Have you ever heard about “Lab-Grown-Diamond”?
As Lab refers to laboratory and grown means cultivated, it is easy to understand that lab-grown diamond is artificially cultivated in factories.
Synthetic diamonds or artificial jewels may not sound like new things. Jewels can be continuously produced by artificially enhancement (the processing means changing the quality of stone) , as the diamond can be created by cultivation like cultured pearl.
However, how can we easily distinguish lab-grown diamond from artificial jewels? Lab-grown diamond is completely artificial diamond, but it has exactly the same chemical composition as natural diamond, so there is no difference from natural diamond except for its birth.
Therefore, GIA (Gemological Institute of America) which is a worldwide appraiser of jewelry also give expert opinion to lab-grown-diamond.
Lab-grown-diamond can be manufactured at the factory using electricity. The processing may put people who familiar with blockchain technology`s mind of the way to get cryptocurrency. Yes, it’s mining.
In the world of cryptocurrency, a server business called mining is done to maintain that network. People who do the mining can obtain cryptocurrency as a reward instead of contributing to the network (hence it is called “mining” in the sense of “digging cryptocurrency”), but the remuneration obtained by the mining is “virtual”, it is only an act in virtual space.
Compared to cryptocurrency, a genuine lab-grown diamond can be produced by manufacturing machines in factories and only use electricity and raw materials. Therefore, you can image this process as“digging diamonds”and call it mining. The only difference is that what you can is not virtual but genuine diamonds.
The project named “Pure Diamond Blockchain” is attracting a great deal of attention as the cross between real mining and virtual mining (business model patent applied for). In this article, we interviewed Mr. Abe Hideyuki of this project and approached the grand vision of building a blockchain by combining real mining and cryptocurrency.
Thank you very much for your busy schedule today. Firstly, could you tell me what kind of project is Pure Diamond Blockchain?
“Pure Diamond Block Chain is to manufacture and sell synthetic diamond called lab-grown-diamond and further to manage diamond individual information with blockchain. Strictly speaking, we possess the technology and facilities ofMade-in-Japan lab-grown diamond ,and we have tied up with Pure Diamond Co., Ltd., which is the largest laboratory gown diamond distributor in Japan for sales.
The strength of our project is that it has excellent production technology of lab-grown-diamond. This project will be backed up by several decades of experience from a manufacturer of industrial diamonds, and has reached the point that we can make the world’s best quality lab-grown diamond for jewelry.
However, no matter how excellent it is, it is difficult for us to pioneer the market by only making diamonds. We will collaborate with Pure Diamond Inc., the largest lab-grown diamond trading company in Japan, and we aim to sell diamonds both domestically and abroad. Of course, lab-grown diamonds are also manufactured abroad, including the United States, but they are not catching up with needs at all and we can produce abundant quantities of high quality lab-grown-diamonds , so I firmly believe that a huge market is waiting for this project.
Mr. Abe showed me a blue diamond. It seems that it took nearly a year for “growing up” in the manufacturing machine, it seems to be treated as not for sale.
A lot of people may still take lab-grown diamonds as synthetic diamonds, but they are synthetic diamonds with exactly the same composition as natural diamonds. Its shine and beauty will not beaten and has the following advantages compared with natural diamonds.
On the other hand, natural diamond has the following problems
Considering from such a background, positive opinions have been spreading to lab-grown diamonds mainly in Europe and the United States, and it is said that the market size will exceed 100 times the current level in 2020.
According to the report form Morgan Stanley, lab-grown diamond is predicted to make inroads into the traditional natural diamond market, and the world’s largest diamond trading company such as Swarovski and De Beers also declared to begin lab-grown diamond business.
I see. Lab-grown-diamonds are gaining worldwide attention as a substitute for natural diamonds. But if diamonds can be produced any number of times in the laboratory, will not the diamond market that kept its value by scarcity collapse in the future?
From my opinion, what you worried about won`t happen in the future. At first, lab-grown-diamonds are trading at a price of approximately 50% compared to natural diamonds, but this is the result of reflecting the cost reduced by being manufactured at the factory, therefore lab-grown-diamonds themselves will firmly hold the value of as diamonds.
Also, although it is synthetic diamond, it does not mean that you can make as much as you want. Diamond is made of carbon, but we need to “cultivate” the crystal of carbon in the manufacturing machine. It takes time from several weeks to more than one year to make high quality diamonds, and more sophisticated technology is needed to create colored diamonds. It takes time and cost to realize the beauty on a level that of natural diamonds.
Also, in the sense of colored diamonds, the fancy color diamond market has a growing trend all the time.
We will also produce red diamonds, blue diamonds and very rare diamonds with color. But the most precious one is Rainbow Diamond, which cannot be produced in nature. Since lab-grown-diamonds can artificially synthesize rainbow-colored diamonds, although the technology is not yet completed, we still think in nearly future it is desirable to provide new value to the market.
We all know brand power is very important in diamond industry. We will make high-quality lab-grown-diamonds as manufacturers, but in market formation, dealers will make new brands unique to lab-grown-diamonds by making use of such color diamonds as mentioned above.
In that respect, we believe that lab-grown-diamonds themselves are attractive, but also blockchain technology can be utilized. As for block chain technology, we will describe later, but by briefly combining blockchain technology with lab grown diamonds, we will combine the new value of information. In addition to just having a diamond, by attaching statistical data such as birth date, birth place, composition, cut information, appraisal information, fortune telling etc. of the diamond, it is possible to add extra value (information) to the diamond itself.
Next, let me explain the relationship between laboratory glow diamond and blockchain. We will utilize the traceability of the block chain which cannot being tampered with, we will register all laboratory grown diamonds we manufactured in the block chain. In other words, all the individual information on the lab-grown diamond is managed in the block chain, and the customers can check at any time when and where the diamond is made and where the features are combined.
This is not just about using block chains so that individual information on diamonds cannot be tampered with. What if your diamonds were all recorded as information, from the background of their birth and development, character, value, and chemical composition? The value of “information” lives in the diamond which was simply “thing”. By knowing the exact “difference” of every individual, each excellent part is acknowledged and further diversity is brought to the trading market.
Also, perhaps you may want to give people who you loved a gift of lab-grown diamond that was born on the same day as that person’s birthday, or you could combine the blockchain and statistical big data, derive fortunetelling from the birth date and chemical composition. By linking diamonds and information, it is possible to make full use of the charm of diamonds inherently.
In this way, Lab-grown Diamond added the elements of information and transparency to the beautiful grown of natural diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds can be manufactured stably without imposing burden on the environment and imitations are not circulated by registering everything in the block chain before shipping, ensuring transparency and traceability. We think that this is the way jewels are evaluated in the digitization era of the 21st century.
I see. In this block chain, “realities” which are diamonds that become assets?
That’s right. This project is to mining real diamonds rather than virtual currency and connecting to block chains. Even in the virtual currency, mining is an act of creating a new currency, deserving to say that it is creating everything from 0. Lab-grown diamonds also produce diamonds that have never existed so far, so they will create nothing from absence. That means that the value we have never had before is created there, so we want to return this new value to the network.
In other words, we are considering taking only a small amount of profit from the value brought about by the creation of diamonds, the rest are returned to the network, for example to reduce the transaction fee, and are devoted to developing more advanced block chains.
So, it is not just a project to make diamonds and manage them with block chain, is it aiming for a bigger vision?
That’s right. In the future, this block chain supported by the real value called diamond That aims to be used in many scenes such as daily settlement. We are not just trying to create synthetic diamonds but rather trying to create more fair, democratic and human-like gemstone shapes that fit the new era. For that, block chains are best suited. It brings a new form of transparency, traceability, and decentralized to the diamond industry which was black boxed and the exclusive market. We will return the value and profit generated there to the formation of a platform that meets the needs of people more and more.
I see. It is very interesting. Diamonds are beautiful but I think that everyone feels that there are many problems inside there. It is good to be able to propose a new way of diamond to the world with a combination of lab-grown diamonds and blockchain. Could you tell us about the future road map?
Yes, since the manufacturing facilities are not enough now, the number of production is limited, but we are working to expand the facility and I would like to start offering the laboratory grown diamond market by next spring. In addition, we will continue to make improvements on block chains from time to time, but I also want to build something that will not be defeated anywhere next year.
How do you think about this question?
The idea of combining a completely new diamond called a lab-grown-diamond with a new value base called block chain is very interesting. Of course, from the viewpoint of “trustless” which is the liver of the blockchain, there may be a point that the trust of this blockchain will disappear if the pure diamond block chain is torn down. But this kind of situation can be happened on any other cryptocurrency project, and it is reliable that the blockchain that is underpinned by diamonds is more reliable than the bit coins and the Ethereum that are made up only from people’s credit without having any backing up.
In addition, it is about how to link the lab-grown diamond and information on the blockchain, but each diamond is engraved with a small number or symbol that cannot be seen unless you watch it with a microscope. This means it is registered on the block chain
Lab-grown diamonds and blockchains, what kind of chemical reactions will occur between these two totally new things within this project? Let us keep paying huge attention on it!
Interviewer & Writer：Lundqvist Dan