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Signet to Test Diamond Tracking Technology

Aug 28, 2016 9:54 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Signet Jewelers will trial mapping technology enabling customers to track diamonds they buy from the retailer, after allegations of diamond swapping surfaced earlier this year. 

The equipment enables the customer to see the flaws in a diamond. Signet will test it in the period from November to January at Kay Jewelers stores.

Every diamond has a “thumbprint” and "unique marks," Mark Light, Signet’s chief executive officer, said in a call with analysts following Thursday second-quarter results announcement. "We will mark those on a digital screen and then we’ll have the ability to digitally send over that picture to our customers via email and keep it in our own files."

The move will produce “even more transparency for our customers,” Light added.

Signet, which created the technology internally, plans to trial it in “hundreds” of stores before it weighs up marketing it more widely.

Signet’s share price fell 20 percent following allegations, published on BuzzFeed in May, that claimed some diamonds handed in for repairs were “replaced” to the detriment of owners. In a statement, Signet denied any “systematic” diamond-swapping by its employees and said cases of misconduct were “exceedingly rare” and “are dealt with swiftly and appropriately.”

Negative perceptions of the company in the media, including social media, “normalized” in July and August, Light added.

Signet reported sales declined 2.6 percent in the second fiscal quarter that ended July 30, with the jeweler adjusting its full-year outlook downward. Signet’s share price fell 15.5 percent to $80.65 Thursday through to Friday.
Tags: diamond swapping, Diamond tracking, Kay Jewelers, Mark Light, Rapaport News, Signet, Signet Jewelers, technology
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