Diamond Identification Technology Developed

150 150 Rapaport News

(Rapaport…June 28, 2002) Aurora Metals’ Canadian subsidiary, Crystal Coding Limited, has invented a new method of gem identification that enables diamonds and other gemstones to be uniquely identified and verifiable from rough to polished.

The procedure is secure, simple, quick and cost-effective. It combines technology with innovative processes that will be of significant value to governments, mining companies, gemstone manufacturers, wholesalers and consumers. It also has groundbreaking implications for the Kimberley Process.

Alan Eastham, special negotiator for conflict diamonds at the U.S. State Department, said that if successful, and depending on the cost of the technology, this is dramatic news for the Kimberley Process, which up until now has operated on the assumption that there is no scientific way to tell the origin of a diamond whether from a mine or from its entry into the market.

Richard Whittall, advisor to Crystal Coding, said that although the technology is not yet in operation, it is only a matter of formalities. The process already works.

“The best analogy would be a photocopy machine,” he said. “If you put a rough diamond on it, it has the ability to identify its unique characteristics including its origin and value. An image of the diamond is produced, forming a blueprint that is then kept on record. The stone is also encrypted in a way that does not alter the design of a brand name. This would help law enforcements agencies trace a lost or stolen diamond if it appears anywhere in the world. It is also a way to ensure that the diamond you ship off to be cut or polished is the same one you get back.”

According to Whittall, the hardware for a big, automative system suitable for use by a country’s government could cost well under $1 million, but prices may go down. For a manual system, more suitable to the GIA or jewelers, hardware could cost less than $1,000. He hopes people will adopt it, but expects resistance from those in the diamond industry not keen to change the traditional way of doing business based on trust alone.

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