New Stuff: Rap List 2.0; Nano-Photos on Diamonds? (Updated)

We get a lot of announcements of new products here at JCK, but here are two interesting recent ones:

– Martin Rapaport is unveiling a new price list, a “Best Price” tally that will track the “discounts” off his widely used price sheet. 

The discounts will be calculated by tallying  the asking prices of the 300,000-plus diamonds listed on his computer service Rapnet, Rapaport told me. The new list will be available every Monday to Rapnet subscribers only.

“It answers the question: What is the discount off of Rapaport?” he says.”It’s greater transparency.” His main list, he says, “mostly sits there, but moves up and down based on my opinion where the market is moving. This daily asking price is very volatile and very jumpy.”

But what happens on Rapnet won’t necessarily influence his main list: “The list is my opinion of what is going on in the world – not just Rapnet,” he says.

– A new Silicon Valley company, Gemory, recently issued a release saying it can nano-inscribe high-resolution photographs on diamonds – a claim that has raised skepticism from a reporter who wasn’t able to get ahold of anyone at the company.

I was able to, and I’m certainly intrigued.   While another company, Photoscribe, also inscribes photos on gems, Gemory’s founder, Erman Lee, claims it can inscribe multiple photos, on girdles and tables, on stone as small as one pointers. (The pictures will require a special viewer to see.) The photos themselves are no bigger than the width of a hair, he says.

Lee told me his proprietary, patent-pending technology, which he would not describe, grew out of his work in the semi-conductor field. He says it does not damage the diamond in any way, and uses different technology than GIA’s laser-based method, or De Beers’ ion beam-based technology which it uses for the Forevermark.

However, this comment seems to indicate the technology is in some way ion beam related (and involves someone whose name is pretty similar to Lee’s). I guess we’ll see. (Note: See Update)

Lee plans to launch his service with an ebay auction. He calls it an expensive process that he will position as a “high end item.”

“When we can reduce the cost on this inscription then we will move to a larger consumer market,” Lee says. “The cost will not make sense for at least 12 months.”

He’s also in discussion with prospective “partners” – and hopefully with gemological laboratories so someone can independently verify his claims.

In any case, if all this is true, it seems like really interesting technology that will be a great promotional gimmick. I’d be interested in any thoughts …

UPDATE 1: In response to my queries about the above, Lee emails:  “We use multiple nanotechnology processes. Having a member in the company who was exposed to a similar ion beam technology than De Beers used does not mean it is the same technology we are using. Please understand that we need to protect our unique process in order to protect our business. No other companies in the world can inscribe high-resolution grayscale photographs, without being invasive to the stone.”

UPDATE 2: The ebay auction was just posted; it’s here.


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JCK News Director

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