LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Diamond manufacturer Gemesis, a fixture since 2002 in a 60,000-square-foot facility at 7040 Professional Parkway in the Lakewood Ranch Corporate Park, has moved into smaller quarters.
The old facility, near the Lakewood Ranch campus of State College of Florida, was always more space than the company needed, and with the prolonged downturn in the economy, company officials decided they needed to downsize.
“We are now more appropriately sized,” said Steven Lux, chief executive officer of Gemesis.
While the company is still operating at Lakewood Ranch, company officials declined to identify the location due to security concerns.
“We are in the diamond industry and we are taking a lower profile,” Lux said.
Gemesis continues to make and sell diamonds, but with the Great Recession, sales of all luxury items have been hurt, Lux said.
“We’ve used the downturn in the economy to focus on our technology,” he said.
The company has also been working to grow its market internationally, Lux said.
“We are quite pleased with where we are,” he said. “We will have some news later this quarter.”
Prior to opening in Lakewood Ranch in 2002, the company spent six years in trial-and-error experimentation to perfect diamond-growing technology originally developed in Russia, the Herald previously reported.
Gemesis uses a diamond seed, about the size of a granule of sand, to make the diamond in growth chambers using temperatures of 3,300 degrees and 850,000 pounds of pressure in just a few days, according to Herald archives.
Each of the lab-grown diamonds is inscribed by laser to identify them as man-made. The marking is readable under a microscope.
The company started with yellow and orange-hued diamonds and has been experimenting with making diamonds in new colors.
The Gemesis website reads “Luxury evolves in 2011” and a “New Gemesis is coming.”
Lux said Wednesday that the website is being overhauled.
Brian Kennelly, president of LWR Commercial Realty, said one of his agents, has shown the empty building on Professional Parkway to several potential clients. A sign at the site indicates the property is for lease or sale.
James A. Jones Jr., East Manatee editor, can be contacted at 745-7021.