March 2017

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Diamond Inscriptions: What Every Jewelry Retailer Should Know

Diamond inscriptions are a very popular and effective service for jewelry and diamond retailers to offer added value to customers. In a competitive retail environment, sellers must leverage smart technologies and approaches that can help them stand out from the crowd. Inscribing diamonds with a personal message customizes both the diamond and the experience of owning the diamond, strengthening the customer’s connection with the gemstone. Before making the decision to offer diamond inscriptions, it’s important to have all the facts at hand. We spoke with David Block, the newly appointed CEO of Sarine Technologies, developer of the DiaScribe™ diamond inscription device, to find out everything jewelry retailers need to know about diamond inscriptions.

David Block, newly appointed CEO of Sarine Technologies, talks about diamond inscriptions
David Block, newly appointed CEO of Sarine Technologies, talks about diamond inscriptions

If a retailer is researching whether to offer this service, what qualities should they look for in a diamond-inscription company?

David Block, CEO Sarine Technologies: Retailers can offer diamond inscriptions in two ways – by purchasing a machine and inscribing diamonds in-house, or by using a service center or laser lab. Whether a retailer chooses to provide in-house or outsourced inscription services, one of the most important and obvious factors is to minimize the risk of damage to the diamond that can occur during the inscribing process. Another factor to consider is cost effectiveness. This will depend on the size of the retailer and the level of customer demand for inscriptions. If demand is fairly low, then it may be more profitable to send the diamonds out to a service center for inscription, rather than investing in equipment and staff training. If demand is sufficient to support the purchase of an inscription machine, then ease of use is a critical factor in selecting the right device.

What documentation should come with a diamond inscription?

Diamond inscriptions are not clearly visible to the naked eye. Inscribed diamonds should come with a digital report that includes accurate images of the magnified inscriptions. In the case of an ID inscription, the digital images verify the ID and support the authenticity of the lab report. For personalized inscriptions, such as a love message or anniversary date, the magnified images provide visual proof of the inscription, which will increase the customer’s confidence and connection with the diamond.

What is something an inscription company should never do?

The diamond ID inscription should always match the accompanying lab certification. Laser labs and other inscription providers should make strenuous efforts to avoid mistakes that may lead to a misrepresentation of the diamond.

What is a reasonable turnaround time?

If using a machine in house, the inscription process can be completed in a few minutes, enabling retailers to offer on-the-spot inscription services. If outsourcing to a laser lab, a quality inscription should take no more than a few days. Of course, this varies depending upon the lab. In many cases, a faster turnaround will come at a higher cost.

How should a retailer decide what technology is right for them?

Selecting an appropriate inscription technology will depend on a combination of factors. These include the inscription accuracy, ease of use, and – most critically – the system’s reliability, in order to ensure the highest level of quality and perfection in the inscribed result.

What’s the best way for a retailer to determine whether to buy a machine or send each diamond out to a third party?

The choice between purchasing an inscription machine and outsourcing inscription services will depend on two variables: the amount of diamond inscriptions, and the necessary turnaround time. For a retailer who has a substantial turnover of diamond inscriptions, it may be sensible and beneficial, both in terms of customer satisfaction and profitability, to invest in a machine for in-house use. An in-house inscription machine also enables the retailer to provide on-the-spot service, which gives them a competitive edge.

How can a retailer know what a fair price is for the machine and/or the service?

Determining a ‘fair’ price for inscription technology and services is a matter of balancing the cost vs. the need. Each individual retailer should define the type of inscription service they must provide to satisfy their customers: same day or longer turnaround? Cheaper or more pricey service? Average or superior accuracy? Once the retailer has set these guidelines, the decision about the amount worth investing in inscription services will be clearer.

What about inscription removal services? Are there certain things a retailer should consider before offering removal?

The demand for inscription removal is usually due to a personalized inscription that is no longer relevant to the diamond owner. The main thing to consider is the effect on the carat weight. For smaller diamonds, the removal of an inscribed section can have a substantial impact on the size and value of the diamond. However, for larger diamonds, this will not be such an issue. And of course, the request to remove an ID inscription should raise a red flag. Under regular circumstances, an ID inscription matching the lab certification should remain a part of the diamond forever.

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