Diamonds are beautiful to look at and they are a must-have for any engagement or wedding, but, in addition to being pricey, they also carry with them a heavy environmental and social toll. But what if there was another way to make diamonds rather than source them from under the Earth?
UK multi-millionaire and environmentalist Dale Vince told The Guardian he plans to create diamonds “made entirely from the sky”. The entrepreneur refers to his rocks as the “world’s first zero-impact diamonds” and even claims they could help deal with pollution by capturing CO2 from the sky.
“Making diamonds from nothing more than the sky, from the air we breathe – is a magical, evocative idea — it’s modern alchemy,” said Vince. “We don’t need to mine the earth to have diamonds, we can mine the sky.”
Vince's creations are even accredited by the International Gemological Institute. The new diamonds could not come at a better time.
Ecologically and socially conscious consumers are increasingly worried about blood diamonds and the environmental and social impact of the stones. According to The Guardian, research estimates that mining diamonds could lead to the use of 1030 gallons (3,890 liters) of water and the production of more than 238 lbs (108 kg) of carbon dioxide emissions. And that's not even taking the inhumane circumstances in which blood diamonds are mined into account.
Vince on the other hand explained that his new diamonds would be created via a safe process called chemical vapor deposition. It consists of placing a “diamond seed” within a sealed chamber.
This chamber is then heated to 1472 deg. F (800 deg. C) while carrying within it carbon-rich methane gas. These carbon elements derived from the gas eventually bond with the “seed” to create a diamond.
In this process, the carbon dioxide is sourced directly from the air and the hydrogen needed to make the methane is produced by splitting rainwater molecules using a renewable energy powered electrolysis machine. It seems that every step of this diamond-creating method is eco-friendly and socially conscious.