Alrosa, a Russian conglomerate of diamond mining companies, is introducing a new laser-marking diamond tracing technology.

The move is designed to distinguish the company’s diamonds from those of other companies, as well as providing an insight into the stone’s origins.

Alrosa said that US and Chinese consumer surveys have indicated that supply chain transparency and diamond tracing are increasingly important factors for end-customers.

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The method, which Alrosa said is non-invasive, has been developed with the help of scientists from the Russian Academy of Sciences, as well as Alrosa’s Research Geological Enterprise (NIGP) and the Yakutniproalmaz Institute.

The three-dimensional code offers 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.

The process is already in use for the tracing of both rough and polished diamonds.

Oleg Kovalchuk, who supervises the project at the Yakutniproalmaz Institute, commented: “A nanomark is applied using a laser pulse of a certain wavelength, intensity and duration.

“This causes nanoregions to form across the entire crystal, which can only be viewed with a scanner created specifically for reading the marks.

“As such, we have now developed standardised procedures for embedding information and marking a rough diamond with a distributed mark to identify it.”

Sergey Ivanov, CEO of ALROSA, added: “Guided by growing market demand, we are focusing our efforts on tracing and guaranteeing the origin of our diamonds.

“As the world’s largest vertically integrated diamond-mining company, Alrosa is in a unique position: with access to the full cycle of manufacturing, we have all the necessary information about our polished diamonds and the rough diamonds from which they were cut.

“The laser nanomark technology we have created allows these guarantees to be extended to the diamonds sold by our partners.

“By purchasing jewellery with a diamond protected by a nanomark, the buyer can be sure that it was actually made by Alrosa: the three-dimensional code embedded in the diamond is linked to its unique identifier and digital passport on the company’s database, which also includes details of the socio-economic benefits associated with its production.”