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Firm Launches Japan’s First Synthetics Production

Sep 2, 2018 6:53 AM   By Joshua Freedman
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RAPAPORT... A Japanese company claims to be the nation’s first producer of gem-quality lab-grown diamonds, aiming for an initial annual output of 24,000 carats.

Tokyo-based Pure Diamond Co. launched in July as a spin-off from a producer of synthetic diamonds for industrial purposes. It plans to begin by selling its stones to Japanese wholesalers and retailers, before moving directly into the retail and e-commerce sector in a later phrase. It will use other synthetics suppliers’ prices as its benchmark, Takuya Ito, the managing director of Pure Diamond, told Rapaport News last week.

“If market demand will increase, we can expand our capability,” Ito said.

The company is launching a cryptocurrency, Pure Diamond Coin, to fund production equipment and research and development. The pre-sale of tokens launched on Saturday. It is also using blockchain technology to provide consumers with information on the diamonds’ provenance and characteristics. The firm’s chief technology officer, Junma Kawasaki, was the “white-hat” hacker — the term for a computer specialist who tests the security of networks — responsible for solving the January theft of $500 million in digital money from Coincheck, a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange, it claimed.

Pure Diamond’s technology, including the blockchain, will ensure its lab-grown diamonds are traceable and remain separate from natural stones in the supply chain, Ito added.

While the scale of the world’s synthetics production is unclear, China is currently thought to be the largest grower of diamonds. The global market is about 3% to 4% of the size of the natural sector, for which global rough production is approximately 150 million carats, De Beers chief financial officer Nimesh Patel estimated in an interview with Rapaport News last month.

Image: Kim Alaniz
Tags: Coincheck, De Beers, Joshua Freedman, Junma Kawasaki, Nimesh Patel, Pure Diamond, Pure Diamond Coin, Rapaport News, Synthetics, Takuya Ito
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