Seventy years in the making, the world’s largest lab-grown diamond is unveiled in New York City. Sasha Salama reports.
These two diamonds, which look identical, are anything but. The one on the right came from a mine. The one on the left was grown in a laboratory. Lisa Bissell, President and CEO of Pure Grown Diamonds, the company that makes the jewels, explains: (SOUNDBITE) (English) PURE GROWN DIAMONDS PRESIDENT & CEO LISA BISSELL, SAYING: "This is a technological breakthrough. After 70 years of research and development, we have cultivated diamonds in a laboratory that are optically, chemically and physically identical to mined diamonds. They're indistinguishable even under a microscope and yet they're very affordable. Bissell says they're not only beautiful, but they're also new and noteworthy. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PURE GROWN DIAMONDS PRESIDENT & CEO LISA BISSELL, SAYING: "This is the world's largest pure grown diamond. It's 3.04 carats, it's I color and it's SI clarity, $23,000. This is an equivalent earth-mined diamond. It's the same size of the laboratory grown diamond and it's $40,000, so that's a significant savings." The way it works is scientists create the same conditions in a lab that would make a diamond crystallize in nature. The whole process takes between six and twelve weeks. Not enough lead time for this Valentine's Day - but there's always next year.