Sergiy Barchuk for TIME
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Companies selling lab-grown diamonds often appeal to consumers’ sense of ethics and sustainability by citing the human-­rights and environmental implications of traditional diamond mining. Aether Diamonds is taking things a step further: its diamonds are made from carbon sucked from the atmosphere. Less expensive than mined diamonds but more costly than other lab-grown varieties, they’re created with carbon dioxide air-capture technology. “Ultimately, every atom of carbon that lands in that diamond was previously warming the planet,” says CEO Ryan Shearman. After eight to 12 weeks of chemical transformation (as well as cutting and polishing), they’re ready to become part of a sparkly engagement ring. Aether also uses capital from its sales to help scale up the nascent carbon-­capture industry.


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