Martin Roscheisen, CEO of Diamond Foundry speaks to Alistair Crane about aboveground diamonds and the company’s ‘world positive’ ethos.
What was the starting point for developing Diamond Foundry? How have your previous entrepreneurial successes informed the work you do now?
In my last company, Nanosolar, we worked to create sustainable energy through a low-cost printable solar cell manufacturing process. As this evolved, we realised we could use this technology to benefit so many other industries and we subsequently decided to apply it to creating aboveground or lab-grown diamonds. The goal was to take an industry which is historically known for its disregard of the environment and make it sustainable while still producing a quality luxury item.
Can you explain the technology that creates the diamonds produced by Diamond Foundry?
Our diamonds are grown in our foundries based in California and Washington state. They are formed through a proprietary plasma reactor technology where we place a slice of diamond in our reactor, and the atoms start layering on top of each other to create a unique, gem-quality diamond.
It is not an easy process creating large aboveground diamonds*, it requires a lot of capital and expertise. Today, we are able to create high-quality diamonds without the use of brute-force industrial mining. Our major point of differentiation is the fact we are the world’s first and only certified carbon neutral diamond producer.
What does sustainability mean to you?
Sustainability is a commitment to continually work to minimise carbon footprint and any negative environmental impact.
Last year Diamond Foundry was listed as one of Time magazine’s top 50 inventions of 2018. What are the company’s goals for this year?
We look forward to progressing and innovating through our technology, partnerships/collaborations and product development.
Can you briefly describe your “world positive” ethos?
We are extremely proud to grow aboveground diamonds with no human or environmental toll and also to be the world’s first and only diamond producer to be certified carbon neutral.
With more and more people investing their money in the ‘experience economy’, what makes synthetic diamonds a worthwhile purchase?
Experiences can also apply to the purchase of consumer goods. Customers want the historical, emotional and symbolic significance of their diamond to reflect their personal values and priorities.
Our ethos also speaks to consumers’ interests in provenance. More and more we are seeing how customers’ purchase habits are influenced by the origins and ethical value of the products they choose to buy. At Diamond Foundry we are proud to provide the highest quality without any compromise to the environment or the brilliance of the diamond.
What would you say to larger fine-jewellery brands who are reluctant to carry synthetically produced diamonds?
Great creators and designers will always be passionate about the quality of the components in their creations and will want to use the best diamonds. Diamond Foundry diamonds are atomically identical to mined diamonds without any of the human or environmental toll, what could be a better option than that?
*Aboveground diamonds are not considered synthetic as they are atomically identical to mined diamonds.