Our path to lab-grown diamonds was not through the jewelry industry but from the semiconductor industry.
In 2001 we started doing service work for the local Austin semiconductor industry. Before then, local semiconductor companies relied on the original equipment manufacturers to maintain the ultra-complex, multi-million dollar manufacturing equipment critical for their operations.
By focusing on quality and strong relationships with these manufacturers, we were able to break into the market. Within one year, we were shipping products globally, including entire processing systems. Customers put an immense amount of trust in us to provide equipment to expand their computer chip manufacturing capability.
Solving customer problems led to the development of new in-house capabilities, innovation, and many patents. Soon we were looking for ways to use the technology to expand beyond the semiconductor industry.
It eventually became clear that the innovation we were doing and the knowledge we had gained to solve semiconductor equipment problems was the groundwork for building diamond-growing machines.
Since 2012, while growing our semiconductor business, we have been doing R&D on growing diamonds using Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). We've had some exciting technology breakthroughs that ultimately have led to our ability to grow very large, high-quality diamonds consistently.