EAST COUNTY — A unique local company with the technology and equipment to manufacture diamonds is dealing with some internal turmoil.
The firm, Gemesis Diamond Co., remains in business. But it’s doing it out of a new office, still in east Manatee County. Plus, CEO Stephen Lux, who ran the company since November 2006, resigned just before Christmas.
Martin DeRoy, vice president of marketing at Gemesis, deferred questions to the firm’s marketing company, Raleigh, N.C.-based French/West/Vaughan. DeRoy declined to comment on who the new top executive is at Gemesis or any change in the company’s ownership structure. Lux, through Jan. 29, was still listed as a top officer/director for Gemesis on the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations website.
Officials with French/West/Vaughan didn’t respond to written questions or phone calls for comment by press time. DeRoy, in a statement released by French/West/ Vaughan when Lux resigned Dec. 20, said, “2012 has been a very exciting year of growth and learning for Gemesis. We have aligned our operations and increased marketing following a wonderful response from consumers for lab-grown diamonds.”
The company’s website further alludes to what potentially could be a big departure from the past, when it focused sales efforts on wholesalers in the diamond industry. The new approach is retail and consumer centric, with a bridal portal and an online wish list.
The promise of Gemesis has nonetheless long outweighed sales.
The company once operated out of a 60,000-square-foot facility in Lakewood Ranch. That’s where its machines replicate the conditions under which diamonds are created in nature. The machines apply about 850,000 pounds of pressure per square inch and extreme heat to a tiny synthetic diamond.
That location is also where, in 2007, Gemesis held a much-celebrated groundbreaking. The reason: It planned to build a 31,000-square-foot expansion due to expected increased demand.
Then, in summer 2011, the company left that building and moved into another one nearby that is less than 25,000 square feet. Lux, at the time, said the new location was “more adequately sized for our business.”
Gemesis, which hasn’t disclosed sales figures, has taken more hits of late.
For one, in a December article in JCK magazine, a jewelry industry trade publication, Lux says he left the company partially because of internal distractions. The Business Observer couldn’t reach Lux for comment.
The same publication, formally called Jewelers’ Circular Keystone, also reported that diamond entrepreneur Jatin Mehta bought out most of the Gemesis shareholders in October. Mehta was an official with Mumbai-based Winsome Diamonds through last November, according to public filings.
Currently 0 Responses
20 Braden River Soccer Club Pre-Tryout Camp
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
22 Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance May Morning Express Networking Social - SCF "How SCF Supports Local Business"
7:30 am - 9:00 am
26 Tribute to Heroes Parade - Main St LWR
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
28 Braden River Soccer Club Try-outs
Ranch rallies against cancer
East County residents will rally to fight cancer Saturday, May 18, as the American Cancer Society hosts its annual Lakewood Ranch Relay for Life event at the Lakewood Ranch YMCA.
Barista pours on fun for daughters
State Road 70 Starbucks barista and East County resident Cyndee Vanderford showed her daughters the world of lattes and mochas for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day April 25.
Troop plants Freedom's courtyard
Girls in Girl Scouts Junior Troop 181, at Freedom Elementary School, recently earned their Bronze Award by researching and planting the back of the school’s courtyard.