By Michelle Graff

Morrisville, N.C.--The companies that grow, distribute and sell lab-grown diamonds now have an organization of their own.

According to an announcement circulated Thursday morning, more than 10 lab-grown diamond producers, distributors and retailers have come together to launch the International Grown Diamond Association (IGDA), the first industry association for lab-grown diamonds.

The purpose of the not-for-profit organization is to “represent the grown diamond industry, promote grown diamonds as a new choice in diamonds and educate about various unique qualities and applications of grown diamonds.”

It will also ensure that lab-grown diamonds are presented in a “fair and technically correct manner across geographies, commercial and consumer verticals.”

The formation of the IGDA comes about six months after the world’s largest diamond mining companies came together to create the Diamond Producers Association, with the goal of stimulating consumer demand for mined diamonds.

Among the IGDA’s founding members are Scio, Pure Grown Diamonds (formerly Gemesis), the Diamond Foundry--the California-based startup that counts Blood Diamond actor Leonardo DiCaprio among its backers--and Tom Chatham’s company, Chatham Created Gems & Diamonds.

There’s also Microwave Enterprises, a manufacturer of equipment used for growing diamonds, with a focus on the industrial end of the market.

The organization’s website,, lists a total of 11 founding members. Conspicuously missing from the list is Element Six, the De Beers subsidiary that grows diamonds for industrial purposes and is one of, if not the, largest grower of diamonds in the world.

Neither Element Six nor the IGDA responded to inquires about Element Six’s apparent absence from the organization by press time.

Heading the IGDA as its first president is Vishal Mehta, the CEO of IIa Technologies (Singapore), the sister company of and supplier to Pure Grown Diamonds.

IIa Technologies also is the company currently facing legal action in Singapore from Element Six. Element Six is suing IIa Technologies, claiming the company infringed on its diamond-grown patents, charges IIa has denied.

Richard Garard, CEO of Microwave Enterprises (US), is the IGDA’s secretary general.

The organization, which already has a presence on Twitter, was formed in the United States.

According to its website, its registered address is 800 Aviation Pkwy. in Morrisville, N.C., about half a mile from another well-known maker of gems, Charles & Colvard.

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