Gemesis lab-grown diamond site goes live
New York--More than a year after announcing plans to sell lab-grown white and colored diamonds to consumers online, the new Gemesis.com has gone live.
On Monday, Gemesis distributed an email announcing the launch of the site, which sells bridal jewelry and loose diamonds as well as fashion pieces. The site also contains an area for custom jewelry design and a Gemesis blog.
News of Gemesis--which once had a large manufacturing facility in Sarasota, Fla. and sold only lab-grown colored diamonds through retailers--shifting to e-commerce and adding lab-grown whites to its inventory first surfaced in November 2010.
At that time, the company said its e-commerce site would be up and running in early 2011. In a follow-up interview conducted by National Jeweler in early May, Gemesis President and CEO Stephen Lux said the site would be operational by the end of the second quarter or early third quarter 2011.
“Yes, there’s been a shift in the timeline. It’s taken us longer to get the right consumer experience that we want to create in terms of bringing it to the public. This just isn’t about rushing to market and getting something out there,” Lux said at the time.
While lab-grown colored diamonds in varying sizes have been available for a number of years, it wasn’t until recently that companies such as Gemesis and Apollo Diamond have been able to grow white diamonds, which are created using a process called chemical vapor deposition (CVD), that are bigger than one carat. May 2010 marked the Gemological Institute of America’s first identification of a CVD-grown diamond that was larger than a carat.
When Lux announced the launch of Gemesis.com in November 2010, he said that the bulk of the white diamonds the company was producing were between a half- and three-quarter carats, though the goal was to reach 1.25 carats.
Lux also said at the time that the lab-grown diamonds would be priced at about 20 percent less than comparable mined stones being sold on Blue Nile, though Blue Nile since has been forced to raise its prices.
As of Thursday afternoon, the largest white stone on Gemesis.com was a 1.24-carat princess-cut diamond, J color, VS1 with very good cut graded by the International Gemological Institute (IGI) and priced at $3,494.82.
A slightly larger (1.35-carat) princess cut stone with a Gemological Institute of America grading report and the same cut, color and clarity on Blue Nile was listed at $5,889, a price difference of 41 percent.