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Alrosa unveils new diamond tracking method

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Alrosa (MCX: ALRS), the world’s top diamond miner by output, has begun offering customers a new laser-marking technology that allows them to trace rough and polished stone from the mine to the jewellery store.

Unlike traditional laser engraving, the so-called nano mark is only visible with a special scanner and it is impossible to be destroyed or polished off as it applies to the atomic structure of the diamond.

Oleg Kovalchuk, a researcher at the Alrosa Institute in Siberia, says the method recreates the process that occurs in diamonds for millions of years.

Scientists believe that, as the technology evolves, it is likely to become an important way of embedding large amounts of data within the diamond, including media files, images and music.

The company’s physical nano marking is a three-dimensional code linked to the Alrosa’ Provenance platform. It offers in-depth information about the diamond’s origin and characteristics, as well as a unique identification number, photo, video and details about how it has been cut. Scientists believe that, as the technology evolves, it is likely to become an important way of embedding large amounts of data within the diamond, including media files, images and music.

Rival De Beers uses an end-to-end diamond blockchain program to track diamonds, which Alrosa tried out 2018. Soon after, the Russian miner also developed its own program to allow buyers to track the diamond’s history in detail, using an identity number and electronic and video passports.

The company is not the only one applying nanotechnology. In February, New York-based Nano Innovator Holdings (NIH) unveiled a prototype platform for end-to-end identification of rough and polished diamonds using the technology.

Both Alrosa and NIH’s solutions do not change the diamond’s clarity or colour, as per The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) grading standard.

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