Gemesis Man Made Diamonds

Diamonds are the hardest substance occurring naturally on Earth. Their luster and brilliance and durability have long been a staple of the jewelry industry, but they also have applications in technology. Scientist and researchers have been attempting to “grow” diamonds for these uses for decades. One of the newest and most recent successes to hit the market are Gemesis man made diamonds.

The creation of synthetic diamonds requires one of two processes: high pressure, high temperature (HPHT); or chemical vapor deposition (CVD). Apollo Diamonds, a competitor of Gemesis produces synthetic diamonds via CVD. The Gemesis Corporation, a privately-held company founded by Carter Clarke uses HPHT.

While visiting Moscow in 1995 someone asked retired Army General and West Point graduate Carter Clarke if he wanted to buy a diamond making machine. Three months later he returned to Moscow with scientist Reza Abbaschian, and brought 3 of the machines and 3 Russian scientists back with him to company headquarters in Sarasota, Florida. After 7 years of research and development in cooperation with experts from the University of Florida, Gemesis brought high quality diamonds onto the market.

Like most of the synthetic diamond creations, the process was first intended to assist technology by finding an economical diamond substitute. Gemesis man made diamonds are created using proprietary former Soviet technology originally intended for strategic semi-conductor electronics, the type that are less susceptible to the electromagnetic pulse of nuclear blasts.

Now, instead of creating weapons, the process is used to synthesize gemstones. Carbon, in graphite form, is mixed with metal in a cylinder with a tiny seed diamond at the bottom. Both are then subjected to extreme pressure of 5.9MPa (mega pascals) at a temperature of 3000 °F (1600 °Celsius) for four days. During this period, the carbon melts and crystallizes on top of the seed diamond.

Upon cooling, a three carat (600 mg) bright yellow, gem-quality diamond is produced inside the end of the resolidified cylinder. A mild acid is used to dissolve the cylinder to allow extraction of the diamond crystal. Gemesis man made diamonds of various colors can be produced using this method, simply by adding or eliminating certain impurities under controlled conditions.

Since nitrogen is abundant in the atmosphere, yellow diamonds are more likely to be produced than any other color. An irony, because natural yellow diamonds are more rare and therefore higher in value, than white (colorless) diamonds. For example, one-carat yellow diamond from nature costs about $20,000 and a man-made one costs about $6,000.

As the company grows and launches into a much broader campaign, Gemesis man made diamonds are created in several hundred machines. While those diamonds are melting and crystallizing, Gemesis is taking a look at something new: pink and blue diamonds. Why? Because pink and blue diamonds are like the proverbial needle in a haystack of rarity in the world of gemstones.

By mass producing Gemesis man made diamonds in a color that is extremely rare in nature, Gemesis would become an economical source of a rarity. The company soon hopes to create that perfect hue of pink and to bring them out commercially.

Until mid-2005, Gemesis cut and polished its own stones, and even designed some of its own jewelry. Now, Gemesis man made diamonds are being shipped as rough stones to several self-supporting jewelry-making and diamond-trading partners. They process the rough and then design and market jewelry lines.

As beautiful as Gemesis man made diamonds, are they aren’t pure enough for the technology world. They have, however, made quite an impact on the gemstone market, and will probably continue to do so, as long as they are of high quality. Their competitors, certainly, will be watching them, as will the diamond buying consumer.

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