Diamond Foundry, based in San Francisco, was founded in 2012 by Jeremy Scholz, Kyle Gazay and Martin Roschelsen, who serves as CEO. The company makes diamonds by placing a thin slice of a mined diamond, which acts as the initial footprint for growth, in a plasma reactor that heats carbon to temperatures as high as the outer layer of the Sun. In effect, the company grows diamonds atom by atom on top of an earth-diamond substrate. The result is that Diamond Foundry’s lab-produced gems are atomically identical to mined diamonds.
Among the company’s investors are actor Leonardo DiCaprio, Caspian VC Partners, Fine Day Ventures, and Future Tech Lab. DiCaprio, who starred in a film about traditional African diamond mining, has been quoted as saying that he’s proud to have invested in a company that is sustainably growing diamonds in America “without the human and environmental toll of mining.” And in November 2021, Pope Francis gave praise to sustainable diamond production processes.
The company has raised at least $315 million in funding, the last of which was in March 2021. The company, whose last known valuation was $1.86 billion has not publicly communicated an intention to IPO.