Consumers are becoming more aware of the importance of environmental, ethical sourcing and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) standards. This realization makes it harder for the mining companies and industry specialists who can not be able to demonstrate supply chain transparency and provide details of where the raw materials (gemstones) have been produced or sourced.
Gübelin Gem Lab, a world-renowned gem lab founded in 1923, announced that a significant volume (0.32 million carats) of gemstones containing two Provenance Proof technologies have entered the market. The lab examines and determines the authenticity of the stones used in their jewellery.
Early 2017, Gübelin entered into a partnership with Gemfields to introduce the two Provenance Proof Technologies in the gems mined. The technologies include:
- Emerald Paternity Test – a new technology that uses customised DNA-based nanoparticles enabling traceability of emeralds back to the exact place of mining. This technology was researched, designed and developed by ETH Zurich who partnered with Gübelin Gem Lab to implement in the colored stone industry.
- Provenance Proof Blockchain – a blockchain project launched in partnership with Everledger, a leading global emerging technology Enterprise.
The Gemstone Mining Conglomerate, Gemfields Group, conducted the Singapore emerald auction held in Singapore from 18 to 21 November 2019. The emeralds were extracted by Kagem Mining Ltd in Zambia (which is 75% owned by Gemfields and 25% by the Industrial Development Corporation of Zambia).
The Singapore auction saw 48 companies placing bids on the 33 out of 38 lots of emeralds available on sale with total revenues jumping to 27.4 million from 22.4 million (May 2019 Singapore auction). Gemfields said that the proceeds of the auction will be fully repatriated to Kagem in Zambia, with all royalties due to the Government of the Republic of Zambia being paid on the full sales prices achieved at the auction.
This is the first time that several thousand high-quality gemstones enter the supply chain that contains physical tracers with blockchain tech which in the near future, these emeralds will become available to jewellery retailers, offering an unprecedented level of transparency into the path of a gemstone, and opening new ways of customized story-telling to retailers.
Photo credit: Gubelin Gemmology