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|Privately held company|
|Founded||1996 (relaunched and renamed in 2013 after a 2012 buyout)|
|Founder||Carter Clarke Jr.|
|Headquarters||New York City, United States|
|Lisa Bissell, President and CEO
Jatin Mehta, company buyout purchaser
Suraj Mehta, relaunch founder/promoter (son of Jatin Mehta)
Gary Coleman, VP of sales
Gemesis Inc., now known as Pure Grown Diamonds, is a privately held company located in New York City. The corporation grows synthetic diamonds using proprietary technology. Gemesis has the world's largest facilities for both the high-pressure high-temperature (HPHT) and chemical vapor deposition (CVD) diamond production methods. Using these methods, Gemesis has produced high-quality colorless and fancy color diamonds that have been offered for sale at 20–30% lower prices than mined natural diamonds of similar quality (and, from some suppliers, lower prices than that). Gemesis is the principal producer of gem-quality lab-created diamonds and jewelry. The company was renamed as Pure Grown Diamonds in June 2014.
Gemesis started marketing its diamonds by cutting and polishing them and then selling them to jewelry retailers on the wholesale market. In 2012, the company began also selling polished diamonds and diamond jewelry directly to consumers through its website.
In the company's HPHT diamond-growing method, carbon, in graphite form, is placed in a cylindrical "core". A tiny seed diamond is placed at the bottom of the cylinder. The graphite is subjected to extreme pressure, 850,000 lbf/in² (5.9 GPa) and temperature, 3000 °F (1600 °C) for four days. During the period, the carbon atoms within the molten metal crystallize on top of the seed diamond. A yellow gem quality diamond up to 3 carats (600 mg) in size grows inside the resolidified metal cylinder. The metal cylinder is then dissolved in mild acid and the diamond crystal is extracted.
With the addition or elimination of certain impurities under controlled conditions, diamonds of various color can be produced. Since nitrogen is abundant in the atmosphere, the HPHT process is more likely to produce bright yellow diamonds than any other color (although natural yellow diamonds often have higher value than white diamonds). The yellow tint occurs when approximately five out of each 100,000 carbon atoms in the diamond crystal lattice are replaced with nitrogen atoms.
Available in the purest Type IIa colorless and rare fancy yellow colors, the company's diamonds have the same cut, color and clarity, as well as identical chemical, optical and physical characteristics as the highest-quality mined diamonds.
The company was founded in 1996 by Carter Clarke, a retired United States Army brigadier general. In 2006, Stephen D. Lux became its chief executive officer. Lux had substantial prior experience in the diamond industry.
In May 2012, the news emerged that a parcel of 600 unmarked synthetic diamonds had been submitted by a buyer to the International Gemological Institute diamond certifying agency for evaluation without any accompanying disclosure that they were synthetic. The DTC Diamond Research Center issued an alert and said the undisclosed synthetics were "strikingly similar" in their characteristics to Gemesis diamonds, and a trade journal said the synthetics and Gemesis diamonds had "identical characteristics" and "had the specific Gemesis fingerprint". The diamonds had been grown by CVD and then treated by HPHT, and thus their production required both technologies. It was noted that all of the stones in the parcel were synthetics – there was no mixing to hide synthetic stones among natural ones. The buyer of the parcel said the 600 diamonds were only a sampling from a collection that was four or five times larger. The invoices for the diamonds were traced to a company called Su-Raj Diamonds and Jewelry USA in New York that was co-owned by Jatin Mehta, the majority owner of Gemesis, along with a junior partner named Ashok Bhansali. The same company was reported to house the central inventory of diamonds for Gemesis itself. Stephen Lux responded to the reports by saying "Gemesis can assure the industry with 100 percent certainty that it has not been involved in selling its diamonds as mined, and the undisclosed diamonds referenced in the DTC and IGI alerts are not Gemesis diamonds." Jatin Mehta then reportedly suggested it was possible that Bhansali "had misappropriated stocks held previously by the partnership" or that "some people who had left Gemesis … might have stolen our technology and are thus producing our typical Gemesis characteristic goods", and showed that that Su-Raj parent company (a large publicly listed company based in India) had taken some steps to sever its ties with its New York subsidiary (although the degree to which the separation had taken effect was unclear).
In December 2012, Stephen Lux resigned from his position as the company's CEO. Lux said that internal issues at the company and "distractions" (speculated to include the reports of undisclosed synthetic diamonds) had recently made it difficult for him to focus on his goals for building the business.
Gemesis created the world's largest lab-created diamond in April 2013, broke that record in November 2013, and then broke the record again in July 2014. The first was a 1.29 carat emerald cut, the second was a princess cut at 1.78 carat, and the third was a 3 carat round brilliant white Type IIa diamond.
The company highlights several advantages of its diamonds over those produced by natural processes:
- Lower prices
- Alleviating concerns about the environmental impact of mining
- Alleviating concerns related to the potential purchase of "conflict" or "blood" diamonds
Diamonds over 0.23 carats sold via Gemesis.com are laser inscribed to identify their origin and are certified by industry authorities such as the International Gemological Institute.
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