November 21, 2003
Gemesis Diamonds at Retailers
Lab-grown intense and vivid yellow diamonds, created in the U.S. using HPHT technology, entered jewelry stores this fall. Gemesis Corp., Lakewood Ranch, FL, grows the stones. The company says it is concentrating on getting yellow stones to market to capitalize on the interest in fancy-color diamonds among consumers. Among the first to sell the synthetics are jewelers in Sarasota, FL; Toledo and Cleveland, OH; and Scottsdale, AZ.
Gemesis expects stores to start selling specially designed jewelry using the stones for the
Christmas season. The company plans to have eight jewelry stores selling them by the end of the year, Carlos Valeiras, Gemesis president, told a local newspaper. The synthetics are clearly disclosed by retailers and are marked as man-made, according to company officials. Larger stones are certified by EGL-USA.
Speaking at the Rapaport Diamond Conference in October, Gemesis company founder Carter Clarke said his company planned to produce 7,000 carats a year. To date, he said Gemesis has 24 operational diamond presses producing 200 stones per month in the range of 3 carats in rough each. Clarke stressed consumer prices for the synthetic yellows would fall well below prices for natural intense and vivid yellow diamonds, while being above simulated stones such as cubic zirconia and moissanite.
In a CNBC online poll conduct this fall, 71% of consumers said they would accept synthetic diamonds as an alternative to the real thing. Clarke said that in the month following intense press coverage of synthetic diamonds in September, his company had 4,000 inquiries from the general public about the synthetic diamond process.
Clarke says Gemesis is now working on producing blue synthetic diamonds, with pink, red and purple stones to follow. He hopes to have results on the blue synthetics by late 2004.
by Robert Weldon, G.G.