The first blockchain for coloured gemstones has been launched into the market.
While transparency has been a hot topic in the jewellery industry over the last couple of year, the primary focus to date has been on diamonds. Now, however, with the introduction of the Provenance Proof Blockchain, the trade will be able to track the provenance of all gemstones every step along the supply chain.
The Provenance Proof Blockchain claims to be an inclusive solution, applicable to any type of gemstone and open to any stakeholder of the gemstone and jewellery community who is ready to embrace transparency. Furthermore, it’s free of charge.
The purpose of the Provenance Proof Blockchain is to provide the industry with a tool that enables the tracking of each step of a specific gemstone along the supply chain.
A gemstone’s journey begins at the mine, which is where the Provenance Proof Blockchain ideally starts. Every transaction and hand-over adds an entry to the blockchain, resulting in a record, providing transparency into the complete journey of a gemstone, from the mine to the end consumer.
This blockchain project is part of the Provenance Proof initiative, a long-term programme established by the Gübelin Gem Lab to create services and technologies enabling and promoting more transparency in the gemstone industry.
The Provenance Proof Blockchain is suitable for any type of gemstone. It perfectly complements the Emerald Paternity Test, the first innovation under the Provenance Proof. This technology uses physical nanolabels, which are inserted in emeralds, so they can be traced back to the exact mine. A combination of both a physical tracer (Emerald Paternity Test) and digital ledger (Provenance Proof Blockchain), enables even more transparency.
Everledger, an emerging technology enterprise specialised in blockchain-based solutions for high-value assets, was entrusted with the task of building the system architecture, feature design and technological infrastructure for the Provenance Proof Blockchain. Together with the mining company Fura Gems the technological solution was developed and tested. Fura Gems is listed at the Canadian stock exchange and has contributed, as the mining pilot partner, significantly to the solution. To Fura Gems, fair mining respecting the environment and the people is essential as the company says: “Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is at the heart of our business.”
Diverging needs such as transparency and privacy are carefully balanced; visibility into the supply chain is restricted to the entity in ownership or custody of the gemstone, and only upstream, i.e. towards the mine. It is a simple and fast process that also allows very small players to use the Provenance Proof Blockchain in a lean and efficient way. All processes, including the registration and the upload of data, can be done with a smartphone. This ensures that the use of the Provenance Proof Blockchain is a truly inclusive solution, convenient for all types and sizes of stakeholders – artisanal miners, small-scale cooperatives, large companies, and any size of cutters and treaters, dealers, wholesalers, gem labs, manufacturers, jewellery brands, retailers, and end consumers.
There are no charges for the use of this blockchain solution. Both the data contribution and access are completely free of charge. Costs are born by the Gübelin family who is proud to make this contribution to foster transparency in the gemstone and jewellery industry in general.
President of the House of Gübelin, Raphael Gübelin, states: “To our family company, it has always been essential to provide as much information as possible to the industry and the end consumer. Therefore, we have established the Provenance Proof Blockchain to promote transparency in the gemstone industry on a completely new level. We invite every stakeholder who embraces transparency to participate.”
Dev Shetty, president and CEO of Fura Gems, adds: “We firmly believe that this technology will raise best practices in the coloured gemstone industry and serve the entire supply chain by educating consumers, promoting transparency and providing a platform from which producers can demonstrate their commitment to preserving the environment and contributing to local communities through education, training, and employment opportunities. Fura Gems is committed to setting a new precedent for best practices among the coloured gemstone industry and we are proud to have supported this project from its initiation.”
Any professional stakeholder along the entire value chain is now invited to register and start using the Provenance Proof Blockchain.