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In laboratory-produced diamonds, pink is the new yellow.
This story first appeared in the January 14, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Gemesis, the Sarasota, Fla.-based company that makes diamonds in labs, will launch pink diamonds in the next several months. It previously sold only yellow and yellow-orange shades.
Lab-made diamonds are certified by the Gemological Institute of America. The process involves putting a piece of coal in a high-heat “pressure cooker” and a rough diamond emerges in as little as four days. The diamonds are then sold to cutters and polishers who sell them to jewelers, akin to the way mined diamonds are sold. Other companies, such as Chatham Created Diamonds & Gems and Apollo Diamond, also manufacture diamonds.
“Our business strategy is to take advantage of the fashion demand for colored diamonds,” said Steve Lux, chief executive officer of Gemesis.
The company produces a 100,000 carats a year. Gemesis recently added a 30,000-square-foot building to its headquarters in Sarasota.
“We are accelerating marketing, expanding the business and our diamond production capability,” Lux said.
The largest diamond the lab has produced is a 7-carat rough. Gemesis plans to unveil blue diamonds soon, and in four years, white diamonds, when they anticipate the supply to be low. The white diamonds they are producing will be at least 4 carats.
Lab-made diamonds cost about one-third less than mined diamonds.
Mined pink and blue diamonds are among the rarest. Ben Affleck caused a stir in 2002 when he proposed to Jennifer Lopez with a pink diamond ring from Harry Winston. Lux does not believe Gemesis’ strategy will flood the market.
The brand has tapped golfer Morgan Pressel as an ambassador of Gemesis diamonds. Last year, footwear designer Taryn Rose launched a fine jewelry collection using the company’s stones.
Gemesis sells diamonds to brands such as Pintura and Solaura.
Jewelers by and large are still not keen on using man-made diamonds. David Yurman ceo Paul Blum told WWD in July, “David has no interest in any stone that doesn’t naturally occur.”