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Scientists from Russia invented invisible protection of diamonds from counterfeit

Scientists from Russia invented invisible protection of diamonds from counterfeit

Scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (LPI) have developed a new technology for marking diamonds, which makes it possible to trace the path of gems - from the mines to store windows, which will protect customers from fakes.

The Russian Science Foundation said the technology involves laser marking a gemstone with three-dimensional photoluminescent markers, which are invisible in ordinary lighting. The authors of the technology say it is possible to generate a unique pattern, barcode or QR-code that will identify each diamond.

The authors of the technology cooperated with the diamond mining company Alrosa and its industrial partner, Microlaser.

Photoluminescent micromarks appear as a result of the influence of laser pulses on special atomistic defects in the crystal - optical centers where nitrogen atoms are located and which in some cases give color to the stone. Such marks can be seen only by special illumination, the Russian Science Foundation explained. Information about each stone will be stored and updated in a digital cloud.

"Unlike micrometrics on the surface of diamonds, volumetric photoluminescent tags are a more reliable and durable information carrier, which is very important for legal circulation of diamonds and protection of trademarks," said project leader Sergey Kudryashov, a leading researcher and head of the Laboratory of Laser Nanophysics and Biomedicine at FIAN.

It is noted that in recent years the problem of diamond forgery has become especially prevalent: the diamond market is flooded with synthetic analogues of natural gems virtually indistinguishable from crystals mined from the subsurface. It is possible to tell the difference only through a serious gemological examination. Unscrupulous sellers who pass off synthetic diamonds as natural ones often take advantage of it.

Back in 2019, this problem was brought to the attention of the Ministry of Finance. According to the ministry, illegal "synthetics" accounted for about 20% of all diamonds sold.

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Author: Karina Kamalova