclosure raises the bar for Luxury and beyond." Diana Verde Nieto, Co-Founder, and Co-CEO of Positive Luxury


Amy Nelson-Bennett, Co-CEO

Amy Nelson-Bennett brings 25 years of global experience across business transformation, brand and commercial strategy, and digital commerce and communications gained across media, retail, and luxury goods. Most recently, she led the successful turnaround of Molton Brown as CEO & President and joined the PE-backed Clive Christian Group to modernize the brand and operations and deliver rapid growth. Amy is responsible for the strategic direction of Positive Luxury, brand and commercial strategy, and day-to-day business operations. By championing a new definition of Luxury that aligns with the core principle of Luxury and sustainability, she aims to accelerate the actions of the Luxury industry and the collective positive impact it can make on nature and society. 

"Our unique four-part methodology – assessment, certification, trust-building, and future-proofing – ensures every luxury business can continuously improve its ESG performance, realize ROI and optimize sustainability as a driver of corporate value. In addition, the Connected Butterfly Mark certification sets a new public disclosure standard for certified companies and the unique value Positive Luxury provides to luxury brands, retailers, and suppliers." – Amy Nelson-Bennett, Co-CEO of Positive Luxury.

For more information, please contact: Amore Philip | Apples & Oranges Public Relations | 929-229-5512 | Admin@aoprllc.com

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Amore Philip
Title: P.R. Director
Group: Apples & Oranges Public Relations
Dateline: New York, NY United States
Direct Phone: 929-229-5512
Cell Phone: 347-683-6626
Jump To Positive Luxury Jump To Positive Luxury
Contact Click to Contact