GACKT was Named Executive Organizer for Japan-Grown Diamond Association.
On July 1st, GACKT became the Executive Organizer for Japan-Grown Diamond Association.
■ Comment from GACKT
Q. Did you originally have any kind of connection to jewelry industry or diamonds?
About ten years ago, I owned a jewelry brand company where all the accessories were designed by me, and which even had a shop at a famous department store.
I always had an interest in diamonds so I already knew quite a lot about them. I’ve collaborated with a famous former Cartier craftsman on manufacturing, designing and selling my own diamond accessories. After that, I’ve partnered with famous foreign brands as well as domestic jewelry companies to create my own watch and jewelry brand.
Q. Were you already aware of the grown diamonds?
I was aware of their existence, but I got my hands on the real thing for the first time last year. When I met Mr. Ishida from the association, he showed me their laboratory-grown diamonds, I was shocked by their quality.
I currently live in Malaysia, but I still travel around the world to choose a place where I want to live. If I travel to different countries, I can’t be indifferent to the issues such as internal conflicts, environmental protection and natural resources.
When I saw laboratory-grown diamonds that were born with those issues in mind, to me, they looked like "crystals of human wisdom."
I understand the value of naturally acquired diamonds. Their position will remain unchanged worldwide, but there’s always at least one person who is intrigued by the new possibilities.
Q. Why did you decide to become an Executive Organizer?
The world has changed dramatically since the invention of the Internet, and all of the existing markets have shrunk. The world of music I'm in has also shrunk considerably in the last 10 years. However, many musicians are still competing with each other while sharing the music market. In the past 20 years I felt that the important thing in all this is how we’re driving the market and how to evolve it into a larger one. New categories, businesses, and content are born in the process of it’s evolution.
The music market was also originally based on business such as selling records, CDs and concert tickets, but in this era anyone can easily distribute their product. Now that the line between a professional and amateur is fading, it’s important for musicians to not only be involved in music, but also to expand into all types of industries and get results. That’s because the music is in demand in all of those industries. That's why I'm a musician, but I'm also working in movie and theatre industries, social networks, real estate, fashion, jewelry, food and nutritional supplement businesses.
By creating the new content and leading those markets there, will result in an optimal benefit for the industry in which they are in.
The same is true for the jewelery market, the revolutionary new category is laboratory-grown diamonds, leading to the search for new innovators, companies and human resources that will challenge and connect them, incorporating laboratory-grown diamonds across all the categories and genres. Creating that new market value, organizing that new market, and showing it’s value to the consumers, I think that its the right job for GACKT.
■ What are the laboratory-grown diamonds?
Laboratory-grown diamonds are the real diamonds created at clean facilities on Earth. Natural diamonds crystallize in multi-million-year periods at high-pressures and high-temperatures of the mantle deep inside the Earth, but by recreating that environment at facilities on the Earth, it’s possible to grow real diamonds.
Laboratory-grown diamonds are crystals with the same carbon structure as the natural diamonds, with the same rigidity, brilliance, and scientifically identical substances. The only difference between them is the location where they crystallized, like wild orchids and orchids grown in a greenhouse, for example.
Natural diamonds grow in the uncontrolled environments, they grow around impurities and frequently take them in, whereas laboratory-grown diamonds can grow as pure diamonds without interference from impurities and as a result, give off a more beautiful brilliance.
These laboratory-grown diamonds have become very popular in the last 4-5 years, especially in the United States. The reason is their “socially clean” reputation, in terms of environmental and human rights issues. Natural diamonds require large-scale mining operations to extract stones that are buried deep underground. This kind of operation has sometimes been ridiculed in terms of having a major impact on the global environment. Geologically, natural diamonds often have veins in places such as Africa, which include some conflict areas, therefore termed “blood diamonds”, they serve as funding sources for civil wars, and historically enforce proliferation of issues such as slavery and child labor. In recent years, Laboratory-grown diamonds have attracted attention in terms of “clean diamonds” that serve as a solution to these problems. There is a large number of growing supporters of laboratory-grown diamonds, including Hollywood stars and celebrities with a strong interest in environmental issues. One of them is Leonardo DiCaprio, who starred in the film focusing on the theme of “blood diamonds”, and invested a large amount of money into the laboratory-grown diamond enterprise. Many celebrities such as Emma Watson and Quincy Jones are already wearing jewelry made with laboratory-grown diamonds on red carpet to show that they’re environmentally friendly. Another example is, the member of British royal family Meggan Markle who wears laboratory-grown diamond jewelry, as well as Penelope Cruz who recently announced that she also designs laboratory-grown diamond jewelry.