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JCK EXCLUSIVE: Gemesis to Mass-Produce Lab-Grown Colorless Diamonds

By Rob Bates, News Director
Posted on November 22, 2010
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Gemesis, the Sarasota, Fla.–based “cultured” diamond producer that has until now manufactured mostly fancy colored stones, tells JCK it has been mass producing colorless gems for the last few months and will soon bring them to the market.  

CEO and president Stephen Lux says the “created” gems are mostly over a half carat, H-color, and VS clarity. The largest stone so far is 1.11 carat.

“This is a momentous thing,” Lux says. “We can provide to the consumer a colorless diamond that is identical in every way to a mined stone except for its origin.”

Colorless diamonds grown by Gemesis shown to JCK

“We are producing thousands of carats a month,” he adds. “And we are only at the beginning of this story.”   

The “white” stones will be sold to American and Canadian consumers over the company’s soon-to-launch e-commerce website. However, Lux says the company will consider industry alliances that “make sense.”

Prices will be “all over the lot,” he says. “They will be a good value compared to the mined, but not a giveaway price.”

Colorless and yellow diamonds grown by Gemesis shown to JCK

He gave two examples: A 0.50–0.69 ct. H VVS stone might sell for $2,888 a carat. A 0.90–0.99 ct. stone of the same quality could cost $4,806 a carat. The stones will be sold both loose and in jewelry.

While the company has traditionally used the high-pressure, high-temperature process to grow its stones, the new colorless stones are being produced by the chemical vapor deposition method also used by Boston’s Apollo Diamond.

They are not primarily produced in the company’s Florida headquarters, but rather in a Southeast Asian country, says Lux.

Colorless diamonds grown by Gemesis shown to JCK

The stones will bear “Gemesis” inscriptions and will be mostly sold with reports from the International Gemological Institute. GIA scientists have said that all lab-grown diamonds are distinguishable from naturals with the proper equipment.

Lux says the industry should not fear his product and asked for trade leaders to stop labeling his stones “synthetic.”

“That creates tremendous confusion on the part of the consumer,” he says. “We are separate from moissanite, CZ, and the rest. We see ourselves as part of the industry, and hope that the trade realizes that, years from now, when there is less supply of mined stones, people are going to want these.”

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