Yet another company plans to start producing colorless, lab-grown synthetic diamonds—except this one claims its stones are bigger and of better quality than others on the market.
Washington Diamonds Corp. says that, thanks to a licensing agreement for CVD technology from the Carnegie Institute of Washington, it will begin producing “a few thousand” 1 ct. lab-grown diamonds a year, or about 150 a month, beginning in 2013. The stones will range from G to I color, and SI clarity.
The company, said to be based “outside Washington D.C.,” hasn’t decided how to sell the stones yet, but is looking at Internet distribution, much like Gemesis, another company in this sector. The stones will be sold for about 20 to 25 percent less than comparable naturals.
“We are going to be fully disclosed,” says company president Clive Hill, who is the former CEO of English jewelry chain Fraser Hill. “The stones will be inscribed, and fully certed from the American Gem Society.”
The biggest stone the company has been able to produce is a 2.3 ct. diamond. The stone was graded J SI by AGS.
Washington Diamonds’ 2.3 ct. diamond
Hill says his company will differ from other companies in the sphere because they “actually have the goods to sell.”
Hill would not comment if the stones are also HPHT-treated, as other CVD-grown colorless gems have been found to be. “I don’t really want to go into the process,” he says.
He notes one possible selling point in the gems is that they are “made in America.”
“Some people will care that they are made in America, some will care that they are ‘conflict-free,’” he says. “We are going to be responsible about how we market these. We could be a disruptive technology and we don’t wish to be.”
The company’s CEO, Uzi Breier, has a background in semiconductors. But he says the company for now is focusing on the gem trade. “We do want to have two pillars,” he says. “Long-term, we are looking at industrial materials.”