Scio Diamond says that it’s made great progress in producing lab-grown diamonds, particularly colorless gems and bubble-gum pinks.
In an interview, Gerald McGuire, a semiconductor executive who was appointed president and CEO of the Greenville, S.C.–based company this summer, says it’s now regularly growing 3 to 5 ct. colorless rough, though he didn’t provide specifics as far as production numbers, qualities, or how it will be sold. He anticipates that the finished stones will retail for 25 percent less than comparable naturals and expects to make an announcement about sales channels “soon.”
The company is also producing fancy colored diamonds, which will be sold through its new joint venture with Renaissance Diamonds.
Scio also recently announced what McGuire calls “significant financing” for the oft-troubled company, raising $2.5 million from Heritage Gemstone Investors, a group of three local funders. The new capital will allow it to refinance a $1.5 million loan from Platinum Capital Partners, as well as possibly double production. Board members have also increased their holdings in the company.
The public company has lost money since its inception, but McGuire has predicted it will break even next year.
“Things look good,” he says of the goal. “But you never know until you get there.”