After a previous version of Everledger liquidated, founder Leanne Kemp says the gem-tracing company is “100% back in her hands” and is ready for its next collaboration: with Signet.
Everledger is partnering with Signet’s U.K. chain Ernest Jones to introduce a new collection, Origin by Ernest Jones, which features diamonds that have been tracked and traced on Everledger’s blockchain. But this isn’t the standard origin-tracing initiative, Kemp says.
“This is more than just the origin of the diamond. It takes it a step further in cataloging the metals and the manufacturing process and the renewable energy used.”
There are no claims about carbon neutrality, she says—deliberately so.
“There’s a lot of work we as an industry need to do on carbon neutrality,” she says. “There’s not been a full life-cycle analysis done, so the current carbon neutrality systems do not take into account the full scope of carbon.”
The collection also allows for personalized storytelling, as buyers get a “digital storybook” of the piece’s creation. Each item also gets a “digital twin” and “Everledger Jewellery Passport” which contains sustainability information and details about the craftsmanship behind the piece.
For Kemp, the collaboration with one of the world’s biggest companies comes at an opportune time—after some had written off her company for dead, following filings for administration in Australia and the United Kingdom earlier this summer.
Kemp admits the company underwent a “horrific series of events” when “an investor didn’t satisfy the investor agreement.” (That issue is now in court, she says.) Everledger has now been restructured and she is now its sole owner, she says.
The new, slimmer company is “well-capitalized,” says Kemp. “It was always generating revenue. We have a good foundation and underlying business and our consumers believe in it.”
Everledger 2.0 will have 15 employees (pre-bankruptcy, it had 55), and will now concentrate on its core markets of gems, minerals, and textiles.
“We no longer have a team of 20 salespeople,” she says. “But we still have a core technology and product team. We are not scaling back our technical proficiency.”
Kemp foresees greater demand for gem traceability solutions, given the G-7’s well-publicized desire to block Russian gems. But she thinks there needs to be a way for all the different tracking methods to communicate.
“That’s the real work for the technologists in industry,” she says. “In finance, the SWIFT [Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication] protocol helps banks coordinate the exchange of data. That’s the work we have to do. How do we get that interconnectedness, so that the ledgers are able to work with each other?”
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