The company doing this is Apollo Diamond, a tiny outfit started by a former Bell Labs scientist. Peer inside Apollo's stainless steel-and-glass machines, and you can see single-crystal diamonds literally growing amid hot pink gases.
The whole concept turns the fundamental idea of a diamond on its head. The ability to manufacture diamonds could change business, products and daily life as much as the arrival of the steel age in the 1850s or the invention of the transistor in the 1940s.
In technology, the diamond is a dream material. It can make computers run at speeds that would melt the innards of today's computers. Manufactured diamonds could help make lasers of extreme power. The material could allow a cellphone to fit into a watch and iPods to store 10,000 movies, not just 10,000 songs. Diamonds could mean frictionless medical replacement joints. Or coatings — perhaps for cars — that never scratch or wear out.
This is great news. And perhaps, by denying a source of income to terrorists and arms merchants, it will be the end of blood diamonds, which bankroll so many conflicts all over the world.