Diamond inscriptions use lasers to inscribe tiny marks connecting a diamond to its certificate number, increasing consumers’ trust and making mix-ups and fraud less likely. Retailers can offer inscription either by purchasing a machine and inscribing diamonds in-house or by using a lab. “It’s important for gem labs or stone traders to get stone inscriptions,” says Emily Rubenstein of OGI Systems, “because it is proof of authentication of the stone.”
If you decided to buy your own system, you could turn it into a relative advantage: You could attract your customers by offering them a unique service. You could even take it further and advertise yourself as an inscription center for diamonds and gemstones.
The vast majority of these nearly invisible imprints — 99 percent, says Photoscribe CEO David Benderly — are done on the diamond girdle, normally with carbon. (On another facet of the diamond, the mark must be transparent and can affect clarity.) While Benderly says he has inscribed short poems and wedding dates on diamonds, most of the time it’s a certificate number or logo
“If a jeweler inscribes his store logo or name on the stone,” Benderly says, “that says to me, ‘I stand behind this. You can trust me.’”
1. KASSOY's Inscription Loupes offer a convenient tool for customers to see the inscription on the girdle of a diamond, available in 20 and 30 times magnification. Being able to show the customer an inscription on a diamond guarantees that they are receiving the same stone back from a repair, and when they are purchasing a stone, the certification matches, says Cat Dugan, Kassoy’s marketing director.
2. Sarine Technologies Diascribe
Points to Consider
Follow the paper trail. Though inscriptions are not visible to the naked eye, their documentation should be front and center. “Inscribed diamonds should come with a digital report that includes accurate images of the magnified inscriptions,” David Block, COO of Sarine Technologies, says.
Opt for a trial run. Sometimes you can ask the diamond inscription company to do a test on a stone — zirconia is a good option — and see how it turns out, Rubenstein says.
Chips happen. “During the inscribing process, there’s always a chance the diamond will fracture (known as “laser remnants inclusion”). When a personalized inscription is no longer relevant to the diamond’s new owner, consider the effect removal will have on carat weight (and thus, value) of a smaller diamond.
Evaluate cost versus demand. If demand is low, it may be more profitable to send diamonds to a service center, rather than investing in equipment and training. If demand supports the purchase, ease of use is critical in selecting the right device. “If you sell $2,000 to $5,000 stones, it pays for itself very fast,” Benderly says.
Emphasize speed. If outsourcing to a laser lab, a quality inscription should take no more than a few days. If your machine is inhouse, it takes just a few minutes.
Never inscribe diamond quality on the diamond. “Even when you make a certificate that states the date and the diamond quality, it’s not guaranteed to be that quality later on,” Benderly says.
Never allow ID removal. The request to remove an ID inscription (possible by polishing the facet) should raise a red flag.
Benold’s Jewelers, Austin, TX
“Just last week, we sent a 2-carat round diamond — J color/SI1 — to GIA to be inscribed. The diamond was already graded with a GIA report, but in order to do the inscription, it was re-graded and inscribed. The new grading report says I color/SI1, which is a bonus for the customer.”
This article originally appeared in the September 2016 edition of INSTORE.