Next-level lab-grown: Here’s the world’s first diamond produced with carbon-capture technology
Jewellery designer Cornelia Webb takes us through the process from CO2 to carat.
By JOHAN MAGNUSSON
November 01, 2023
The clearer a diamond is, the more valuable it is according to the norm. So, why not implement that in the whole process and industry? According to Cornelia Webb, founder of her namesake brand creating objects and jewellery, it’s about time for more honesty and transparency in the industry. This week, she launches The Rarest Thing, offering a climate-positive option for diamonds in the entire Made-to-order range of wedding rings.
— We want to question what luxury is perceived as today. It’s the first chapter of a bigger shift that we are doing outside of the industry-set calendar. We have developed an exquisite range of rings to hold something very special — the world’s first carbon-negative diamond with a positive impact on the planet. It’s the world’s first B-corp certified diamond and we act as a facilitator and channel by introducing it to the Swedish market. It’s time to rewrite the values of a diamond to fit a more ethical and modern world.
Webb explains that she has followed the lab diamond industry for a long time in search of a more ethical option to mined gems.
— I’ve done a vast amount of thorough research, she says. The lab stones available did not hold a high enough level when it came to sustainability. Then, almost exactly a year ago, this diamond created with carbon capture technology was mentioned in both a sustainable report as well as in the New York Times. I reached out to them immediately and have been working on this launch since.
Aether is a New York-based company producing its diamonds using carbon capture technology (CCS) by capturing CO2 from the atmosphere in the Swiss Alps. They have been mentioned as one of the 10 most innovative companies in the world and called The Tesla of diamonds by Forbes.
Can you share the calculation behind you stating that these diamonds have a positive impact on the environment?
— The energy used to power their creations is from sustainable sources and therefore neutral, says Webb. For every carat of diamond, Aether then commits to removing 20 metric tonnes of air pollution from the atmosphere via their combined air capture and carbon sequestration efforts. Every ounce of carbon impact from shipping and logistics is also offset with additional carbon credits. A diamond of 1 carat effectively offsets 1.25 years of a customer’s carbon footprint.
What has been the most difficult in the process?
— The most difficult has actually been the same as the easiest in this case. Redirecting the company and focusing on sustainable profitability and a new horizon in the future can mean steering away from profit here and now. Navigating through that has been the most difficult in this journey but it has come easy as it has been aligned with my core values. On the same note, to redefine luxury jewellery, we will be circling back to Scandinavian stones very soon. We will also be launching a wider range of home jewellery and this time from Skultuna, home to Swedish brass craft, says Webb. She adds:
— And this is not a one-shot. These diamonds will be a part of our core offering from now on and we will continue to spread the brilliant and important work put in behind them by very dedicated visionaries. They (Aether, Ed’s note) are the best there is in the world and nobody is even seeing anything that can measure up to them in the near future.