ONE of the worlds leading diamond dealers will be partnering with a pioneering Oxford firm to help address the risk of tampering and counterfeiting in the diamond sector.

Diamond giant De Beers has announced it will be using Opsydia, a venture from the University of Oxford, to micro-label its new lab-grown diamond range, Lightbox Jewellery.

Using high precision lasers, Opsydia can make tiny marks, less than 1/50th of the size of a human hair, below the surface of diamonds.

Unlike current industry standard security marking on the diamond surface, these marks sit within the stone so cannot be polished off economically, while being so small they have no effect on the grading or quality of the gems.

Steve Coe of Lightbox: “We are pleased to partner with Opsydia in the use of this exciting new technology.

“This internal laser marking technology will provide a robust means for the simple, visual identification of the stones in Lightbox Jewellery as being laboratory grown, while at the same time providing assurance to consumers that this product has been manufactured to high standards by a world leader in this field.”

The marks prevent the stones used from being passed off as natural, and serve as a guarantee of quality.

The firm has secured £1.9 million of funding through Oxford University Innovation and investment firm Parkwalk to develop the business.

CEO of Opsydia, Andrew Rimmer, said the investment from shareholders, means the company has process that works today on an industrial scale, while systems to operators in the diamond industry could be delivered ‘within months’.