SAN FRANCISCO (CBS News) — At one Silicon Valley startup, engineers are doing in weeks what takes nature millions of years.

They’re making diamonds.

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“Just like out of mine, our growth chambers produce a rough diamond,” said Jeremy Scholz, Chief Technology Officer of the Diamond Foundry. “For us, in just a few weeks, we produce a one-carat stone with plasma and with chemistry. We’re accelerating the very same processes that happen in the earth.”

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To protect their secrets from the competition, the Diamond Foundry provided only glimpses of the machines that — at 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit — rearrange carbon atoms into precious gems.

Chief Quality Officer John King of the Gemological Institute of America – who grades diamonds – said there is little difference between those mined from the earth and those grown in a machine.

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