French luxury conglomerate Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH) has acquired a major stake in Israeli lab-grown diamond start-up Lusix, joining other investors in a $US90 million ($AU129.5 million) funding campaign.
The investment will be used to fund the construction of a solar-powered diamond facility in Israel, as well as other business expansion initiatives.
In April, LVMH’s Tag Heuer launched the Carrera Plasma watch which features man-made diamonds produced by Lusix.
Benny Landa, founder Lusix, told Rapaport News, “I don’t think there’s ever been, so far, a leading luxury brand that has invested in lab-grown diamonds.”
“So the fact that it’s them [LVMH], and the fact that they chose us, we think is really fantastic,” he added.
LVMH was joined by two other investors, Ragnar Crossover Fund and More Investment House, which are both based in Israel and made the combined initial investment of $US45 million ($AU64.75 million) in February.
Man-made diamond record broken
Meanwhile, Indian company Ethereal Green Diamond has created a record-breaking 30.18-carat emerald-cut synthetic diamond, surpassing record set only weeks ago by Greenlab, another Indian synthetic diamond producer.
The lab-grown diamond was named Pride of India and was graded H colour, VS2 quality, and certified by the International Gemmological Institute. The diamond was produced in four weeks using the chemical vapor deposition process.
Greenlab’s 27.27-carat diamond was a marquise step-cut diamond, named Om. The IGI also graded two additional lab-grown submissions by Greenlab, including Shivaya, an emerald-cut diamond weighing 20.24 carats, and Namah, a pear rose-cut, 15.16-carat polished.
Previously, the largest known polished CVD diamond was a princess-cut, 16.41-carat, G-color, VVS2-clarity stone created by Shanghai Zhengshi Technology. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) graded that diamond in January of this year.
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