At age 15 Caroll Chatham read in a high school chemistry book that emeralds had never been made by man. From his father’s San Francisco basement he set out to prove this wrong – and by age 21, he had created his first man-made emerald, a poor quality one-carat stone.
It took young Chatham another 3 years before he could duplicate his feat, having inexplicably lost one of the 50 steps in his elaborate process. Once rediscovered, he began to produce more and more stones, guarding his secret like some medieval alchemist.
Now the process, built on “growing” emeralds in a solution that starts with a substrate of low quality emeralds and duplicates the temperature and pressure conditions that occur deep within the earth, takes one year – where nature takes 100 to 1,000 years.
The Chatham created gems first became a phenomenon in his native San Francisco, but the realization that his emeralds are physically and chemically identical to those made by nature has created worldwide demand for these remarkable “created” gemstones.
In the years since this historic discovery, Chatham Created Gems, now under the direction of Carroll’s son Tom, has perfected methods of growing rubies, sapphires, opals, and alexandrites as well as the famous emeralds. The Chatham method remains a closely guarded family secret, and the company continues to be at the forefront of research into new and better methods of gemstone creation.
The quest for diamonds has been an ongoing passion since Chatham became the leader in created gemstones over 60 years ago. At last the vision has become a reality and Chatham are able to offer stunning created diamonds in a variety of colors.
At Devora Libin, we are delighted to be able to offer the Chatham range of designer jewelry at discount prices, and we hope to be the first to offer our customers exclusive Chatham diamond jewelry as soon as it becomes available.