Pearl tracing ; an innovative nondestructive method
In contrast with other approaches, with technically advanced methods or complex information access, the HOP concept is very simple: Apply a very small label designed not to distract the eye when worn in jewellery, nevertheless quite easy to find . The label is a microscopic particle produced in variable shape and size carrying a high resolution holographic image securing the authenticity. Its many security levels make counterfeiting very difficult. Indeed, coded label is the core activity of the project. Relevant data could be written on the tag, such as quality grading, geographical origin, the name of the pearl farm name, year of the harvest, type of mollusk, ethics label, brands or best practices in particular. It can be considered to add other type of information.
The hologram will be different for each pearl producer. Each producer could have a batch of different labels in order to split his production by quality levels if wanted. This particle is further personalized by a variable alphanumeric code integrated within the structure itself . The hologram base contains coded information to insure that the tag is indeed from the HoP system.
An example of a custom octagonal tag measuring 400 µm, glued on a Pinctada margaritifera beaded cultured pearl , inscribed with « A.BCD » clearly visible with microscope magnification. (x85)
The tracing cultured pearl HOP technology is clearly based on a visibility approach even if the solution embedded invisible coding for strengthen the security. The HOP technology is a combination of different techniques and components. In order to preserve the security of the project and patent pending, the security coding specifications are not included in this publication. (Tag enclosed are samples)
The tag is held on the pearl with specific optical glue. This glue has the particularity to luminesce under UV lamp examination (here 365nm emitter with blue response). The luminescence helps localize the tag on the pearl. It is also instrumental in identifying the type of pearl, we imagined different colors of luminescence according to the variety (freshwater, Tahiti, South Sea …) :
It is thus easy to find the smaller tag on the pearl and to immediately identify the class of gem through the color code assigned to each variety of pearls. Notice that the pearl does not luminesce in these conditions (size of the spot is around 1mm)
HOP Graving code © as 'A.BCD' on the prototyping series, HOP could include a combination of letters or numbers that indicate the production country, the vintage, the pearl’s grading, the professional ID number, the professional category and a security key. It can be customized in order to be closer to the customer requests or the local regulation .
HOP secondary coding : 3 lines with 4 Alpha numerical characters
CK : Cook Islands ISO 3166-1-alpha-2
14 : 2014
XXXX : Id number and/or Pearls grading (customizable)
PR : producer (customizable)
99 : Security key
HOP label can be read anywhere, even with a small device like a magnifying glass. Anywhere, just with a simple device you will have relevant information. Of course if you are in better conditions and have a laptop, a Smartphone and web connection you will have access to additional information.
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