Would you ever consider purchasing diamond jewelry online? Lots of people have — according to Research and Markets, the jewelry ecommerce market accounts for roughly 5 percent of the $257 billion overall jewelry industry, a share that’s expected to triple by 2020. It’s growing especially quickly in Asia, where the compound annual growth rate from 2011 to 2014 exceeded 60 percent.
But if you’re reluctant to dive in, you’re not the only one — there’s a lot of uncertainty in the online diamond-buying market. High-resolution photos alone don’t always tell the full story, particularly if they’re lit unnaturally. That’s why Swiss diamond advisory firm Diamond Pro developed Ringo, which it is calling the world’s first artificially intelligent (AI) tool to help prospective diamond buyers determine the best options, based on specifications such as certification, shape, setting style, and precious metal type.
“Our team of diamond experts trained Ringo by having the tool review photographs of tens of thousands of diamonds,” said Ira Weissman, founder of the Diamond Pro. “Now shoppers know they can rely on unbiased, sophisticated AI to bring them the best options available.”
Ringo — which playfully evokes Microsoft’s Clippy — tasks buyers with narrowing down parameters in several categories, which the tool’s search algorithms use to recommend diamonds within a certain price range, in certain colors, and with a baseline level of clarity and symmetry. The really novel bit, though, is a “patent-pending” technology that can spot inclusions, or particles visible to the naked eye. Its computer vision models are able to detect when inclusions will be visible once the diamond is placed in a particular ring setting from retailers like James Allen.
“Prior to Ringo, consumers would either need to upgrade in clarity to guarantee eye-cleanliness or have an expert choose a lower clarity diamond that is clean to the naked eye,” Weissman said. “Ringo allows users to choose a lower clarity diamond that is clean without trusting an undereducated salesperson or blindly trusting an online store. It’s a process that eliminates the traditional buy and pray outcome.”
Ringo is available today and can be used even if buyers began their diamond search through James Allen. Sharing the link to the stone with Ringo generates an evaluation, complete with a picture of the diamond and its fluorescence classifications.
AI isn’t just being used to compare diamonds for purchase, as it turns out. STPL, a diamond processing and life sciences group based in Gujarat, India, recently deployed a machine that can autonomously select and position a rough diamond for cutting. Israeli company Sarine, meanwhile, offers tools that tap machine learning to grade the color and quality of both low- and high-carat stones.