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COURIER JOURNAL

How real diamonds can be grown in a lab - a Louisville lab, to be precise

At a private lab near the University of Louisville, researchers are closely monitoring a rare form of manufacturing  - creating diamonds.

Using glass lenses to peer inside the chamber of a reactor hissing with intense heat and burning gases, they see shimmering, bright purple-pink light hovering around white squares of diamond slivers, the start of a 1 and 2 carat gem.

What's unfolding in the lab is a high-stakes test, the first of its kind in Kentucky, aimed at creating the prized stones at scale and potentially launching a new company in the surging field of lab grown gems and other diamond technology. Kentucky Advanced Materials Manufacturing, the lab's owners, invested $1.5 million in the demonstration site -and are footing a $6,000 a month utility bill - while researchers from U of  L’s Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research navigate the technical challenges.

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