Lily Cole in the Sky With Diamonds


LONDON – Lily Cole has teamed with Skydiamond on a collection of jewelry featuring the British firm’s lab-grown rocks, which are made from captured carbon, harvested rainwater and wind power. 

Cole, who began her career on the runway and who has become an author and green campaigner, has named the collection Gaia, after the ancient Greek goddess and Earth force. It will launch on Tuesday.

The necklaces, ring, body chain and earrings all feature a globe-like pendant made from 18-karat recycled gold that looks as if it’s been cracked in half. Inside is a marquise cut, claw-set Skydiamond mounted upside-down against black rhodium plating.  

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Lily Cole wearing the body chain from her new collection with Skydiamond.

Cole said she drew inspiration from the work of Swedish artist Hilma af Klint. “I wanted to set the stones upside down to reflect the geometry of Hilma’s work, and also to suggest the ancient Hermetic concept ‘as above so below, as within so without,’” she said. 

The black rhodium is meant to symbolize the black of carbon, and to highlight the light of the diamond, Cole added. 

She said her favorite piece is the body chain. “I love how the piece hugs the body, and the eyes wink at you. I think the jewelry works well with a minimalist wardrobe aesthetic so the eye can shine,” Cole said.

Prices range from 900 pounds for the chain ring to 6,000 pounds for the body chain. The collection will be sold on skydiamond.com.

Cole, who has also become an ambassador for the brand, said she was eager to work with Dale Vince, the eco-entrepreneur who founded Skydiamond. Vince also runs the renewable energy firm Ecotricity, part of his wider, Gloucestershire, England-based Green Britain Group.

The group says its aim is to combat the climate crisis by offering “alternative approaches” in industries that significantly contribute to atmospheric carbon. It focuses on three areas: energy, transport and food. 

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A closeup of the pendant designed by Lily Cole for Skydiamond.

Franco Guidi Photography

Vince describes his diamonds as the product of modern alchemy. 

“I was looking for ways not just to capture carbon from the atmosphere, but to hold it in a permanent way. It’s also a chance to show people there is another way, a better choice than land-mining, without compromise,” he said.

Skydiamond describes itself as the first and only producer of “negative-emission” rough diamonds. Its factory, located in the English Cotswolds, is powered by solar and wind turbines.

In the past Skydiamond has collaborated with Stephen Webster and Bleue Burnham for Gucci Vault, and has sold collections at Selfridges, The rocks went on show at Selfridges’ four-week “Supermarket” future concept store in 2022, and later that year when the store created a sustainable Corner Shop.

Cole met Vince through the late Vivienne Westwood. “Vivienne introduced us at an event, telling me she respected his work. I later interviewed Dale when researching my book, ‘Who Cares Wins’ because of his work in the renewable energy space with Ecotricity,” she said.

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Lily Cole wearing earrings from her collaboration with Skydiamond.

She described the work of Vince and Skydiamond “as an incredible example of the ‘wizard’ approach to environmentalism, focusing on innovation rather than abstention or behavior change. Can businesses contribute solutions, rather than perpetuate problems? These are the questions Dale sought to ask and answer in founding Skydiamond,” Cole said.



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