Leading diamond security specialist, Opsydia, has honed its sub-surface laser technology to create its smallest and faintest identifier to date, meaning even an internally flawless natural diamond can have a logo, serial number or encrypted code placed beneath its surface without affecting its clarity grade.
These nano-scale identifiers can be placed within a diamond to create a physical link between a specific stone and its grading report, blockchain record or branded jewellery origins.
They are not detectable with a standard grading microscope and must be read at >100x magnification or with an Opsydia ID viewer – a device capable of reading identifiers that is currently in the research and development phase.
The negligible impact of a nano-scale identifier on the clarity grade of internally flawless diamonds has been independently verified and confirmed by two leading grading houses, including the Swiss Gemmological Institute (SSEF).
For Opsydia chief executive officer, Andrew Rimmer, this is a step forward that makes sub surface laser identifiers more appealing to the natural diamond industry. He says: “This is a vital milestone for Opsydia as it means every diamond, no matter its clarity or size, can be secured with an identity feature beneath its surface. This presents new opportunities for grading houses, diamond manufacturers and luxury diamond jewellery brands that want to achieve the next level of security and anti-counterfeiting, while also supporting existing blockchain initiatives.”
The Opsydia System uses a high-precision, ultrafast laser to place logos, alphanumeric sequences or coded shapes (known as identifiers), as small as one micron in diameter, at a depth of up to 0.25 millimetres beneath the surface of a diamond. This laser is tightly focused only once it passes the surface of a diamond, therefore only creating the identifier at a selected depth without affecting the surface condition or polish. It can be used below any part of a diamond’s surface, such as the table or a specific facet.
Rimmer continues: “The Opsydia System can be used by grading houses to place a report number beneath the surface of a diamond, therefore creating a physical link between a specific stone and its report and reducing fraud. This could be offered as a premium service for exceptional stones. Elsewhere, for the volume market, placing identifiers in diamonds can aid in transparency initiatives, reduce the risk of counterfeiting, and protect against laboratory-grown diamond substitution.”
The Opsydia System (approx. one metre wide and standard doorway accessible) is based on cutting edge laser technology developed at the University of Oxford. It can place unique identity features in melee stones of just 0.5 millimetres in diameter and is capable of processing 50,000 to 100,000 stones per year in an industrial environment. Encryption techniques ensure the unique identifiers of one company with an Opsydia System cannot be fraudulently acquired and processed by another Opsydia user.