Chatham On Synthetic Diamond: “We’re Still Working On It”

Rumors that synthetic diamonds are infiltrating the gem trade have ripped through the world's diamond centers. But the only person to announce publicly that he was producing such a line says he's still a long way from market. Tom Chatham, president of Chatham Created Gems, San Francisco, says that continued setbacks have thrown his schedule so far off that "we have no viable date for production start up." The problem, says Chatham, is that he needs large quantities of easily identifiable synthetic diamonds of whitish color and reasonable clarity grown to specific size (one carat). The Russians can't produce them yet, and can't say when they will be able to. Chatham announced his synthetic line in 1992 amid much press hoopla, culminating with an appearance on Dateline, the NBC news show, earlier this year. The delays have meant eating a certain amount of crow - which Chatham freely

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