By Michelle Graff
Greenville, S.C.--Scio announced this week that a group of three investors calling themselves Heritage Gemstone Investors Inc. are providing $2.5 million in funding to the company.

The money will be used to pay down debt and invest in equipment to double the lab-grown diamond company’s current production of gem-quality diamonds, Scio said.  

Based in Greenville, Scio uses the chemical vapor deposition, or CVD, process to grow diamonds.

In an email to National Jeweler, company President and CEO Jerry McGuire said that the company’s focus is high-quality, single-crystal diamonds for the jewelry market, and for segments of the industrial diamond market that use single-crystal diamonds. “Right now, the majority of our production is targeted at the gem market and we are developing industrial applications,” he said.

He declined to disclose specifics on the company’s current production levels.

It has been a turbulent year for the financially struggling Scio Diamond Technology Corp., which is the former Apollo Diamond of Boston.

A group of dissatisfied shareholders calling themselves Save Scio successfully pushed for a leadership change, ousting board members Robert Linares, the founder of Apollo, his son-in-law Edward Adams, and Theodorus Strous. McGuire was forced out with them, only to be rehired a short time later.

RELATED CONTENT: Lab-grown diamond co. Scio brings back last CEO

McGuire said during a July conference call that the company, which has been losing money for years, could break even within six to nine months. In October, the company branched out, announcing a joint venture with Renaissance Diamonds Inc. to begin growing fancy color diamonds.

In addition to the $2.5 million in funding, Scio and Heritage Gemstone Investors (HGI) agreed on terms for a second round of funding in 2015 that will increase the company’s production capacity by up to 10 times, Scio said.

Board members Bruce Likely and Lewis Smoak also sunk more money into Scio.

HGI is based in Greenville and is comprised of Vivian Wong, William Coleman, and Dr. Sudhirkumar C. Patel.

Get the Daily News >
National Jeweler

Fine Jewelry Industry News

Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.