Issue 1 of our occasional update on what’s grinding at SPR and in the superabrasive industry

Superabrasives have become an essential part of various industries, including automotive and aerospace. As the demand for these materials continues to grow, competition between companies in the industry has become increasingly intense. Recently, three renowned players in the superabrasives market, American Superabrasives Corp. (ASC), Gemmata, and Vollstädt-Diamant (VDiamant), have decided to join forces to create SPR Abrasives. This collaboration aims to combine the strengths of each company to create more innovative products, offer exclusive services, and tap into new markets. In this blog, we’ll explore the origins of the partnership and what customers can expect from the new company.

Three partners

SPR Abrasives is the result of a collaboration between three well-known companies in the superabrasives industry. Despite their vast differences, these companies can create massive synergy by working together. Their diverse activities, interests, geographic locations and backgrounds can strengthen one another. And it surely helps that the owners and employees have known each other for years or even decades, and they already share a strong mutual trust.

American Superabrasives Corp. (ASC), located in Sarasota, USA, is an industry leader in quality assured superabrasives products and services. For over 30 years, they have provided high standard materials and support to customers at competitive prices. Their state-of-the-art facility and experienced professionals are committed to delivering reliable, consistent results with unmatched quality control. American Superabrasive’s commitment to researching, producing, and distributing superior superabrasive materials has established them as a trusted partner in the industry.

Gemmata is a well-trusted supplier for natural industrial diamonds, based in Antwerp, Belgium. The company is well-known for its impeccable customer service and has a strong client base that was built up over the past 40 years. Based in the heart of the Antwerp diamond district, they offer the best natural industrial diamonds and powders the market has to offer. Even today, every individual diamond is sorted manually for optimal result and customer satisfaction. 

Vollstädt-Diamant (VDiamant), operating from Seddiner See in the greater Berlin area, Germany, probably needs little introduction in the diamond industry. This manufacturer and supplier of market-leading superabrasives machinery for quality assurance, associated services, and diamond tools has thirty years of experience in the industry. VDiamant strives to create products that meet the highest quality standards. Their team of skilled professionals and their cutting edge technology enable them to continually develop innovative solutions for customers worldwide. They take pride in their commitment to excellence and are continuously setting new standards for the industry.

Jan Leemans, president of Gemmata, and Prof. Dr. Heiner Vollstädt, founder of VDiamant, have known each other for over two decades. Together they have successfully initiated projects and business in the diamond industry. Today VDiamant is owned by Prof. Dr. Vollstädt’s daughter Ute Härtig-Vollstädt and her husband Daniel Härtig. Gemmata and VDiamant still conduct business on a regular basis.  

American Superabrasives Corp. and Gemmata go back even further. Chris Danielak and Jan Leemans met in 1978 – at the very beginning of their long careers in this industry. ASC bought natural industrial diamonds from Gemmata since the beginning and continues to do so today, where Gemmata relies on ASC for synthetic diamond and CBN powders. More recently Gemmata started collaborating for solid superabrasives with ASC as well.

And, ASC and VDiamant share their own history too as ASC has always relied on VDiamant’s testing equipment and machinery for their quality control facility in the United States. ASC, in fact, is VDiamant’s distributor for the United States.

But now, for the first time, all three companies engage in one project together.  

How it started.

In 2021, during the corona pandemic, Stefan Leemans decided to leave the jewellery business to refocus his career back to the family business, Gemmata. At that time, because of the pandemic and because of the quick rise of affordable synthetic diamonds in combination with the closing of the Argyle diamond mine, the natural diamond market was undergoing big changes and faced quite uncertain times. As mastering the Gemmata natural industrial diamond assortment is a labour intensive work of many years, questions rose about the future in this niche market. Would it not be better to focus more on synthetic superabrasives, a market with huge potential growth for years to come?

Stefan reached out to Chris Danielak from ASC for some guidance on his new path. After many talks and some field visits to Florida, the idea to work closely together came almost naturally. Both parties saw benefits in the collaboration and knew they could strengthen one another. ASC could bring Gemmata up to speed in this closed industry more quickly, while Gemmata could reopen the door to the European market for ASC.

John Chalvadakis, with years of experience in diamond & CBN processing and plating production, recently became a partner within ASC. He pointed out that purely distributing in superabrasives wouldn’t be enough to make an impact in the European market. Together with Chris, he saw more opportunities in this collaboration by setting up a coating production unit and a state-of-the-art laboratory in Europe, to create additional value for a more secure future. The new company is thus much less dependent on its suppliers, closer to its customers, can offer exclusive services for Europe and can focus unhindered on innovation. The laboratory would also ensure in-house quality control.

The need for a third partner or a missing link became evident. Gemmata did not have the space or knowledge of plating diamond powders, and ASC is simply located in the United States. The obvious partner, in the eyes of both Gemmata and ASC, was VDiamant. Both parties already had good contacts with VDiamant, which already operates a production facility and state-of-the-art laboratory in Europe. They have engineers and technicians with the necessary expertise to help set up a new production unit. Ute Härtig-Vollstädt and Daniel Härtig from VDiamant were very open to these new plans, and in January 2023, all parties met in Berlin to outline the guidelines for the new enterprise.

What to expect from SPR? 

SPR’s mission is to become the most reliable and reputable supplier of superabrasives worldwide. Its vision is to set new standards for superabrasive products and services to gain customers’ confidence and loyalty. This is to be achieved by offering premium in-house products through an unparalleled quality control system, by investing in constant product innovation and technological development and by better understanding clients through close collaboration and continuous evaluation. 

Customers can expect products of the highest quality, subject to the strictest controls, conducted in the in-house laboratory facilities in the greater Berlin area. The results of the quality control will also be available online for all products to gain everyone’s trust. Among the first products available will be CBN powders, Resin bond powders, and Metal Bond powders, both in mesh and saw grit sizes. The necessary micron powders will also be offered, and SPR will distribute natural diamond powders as well.

All abrasives undergo a fusion process first in the in-house facilities. They are then sifted and tested for strength. Afterwards, they can be custom-coated with the desired metal to meet the customer’s unique needs. Despite these extra quality injections, the entire product range will be offered at competitive prices. SPR intends to work closely with its customers to develop customized coatings and continually set new standards for innovation. SPR is always happy to collaborate with customers to create the ideal solution.

Moreover, SPR offers some exclusive services in Europe. Customers can have products they bought elsewhere or old stocks cleaned or sifted and subjected to the same rigorous tests at SPR laboratories. A crucial service is the reclaim, where customers can recover their powders used in electroplating from the waste liquids. This makes it possible to reuse these materials, which is much cheaper than purchasing new powders.


The collaboration of these three businesses to form a new superabrasives company is an exciting venture that will revolutionize the European market and reduce businesses’ reliance on international imports. By uniting forces, SPR will be able to supply the industry with a quality product and unparalleled service. This new enterprise has the potential to fundamentally shift general understanding of abrasive production and applications within Europe, addressing both immediate needs as well as long-term projects. The formation of this new business offers an unrivaled opportunity for everyone involved – customers, stockholders, partners and employees alike. This partnership is yet another excellent illustration of what can be achieved when multiple companies come together in pursuit of a common goal.