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Kentucky Now Has a Lab-Grown Diamond ‘Mine’ That’s Producing 1,000 Carats a Month

Kentucky Advanced Materials Manufacturing and UofL’s Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research formed a partnership.




Kentucky Advanced Materials Manufacturing opened a pilot plant/demonstration facility to serve as the foundation of a billion-dollar worldwide effort to grow large diamond stones for myriad applications, including gems.

Kentucky is now home to a diamond-growing facility that is producing 1,000 carats a month.

Kentucky Advanced Materials Manufacturing recently implemented a pilot plant/demonstration facility in Louisville in collaboration with UofL’s Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research, according to a press release. This initial facility is meant to serve as the foundation of a billion-dollar worldwide effort to grow large diamonds for a variety of applications, including gems. KAMM is the first to establish such capabilities in Kentucky and one of only a handful of global players in the field.

The Conn Center at the University of Louisville has conducted research on lab-grown diamonds since 1997 and has a large interest in advanced materials, like diamond, for both power devices and biosensors. KAMM’s founder, Vikram M. Shah, searched out The Conn Center as a U.S. partner in pilot plant/demonstration facility. KAMM’s current facility is currently producing around 1,000 carats of diamond per month, according to the release.

A long-term home for the large production facilities is still to be determined.

“We are exploring the USA to see where we can settle,” says Shah. “Our priority is Kentucky because of our great relationship with the Conn Center, but we are looking at various options.”

KAMM is a subsidiary of Da Vinci holdings, a global organization with existing operations spanning the diamond industry from jewelry manufacturing (cutting/polishing) to trading and distribution. In addition to KAMM, Da Vinci has also operated a diamond growing operation in India for the past decade and is currently establishing a similar operation in Limburg, Belgium. Shah is also founder and owner of Da Vinci holdings.


Diamonds are most commonly known for their beauty and brilliance with the jewelry industry serving as their largest market. Currently, most diamonds are extracted from mines around the world and sent for cutting and polishing in India and Israel. KAMM is producing high-purity (category IIa or better) diamonds, which are prized for both gem applications (for their clarity and brilliance) as well as industrial applications (for their superior hardness, thermal conductivity and electrical/optical properties). Only 2% of mined diamonds fall into the IIa category. KAMM’s Kentucky plant will produce diamonds which will then be cut, polished and distributed in a similar manner to mined diamonds.

“Diamond is an advanced material with superlative properties making it the best choice for many technological applications including those that enable connection of renewables to the grid,” said Dr. Mahendra Sunkara, professor of chemical engineering and director of the Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research at the University of Louisville. He adds that “the availability of diamond wafers can make innovation possible with next generation renewable energy and biosensors.”

Dr. Neeli Bendapudi, president of University of Louisville, said, “Attracting high tech research and manufacturing companies is critical to the success of UofL, an economic engine for the city and the commonwealth. As the university enhances the business ecosystem through innovative research-based engagements, like this one, we also lay a foundation for increased economic impact. This partnership will drive more and more companies and startups to look to UofL and Louisville as the global intellectual capital of high-tech manufacturing.”

Hank Conn, the benefactor of the Conn Center, said, “The involvement of private sector in advancing the innovation being conducted at Conn Center is important for both acceleration of progress and eventual impact.”

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Wilkerson Testimonials

To Generate Funds for a Jeweler’s Move and Remodel, Wilkerson More Than Delivered

Even successful jewelers need a little extra cash to fund expansion plans—especially when there’s inventory on hand that’s ripe for liquidation. For Beaumont, Texas-based jeweler Michael Price, co-owner of Mathews Jewelers, it was the perfect time to call Wilkerson. Price talked to other jewelers as well as vendors for advice during the selection process and decided to go with Wilkerson. And he wasn’t disappointed. When it comes to paying for the move and expansion, Price says the road ahead is clear. “When we close on the next two stores, there’s no worries about finances.”

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Video: Jeweler Wins Fight for $500,000 Snow Promotion Claim

Customers will get refunds for jewelry they bought during the holidays.




An Idaho jeweler that held a “snow promotion” will be refunding its customers for jewelry they bought during the holiday season, KREM-TV reports.

Clark’s Diamond Jewelers in Couer D’Alene, ID, wrote in a Facebook post Monday that it had “received notification from the insurance company that our policy has been officially accepted and the award will indeed be paid out!”

The store had promised that if it snowed 3 inches or more on Jan. 11, it would refund purchases made between Nov. 22 and Dec. 31. Those purchases amounted to about $500,000.

The claim had originally been denied. Weather Command, a verification firm that works with the jeweler’s insurer, at first said snowfall on the date in question had been less than the required amount.

The store had vowed to fight for approval, believing that snowfall had indeed exceeded 3 inches.

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New List Reveals the ‘Most Common Birthstone in Every State’

The analysis comes from Shane Co.




A new ranking from Shane Co. looks at the “most common birthstone in every state.”

In a blog post on its website, the company explains that it “used the latest CDC natality data to determine how many people are born each month in every state.” From there it was able to identify the most and least common birthstones in each state.

Peridot, the birthstone for August, “ruled the map,” emerging as the most popular stone in 40 states, including New York and California. Other birthstones are emerald, ruby, sapphire and opal.

Take a look at full results below. Shane Co. also released several other maps, inluding ones showing the “cost of each state’s most common birthstone,” the “second most common birthstone in every state” and the “rarest birthstone in every state.”

popular birthstones

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Here’s How Much People Plan to Spend on Jewelry for Valentine’s Day This Year

The National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics released survey results.




WASHINGTON – Coming off a strong holiday season, Americans are expected to set another record for Valentine’s Day spending this year as they continue to widen the range of those they’re buying for, according to the annual survey released today by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

Those celebrating the holiday said they plan to spend an average $196.31, up 21 percent over last year’s previous record of $161.96. Spending is expected to total $27.4 billion, up 32 percent from last year’s record $20.7 billion.

About 21 percent of shoppers will give jewelry for the holiday, spending a total of $5.8 billion.

“Valentine’s Day is a sentimental tradition, but gift-giving can be driven by the economy,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Consumers spent freely during the 2019 winter holidays and they appear ready to do the same in the new year. The same strong employment numbers and higher wages that boosted holiday sales should make it easier to spend a little extra to say ‘I love you’ this year and to spread the gift-giving beyond just your significant other.”

The unusually large increase in average spending appears to be due to strong consumer finances and a continued trend of consumers buying more gifts, cards, candy and flowers for friends, family, co-workers and pets. The increase in total spending comes as the number of people celebrating Valentine’s Day returned to 55 percent, about average for the past decade, after a dip to 51 percent last year.

The biggest share of Valentine’s spending still goes to spouses and significant others at 52 percent of the total, or an average $101.21 this year, up from $93.24 in 2019. But their share of the spending is down from 61 percent a decade ago. The share spent on most other recipients has gone up over the past decade, with the amount spent on co-workers, for example, more than doubling to 7 percent of the total from 3 percent. The share for pets has also doubled, to 6 percent from 3 percent in the same time period.

Consumers say they will spend an average $30.19 on family members other than spouses, up slightly from $29.87 last year; $14.69 on friends, up from $9.78; $14.45 on children’s classmates and teachers, up from $8.63; $12.96 on co-workers, up from $7.78; $12.21 on pets, up from $6.94, and $10.60 on others, up from $5.72.

The youngest Valentine’s shoppers surveyed – those ages 18-24 – plan to spend an average $109.31. But those 25-34 – old enough to have higher incomes and children to buy for – expect to spend $307.51 and are topped out by those 35-44 as the biggest spenders at $358.78. As in each year of the survey, men plan to spend more than women at $291.15 compared with $106.22.

Shoppers plan to spend $4.3 billion on an evening out (34 percent), $2.9 billion on clothing (20 percent), $2.4 billion on candy (52 percent), $2.3 billion on flowers (37 percent), $2 billion on gift cards (19 percent) and $1.3 billion on greeting cards (43 percent). Gifts of experience such as tickets to an event or a trip to a spa are wanted by 41 percent and planned by 28 percent.

Department stores are the most popular Valentine’s Day shopping destination, visited by 36 percent, with discount stores and online tied at 32 percent, specialty stores at 19 percent, florists at 17 percent, local small business at 15 percent and clothing stores and jewelry shops tied at 11 percent.

The Valentine’s Day survey results follow a 4.1 percent year-over-year increase in 2019 holiday sales, nearly double the 2.1 percent increase in 2018 holiday sales.

The survey of 7,267 adult consumers was conducted Jan. 2-9 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

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