By Michelle Graff
This 3.99-carat fancy orangy pink diamond was grown by the Riam Group and is said to be the largest man-made pink diamond in the world. The company has named the Asscher-cut stone “The Pink Rose.”
Omaha, Neb.—Altr, the lab-grown arm of the Riam Group, has created a pink diamond that’s nearly 4 carats.

Displayed at Omaha, Nebraska, retailer Borsheims over the weekend, the diamond is a 3.99-carat Asscher cut grown using the chemical vapor deposition process (CVD) and was graded by GCAL as a fancy orangy pink of VS2 clarity.

While there are larger lab-grown diamonds in the world—WD Lab Grown Diamonds announced the growth and sale of a 6-carat round white diamond earlier this year, and St. Petersburg, Russia-based New Diamond Technology has created blue diamonds as big as 10 carats—Altr President Amish said that to his knowledge, this is the biggest man-made pink in the world.

It has been more than a decade in development.

In an interview Thursday afternoon at Borsheims, Shah said back in the early aughts, he was working for diamond company Grosbard, which was attempting to grow pinks using the HPHT method. But, he said, they couldn’t get the “baby” pink shade that’s most desirable. Instead, the stones were turning out a sort of raspberry color.

In 2011, he took over Grosbard and his family, which has been in the mined diamond business for 75 years, incorporated R.A. Riam Group Inc. in New York.

The company began growing diamonds using the CVD process, but Shah said they didn’t even try to make pinks at first because the cost of the research and development wasn’t worth the potential return.

Now, with the Riam Group’s Altr brand off the ground, it is.

Altr had 10 pink lab-grown diamonds at Borsheims, and Shah said they aim to have at least 20 more for the JCK Las Vegas show.

The 3.99-carat lab-grown pink diamond, dubbed “The Pink Rose,” retails for about $110,000. (A mined pink diamond of the same size and similar color would sell for more than $1 million.)

Altr brought in its lab-grown pinks to Borsheims for the Berkshire Hathaway shareholders weekend, the annual series of events scheduled around the shareholders meeting on Saturday, during which Chairman Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger sit on a stage on the floor of CenturyLink Center and answer questions for six hours.

Save for a lull during the meeting on Saturday, shareholders crowded the 33,000-square-foot store over the weekend, some doing serious shopping while others just browsed.

In an interview on Saturday afternoon, CEO Karen Goracke, who has headed Borsheims since 2013, said while she didn’t have sales figures yet, it seemed to her to be busier than in years past.

Alongside the pink lab-grown diamonds and special inventory from other vendors—Cartier brought along two tourbillon watches that had never left its New York City flagship—Borsheims was selling a selection of items featuring a copy of the Oracle of Omaha’s signature.

His likeness also was visible all over Omaha over the weekend—on sandwich boards in front of businesses in the city’s Old Market district and on T-shirts and shoes in the CenturyLink exhibit hall, where products from various Berkshire Hathaway-owned businesses were on sale.

So, what it is like to work for a man whom so many follow with such fervor?

“He’s magical,” Goracke said, noting his genuine love for business, dedication to ethics and down to earth-style of speaking.

“He’s such a nice person. What’s most important to him is that we (Borsheims) represent the Berkshire brand well.”

And, she added, that employees are happy.

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