It's Friday! Time for the weekly updates!Amora Gem:Patent progress
The Amora Gem princess patent application is complete and will be filed with the USPTO next week. We're also close to completing the Asscher cut application, and then the Krupps too follow.
Ideally, we will have all the patent applications completed by May 15th, and that will be the last of the planned US patent filings.
At that point we'll have 5 total US patents pending for the Amora gem, and 1 International PCT in progress. Video progress:
With the patent applications nearing completion, the remaining 4 members of the Scintillating Six (Princess / Krupps / Asscher / OEC) have made their way to our videographers and the videos are being edited as I type.
Thus, we'll be rolling out videos on each new cut as each patent application is officially filed, so you'll shortly be seeing some video and photo of each of the remaining cuts throughout May. Amora Gem growth:
We are on track to begin initial growth testing in May…more to come but things are moving forward.General BTD updates:Ring Explorer:
We are making very good progress and hope to have all of the UI (user interface) completed next week. After that…we move over to our public server and will begin opening up for 'alpha testing'. This basically means limited access and just BTD's rings, but the goal is to let you try it out and point out what works well and not so well as we continue to fine tune it for the full launch this summer.
Here's a quick screenshot of RE in action - this is the 'grid view' of search results. Clicking on the thumbnail of course takes you to a detail page for that ring or band:Asha restock:
We're already sold out again on 8mm (2ct) and 9mm (2.75ct) H&A Asha rounds, but we have another batch heading into coating next week and should have these and other sizes restocked by mid-May.Takara blue and yellow diamonds
We're planning to discontinue these, again with our primary focus on colorless stones. I believe we are fully sold out on blues, and roughly 2 yellow lab diamonds left, but we are not planning to restock after that. Expanded Viva ring stone sizes:
We've had a lot of requests to increase the center stone options for our Viva ring, and so we are currently adding heads for 7mm, 7.5mm and 8mm. Expanded options for Duality ring:
Similarly, we've received requests to increase center stone options for our Timeless duality ring and the master models for holding 7.5mm and 8mm center rounds are nearly done, and these should be available in May as well.Avarra lab grown colored gems:
There were some questions regarding our plans for our Avarra lab gems since our primary focus is on our colorless. At this time, the Avarra Kashmir sapphires (blue) are safe and will be restocked shortly in fact. We've seen pretty strong sales growth for the Kashmir sapphires. Avarra lab grown emeralds are likely to be continued, rubies are a bit iffier. Similarly, the other sapphire colors such as pink and yellow are also pretty questionable in terms of any future restocking.
And while our Avarra Kashmir sapphires are of course, lab grown, thought it might be interesting to show a photo of Kashmir proper - lots of snow currently!
Actually, we should probably do a quick visit to Kashmir as part of our 'better know a place' series, it's pretty visually stunning.Misc:
Now for some interesting developments from our recent 'science' series where we explored how all precious metals came to our planet from asteroids. Last week we concluded that whole path tracing it back from supernovae, to asteroid carriers, to our planet when it was young and eventually onto your fingers.
Well, apparently a lot of multi-billionaires have been reading along as well, because no sooner had I posted the conclusion of that series on Friday, than rumours started percolating about how the Google founders, director James Cameron, and a bevy of other ex-Microsoft and other IT billionaires have banded together to form a company to….Mine Asteroids!
The official announcement was on Tuesday right here in Seattle, and the company (Planetary Resources, Inc.) will in fact be headquartered about 10 miles from BTD headquarters, in Bellevue, WA.
Asteroids also could yield precious metals such as platinum, gold and rare-earth materials — treasures that are worth bringing back to Earth. Diamandis said a single asteroid in the range of 200 to 500 meters in diameter could contain more platinum-group metals than has ever been mined in the whole of human history.
Their basic plan is to launch a number of orbiting small telescopes and start mapping out some of the 500,000 plus near Earth asteroids to start selecting the best ones, and they are shooting for first mining by roughly 2025.
Note that Japan's space agency has already done this to a limited degree, landing the craft Hayabusa on the asteroid Itokawa and returning to Earth with a few bits.
and the proposed 'Arkyd' telescopes examining a potential asteroid for mining (artist conception):
From other articles, they are expecting that a small asteroid could easily yield $25 - $50 Billion, and a larger one could get into a Trillion plus worth of platinum-metals!
Have a great weekend!