Mining News

Alrosa to host first-ever auction of nanomarked diamond

Russia’s Alrosa (MCX: ALRS) announced that its first-ever auction of a 1.1-carat nanomarked diamond will take place from March 21 to April 3, 2022.

The lot’s starting price is $6,700 and the auction will take place on Alrosa’s online platform. 

According to the company, its nanomarking technology enables a personalized message, voice note, photo or even video to be imprinted inside a diamond’s crystal lattice, along with information about the gem’s origin and characteristics.

“Blood diamonds are a challenge of the past, as the technology allows each stone to be traced with 100% accuracy,” the miner said in a media statement. “Unlike conventional etching, the nanomark cannot be polished off and is read with a special scanner.”

The noninvasive laser marking was developed by Alrosa together with researchers from the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Yakutniproalmaz Institute.

The marking is made by applying a laser pulse of a certain wavelength, intensity and duration to both rough diamonds and the gemstones created from them. This laser radiation acts at an atomic level on the crystal lattice, imitating the natural acceleration of atomic diffusion that occurs over millions of years in the earth’s upper mantle. As a result of the radiation, nanodomains form within the crystal. These domains are different from the diamond’s background and are visible only using a scanner specially created to read the markings. 

The world’s top diamond miner by output said that in addition to making it easier for buyers to trace the provenance of the rocks they acquire, the new solution also helps them identify and distinguish Alrosa diamonds from others, including lab-grown gems.

Good prospects

The diamond industry has rebounded since the start of the pandemic. Consumers on lockdown bought stones instead of travelling and kept buying as the economy strengthened. This trend pushed cutters to buy more roughs to restock and fulfill the orders placed by jewellers and retailers.

Alrosa’s sales revenue jumped by 49% to $4.2 billion last year as demand exceeded supply, helping it recover from the hit it took at the start of the covid-19 pandemic.

The miner boosted production by 8% to 32.4 million carats by increasing output at deposits in Russia’s far east.

Share this article