By Julia Griffith FGA DGA EG
Founder & Course Creator
THE GEM ACADEMY
Welcome to THE GEM ACADEMY - Advancing your knowledge about laboratory-grown diamonds. Subscribe for monthly subscriber emails and be the first to hear about the latest posts, YouTube videos and specialist online courses.
Laboratory-grown diamonds are made from carbon. So, we can make them out of anything that's carbon-based? Pretty much! The American company Hidden Valley has created a laboratory-grown diamond out of their popular ranch seasoning. Check out how this laboratory-grown diamond would have been created in my latest YouTube video:
The "Ranch Diamond" was auctioned off on eBay. At the time of writing, the stone has received over 75 bids with the highest bid at $12,450 USD (Update: SOLD for $12,550 USD). Bids close on March 17th [now closed], and the ring will be shipped to the winner bidder in time for National Proposal Day (March 20th). This auction is only available to U.S bidders. All proceeds from the sale will be given to the charity Feeding America.
Hidden Valley had the idea for this creation after someone proposed with a Valentines ranch dressing bottle in 2021. “When one of our custom Valentine’s Day bottles was used in a marriage proposal last year, we were inspired,” Deb Crandall, Hidden Valley’s Marketing Director, said in a press release. “We saw a love of ranch become part of one of life’s most beautiful moments. It made us wonder: How can we make this act of love even more memorable?”
The result? This 2ct laboratory-grown diamond that was announce on National Ranch Day, March 10th (only in America, right?). This laboratory-grown diamond is mounted in a 14-carat white gold ring. The ring is engraved with "HVR LVR", which stands for "Hidden Valley Ranch lover".
This laboratory-grown diamond was created by Dean VandenBiesen from LifeGem - a company that specialises in creating laboratory-grown diamonds out of human ashes. Laboratory-grown diamonds are grown from a carbon source. Ranch seasoning contains carbohydrates and this can offer the carbon required for diamond synthesis. The process took a couple of months to convert the seasoning into a pure carbon source (graphite). The creation of the diamond then took a further two months using high temperature, high pressure (HPHT) diamond synthesis.
The result is a 2.01ct laboratory-grown diamond that has been dubbed the "Ranch Diamond". This has been graded G, VVS1 with Excellent polish and symmetry (grades are taken from the eBay listing).
This is one of several marketing stunts that Hidden Valley has embarked on in recent years. Other include RanchCrocs, RanchNog, Ranch trick-or-treats and giant inflatable ranch bottles. My favourite part of this whole campaign is the clever word play used by many media outlets. Who doesn't love a pun? (This question is rhetorical. However, if you really dislike puns, I would recommend adverting your eyes now).
"Sure to add a bit of zest to any marriage proposal" - Ebay listing
"Dipping in diamonds" - The Daily Mail
"From Ranch to Riches" - Input Magazine
Update: This ring SOLD for $12,550 USD
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