Lasers in jewelry: Customize and fight piracy

Laser marking continues to gain popularity among jewelery desginers, offering a clean environmentally friendly process, flexibility for exquisite designs, and valuable identification methods.

Apr 18th, 2012
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Ring engraving using lasers is not new; class rings and wedding rings have been done this way for decades. But laser marking continues to gain popularity among jewelry designers, offering a clean environmentally friendly process (no chemicals or consumables) and flexibility for exquisite designs.

A new blog post by LaserStar Technologies, Riverside, RI, describes laser engraving in creating jewelry using a variety of metals and compositions, using a precision laser marking machine guided by software. Rings are mounted on a rotary motion device, turned in time with the laser pulses to expose a new section of the ring with each turn. The laser is operated on a controllable pulse and adjustable rate, from single-pulse to continuous wave. (Here's a video showing laser engraving of a custom design on the outside of a ring.)

Types of designs available for laser ring engraving range from simple names to intricate graphic elements and even photo images. A noncontact laser ring engraving technique can produce lines of text as small as 10 μm without abrasion or damage, and without requiring polishing. For example, poetry can be "written" on an eternity ring, or spouses' names, dates, and even marriage vows on the inside of a wedding band. Even a photo image can be produced, if the piece of jewelry is big enough to display it.

Laser engraving for jewelry also can be used for identification and verify authenticity, e.g. to reduce cost for insurance and identification in case of theft. Such techniques enable a jewelry designer to add a serial number, unique symbols, or a logo or inside the ring, helping to combat piracy.

(Image sources: LaserStar Technologies)

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