WIRED, the popular tech-lovers’ magazine which coined the term “crowdsourcing,” just posted a piece about eco friendly products. “The best sustainable gear to save the planet,” published on their UK platform on May 2, 2021, begins with a retrospective on plastic versus newer reusable glass bottles, setting up a series of sustainable alternatives to other products, from cutlery to surfboards.
WIRED author Chris Haslam reports on Sky Diamond’s commitment to renewable energy, carbon and rainwater. Proclaimed clean technology by The Guardian last October, the company’s rough diamonds are synthesized using carbon dioxide captured directly from the atmosphere, water collected from rainfall and solar and wind-generated electricity. Once polished, they are sent to IGI for certification.
Below are eight of these lab-grown stones, each (certified) by the International Gemological Institute and with the same chemical and physical properties as mined diamonds… By using only renewable energy, carbon and rainwater, these are by far the most sustainable.
In October, 2020, Sky Diamond founder Dale Vince elaborated, explaining that he would produce the hydrogen needed to make methane by splitting rainwater molecules using a renewable energy powered electrolysis machine.
Making diamonds from nothing more than the sky, from the air we breathe – is a magical, evocative idea – it’s modern alchemy. We don’t need to mine the earth to have diamonds, we can mine the sky. – Dale Vince
The Industry At Large
Sustainability in the lab grown diamond sector is currently a work in progress. The energy required to produce them is significant and – since most are produced in areas with no hydroelectricity – the burning of fossil fuels is required. SCS Standards, an organization which has conducted audits for the Responsible Jewelry Council (RJC), has developed a sustainability certification program and some producers are pursuing that certification.
Putting on my opinion hat: When covering lab grown diamonds the mainstream media has a habit of disparaging the natural diamond trade (the articles cited above are no exception). Lab grown diamonds certainly deserve coverage. Their beauty, affordability and controlled growth conditions have undeniable appeal. The natural industry is viable as well, with socially and environmentally conscious initiatives in place and ongoing since the 1990s. More importantly, revenue from natural diamond sales sustain tens of millions of people in some of the world’s most remote areas. Summarized, it’s positive for our industry that lab grown and natural diamonds both have distinct value propositions for end consumers to consider.