A University of Oxford spinout has created laser technology that tackles counterfeiting of diamonds by placing a permanent mark on stones.
Opsydia uses high-precision lasers to etch imprints — such as numbers or logos — smaller than one-50th the size of a human hair below the surface of a diamond. Because of their placement inside the diamond, the laser etchings cannot be polished off.
The technology works by applying laser pulses, shorter than one trillionth of a second in length, and shot over a million times per second, to a diamond. The markings require a microscope to view them and don’t affect the stone’s grading.
De Beers announced on Tuesday it would use Opsydia to mark lab-grown diamonds for its new synthetic-stone venture, Lightbox Jewelry.
“Our laser technology can transform security in the diamond industry and support industry initiatives to prevent counterfeiting and tampering,” said Andrew Rimmer, CEO of Opsydia. “Following the investment from our shareholders, we have a process that works today on an industrial scale. We expect to be able to deliver systems to operators in the diamond industry within months, allowing us to move swiftly to profitability.”
In September, Opsydia closed a seed round of $2.5 million (GBP 1.9 million) in funding from Oxford University Innovation (OUI) and Parkwalk Opportunities Fund.