Aether, a luxury jewelry company, has recently created diamonds that are literally made out of thin air. By pulling carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, Aether has managed to create lab-grown diamonds (LGD) that are physically and chemically identical with those that are mined.
Since they extract 20 tons of carbon dioxide from the air for every one carat diamond sold, they manage to significantly contribute to climate change mitigation, by cancelling out more than the average American’s carbon footprint annually.
“I became instantly fascinated when I heard about this new direct-capture technology developed by a company in Switzerland that strips harmful CO2 out of the atmosphere,” said Aether CEO Ryan Shearman. “I wondered if we could take all this abundant, harmful carbon that is warming the planet and turn it into a beautiful form of carbon that warms the heart – diamonds.”
The company uses a reactor to extract carbon dioxide from the air, which is then synthesized into the hydrocarbon feedstock required for growing diamonds in a chemical vapor deposition reactor powered by clean, sustainable energy. Once the diamond crystals are fully developed, experts cut and polish the gems.
Although the company has not revealed any cost details of their revolutionary diamond-making process, they claim that the production of their gems requires only half of the energy consumption needed in the case of mined diamonds. Moreover, the 127 gallons of water that are typically used for each mined carat are unnecessary when employing Aether’s groundbreaking methods.
“We’re committed to the unprecedented modern alchemy of turning air pollution into precious stones, and committed to serving as a beacon for integrity and transparency in the diamond industry, where so many others have fallen short on that promise to consumers,” said Shearman.
According to Shearman, the goal over the next five years is to increase the production footprint to such a degree that they will remove enough carbon dioxide from the air to make the entire global diamond trade carbon neutral.
“We want to help the entire diamond industry transition to an ethical solution,” said Henry Elkus, the CEO of Helena, a company that aims to find solutions to critical societal problems and has collaborated with Aether in the production of these diamonds. “And when it comes to buying a lab-grown diamond, many customers are drawn to them for ethical reasons. But Aether is more than just ethical. It really makes the world a better place. That’s the coolest story in town.”