NovaDiamond quits the HPHT gem business

NovaDiamond is leaving the HPHT gem business because the company’s leader is frustrated with what he calls underhanded practices of dealers.

“The only way people make money selling these stones is to cheat,” says David Hall, CEO, president and founder of Novatek, an industrial diamond firm and industry leader in high pressure/high temperature research and manufacturing located in Provo, Utah.

Novatek is the parent company of NovaDiamond, what used to be their gem diamond enhancement subsidiary. Last year, Novatek opened up its HPHT business to the gem trade. Novatek is now pulling out of the gem business after just a year and a half of treating light champagnes into fancy intense greenish-yellows. This is in part because they didn’t like the talk of dealers sending their enhanced stones through the major gem labs and possibly having them mistakenly identified as being of natural color.

NovaDiamond created fancy colored gem diamonds by taking natural off-color diamonds to the intense pressures and temperatures that are found deep in the earth, yielding a diamond with brilliant golden-green hues. The conditions necessary for this color transformation is the equivalent of taking the diamond to a depth of 250 miles beneath the earth’s surface. This process is achieved in a special geodynamic press, a product of 45 years of development by the chairman of Novatek, Dr. H. Tracy Hall. Dr. Hall gained fame when he became the first man ever to transform carbon into diamond while working for General Electric in December of 1954.

When NovaDiamond was introduced to the trade in 1999, Dr. Hall’s son David noted the concern by trade members that other companies may copy the NovaDiamond process and not disclose the enhancement.

At that time, Hall said, “We will do whatever we can to enforce the patents and trademarks that are granted to NovaDiamond. The diamond trade should demand that every company be as open in disclosing their processes and products as is NovaDiamond. We hope that our actions will set a new standard by which every other diamond enhancement process will be judged. We invite DeBeers, GE, the Russians, and any one else that is involved in enhancing natural diamonds to disclose their process in detail and to openly mark all enhanced diamonds by trademark, serial number and certification.”

Even with its well-intentioned efforts to have their diamonds identified as enhanced, it was not possible to police. So they have shut the doors to the gem business. “In the industrial business, High Pressure and High Temperature is recognized as the best way to get the properties desired for a particular application. In the diamond gem trade, enhancements are not yet recognized or valued, and so at least for now, it does not make for good business for anyone in the High Pressure High Temperature industry.”

Novatek is now using the NovaDiamond name for their industrial diamond division that specializes in PCD diamond for oil and gas drilling applications.

For more information on Novatek, log onto their website at www.novadiamond.com.