Lab-grown diamonds

© Written by Rachael Taylor for VO+

Lab-grown diamonds have been in production since the 1950s, used commercially for weapons and machinery, yet only now are these man-made gemstones starting to gain traction in the consumer jewellery market, with the US taking the lead. While the traditional jewellery industry finds itself confused by their arrival, tech companies in Silicon Valley like Diamond Foundry are throwing money and influence at these alternative diamonds.

While they have never been near a pit, these gems should not be confused with synthetic stones. Made in labs using technology that mimics the same geological pressures that create diamonds beneath the earth’s surface, they are nearly gemmologically identical to mined diamonds. The retail price, though, is 30% less.

Within Diamond Foundry’s headquarters in California, it uses proprietary technology to grow diamonds up to 9cts in size within weeks, and has an annual production capability of 24,000cts. The company was started in 2012 by Martin Roscheisen, founder of the solar power company Nanosolar, and engineers Jeremy Scholz and Kyle Gazay. In November 2015, it officially launched with an initial batch of 160 diamonds that sold out in two weeks…

This interview with Diamond Foundry chief executive Martin Roscheisen was originally written for the Fall 2017 issue of VO+ (starts page 224). Continue reading to see layouts.

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