Aboveground diamonds are real diamonds, which, unlike their underground brethren, are a technological product based on real intellectual property and decades of expensive research and development. This means as a retailer you can get sued if you work with the wrong supplier.
Let us explain further and give some specific advice on what to watch out for.
Creating diamonds in a lab is hard. Creating diamonds that are gem sized and jewelry-grade white is even harder. Just a few years ago, people did not really know how to do this efficiently.
Many tools exist to grow brownish or greyish diamond, and people are doing this in India and other places. There is little market value of such diamond. Pioneers like Scio who never managed to get rid of the grey taint in their diamond have gone out of business.
At Diamond Foundry, one of our key technological innovations our team worked on very hard for many years was to figure out how to natively grow pristinely white and pure diamond. It ended up requiring developing proprietary new semiconductor grade tooling designed just for that purpose. It’s all our intellectual property based on a foundation of basic process patents long expired. (One of the safest way to know freedom to operate is to utilize expired patents.) By natively grown, we mean creating it without the use of high-pressure high-temperature post processing.
What many manufacturers in India etc. very commonly do is just that: produce a brownish diamond and then put it through a fast cycle of high-pressure post processing.
The latter is protected by the following U.S. patent owned by Carnegie Institution:
This U.S. patent may not apply in China or India but it does applies to the U.S. market, and it does apply to retailers who sell product using this IP.
There is even a litigator actively engaged in securing the intellectual property rights held by its owner.
The state-of-the-art in India etc. is that there is not yet the capability to natively grow white diamond of gem size in a commercially efficient way. We have not heard of any product from there yet that is not post processed. But once brought back to the United States, U.S. patents apply and as a retailer you participate in the commercial use of such IP.
Our advice to retailers:
- Beware of diamond created in India. You likely violate U.S. patent rights in selling them.
- Violating intellectual property rights is not ethical.
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