Provenance Proof, a spin-off of Gübelin Gem Lab, recently launched the first-ever online marketplace for traceable gems, with listings for more than 5 million colored stones.
“It’s about transparency,” says Klemens Link, director of the Lucerne, Switzerland–based trading platform. “We said let’s make a meeting place where jewelers could search and get in touch with gemstone suppliers. We thought there was a big need for this.”
The platform features over 50 different types of gemstones and pearls and hopes to one day include diamonds. It uses technology from tech company Everledger, which records the gems’ history on the blockchain, creating a logbook that cannot be modified or changed.
“[Jewelers and manufacturers] who go on this marketplace will be able to see the recorded history of the gemstone,” says Link. “[The blockchain] creates a digital asset from the rough to the cut gemstone, which can then be passed onto the consumer of the jewelry piece. It gives the ability to look at each gem and see what information is documented.”
Link notes that the marketplace will give participating gem miners the opportunity to showcase their sustainability efforts, as well as the benefits gem mining brings to local communities.
“One of the reasons we started this is because people at the beginning of the supply chain often have a good story to tell,” Link says. “This helps them tell that story.”
Provenance Proof made a particular attempt to include artisanal and small-scale miners on the platform, though they had to be careful, in some cases, about revealing the mine’s precise location, because of security concerns, Link says.
The trading platform was spun off from the Gübelin Gem Lab in early 2020 and now functions an independent company within the House of Gübelin.
Industry stakeholders are able to join the platform for free.
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