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Firm’s traceability tech to instil ‘confidence and trust’ for jewellers


The Gübelin Gem Lab, one of the world’s leaders in the analysis of precious gemstones has launched a new technology to trace emeralds back to their origins.

The Emerald Paternity Test is designed to offer jewellery brands a new level of transparency when sourcing emeralds, aiming to instil confidence and trust, so says the company.

The test uses customised DNA-based nanoparticles enabling traceability of emeralds back to the “exact place of mining”.

It is the first of a series of technologies and services developed by Gübelin Gem Lab dedicated to bringing more transparency into the gemstone industry, united under the Provenance Proof label.

This technology uses DNA-based nanoparticles that are applied directly at the mine, onto the rough emerald crystals.

Developed specifically to survive the usual procedures, which an emerald undergoes before reaching the end consumer (such as cleaning, cutting, polishing, transportation, setting), the nanoparticles can be retrieved and decoded at any stage along the supply chain.

This is the first time nanotechnology – the branch of technology that deals with dimensions of less than 100 nanometres – has been used in such context. The size of these particles makes them invisible to optical microscopes, therefore not affecting the appearance, quality and properties of the stone whatsoever.

Daniel Nyfeler, managing director, Gübelin Gem Lab, stated: “This technology offers all stakeholders along the entire supply chain, from the miner to the final customers, proof of the exact source of emeralds, instilling confidence and creating trust.

“It enables a new level of transparency for the gemstone trade. Partnering with Gemfields for the feasibility study was an obvious choice, as it is not only an industry leader, but a forward thinking company, and hence a perfect partner to test a ground-breaking idea such as this paternity test for emeralds.”


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