Santa Clara-based startup Diamond Foundry says it can grow real diamonds in a lab in just two weeks. The company’s claims have led to some major investment dollars from tech companies, venture capitalists, and actor Leonardo DiCaprio.
The actor, along with 10 billionaires, have invested in the company, which claims it can create diamond’s weighing up to nine carats each.
On the company’s website, it claims to start with a real seed crystal (which allows for the creation of real diamonds instead of synthetic diamonds). Using super-heated plasma, they build more atoms onto the seed, layer by layer a diamond starts to form.
The gems are grown in chemical reactors that can reach an incredible 8,000 degrees Celsius (more than 14,000 degrees Fahreneit). That’s hotter than the 5,600 degrees Celsius found on the surface of the sun (the sun’s surface is much cooler than its core which can reach temps of 15,000,000 Celsius).
Here’s what a diamond developed by Diamond Foundry looks like:
The result of the company’s process is that it can create diamonds that are as pure as natural ones, the company claims, “But ethically and morally pure as well.”
If you think the mass production of these diamonds are going to lower prices, you are wrong. For now the company says the diamond’s could actually be more costly to manufacturer. On the other hand, it allows them to cut out diamonds middlemen like DaBeers and Tiffany’s.
If nothing else, this process could eliminate the need for diamonds mining, which often relies on immoral labor practices, such as using children and slave labor to obtain the precious stones.