This post is about how IBM and a consortium will be applying blockchain technology to jewellery business.
In today’s jewellery market, there still growing concern on the history of diamonds and their manufacture. Up until now, providing historic details of a girl’s best friend is not yet standard practice.
The Kimberley Process was developed to verify that diamonds are conflict-free though it is still difficult to trace a stone to its exact origin.
A Typical Jewellery Supply Chain
Complex is the word to describe a diamond’s supply chain.
Here are some of the stakeholders involved in the precious stones’s journey from the earth to the final consumer – miners, gemological experts, certifiers, regulatory bodies, logistic service providers, wholesalers, designers, retailers, insurance companies and other interested parties.
Apart from the chain of stakeholders involved, specific details are not shared across the entire network and this has led to various versions of the same documents that must be reconciled.
The fact that precious jewels and metals exchange hands countless times also increases the likelihood of fraud occurring.
With the awareness of consumers heightened with regards to the issue of blood diamonds, they want to know the jewellery they are buying is free of any conflict.
Making this possible is as humongous task as the size and scale of the global jewellery industry. A lot of political will and industry-wide collaboration will be required to ensure the transparency of the supply chain transparent and rest the fears of consumers.
Using Blockchain Technology to Prove Origins of Jewellery
Applying blockchain technology to jewellery has two major characteristics that will be leveraged on to certify origins of jewellery.
One, once irreversible, tamperproof and regularly updated record of transactions are distributed across to all network participants. This means no possibility of falsification of documents and no need for reconciliation.
Two, jewellery recorded on blockchain can be traced back to its origin.
Everledger has already shown that this is possible by logging the identifying characteristics of more than 1.6 million diamonds on blockchain.
Now, the visionaries at Asahi Refining, Helzberg Diamonds, LeachGarner, Richline Group and Underwriters Labs have realized that applying blockchain technology to jewellery can revolutionize all of the jewellery industry and are partnering with IBM on a new initiative built on IBM Blockchain Platform called TrustChain™.
TrustChain will be linking the partners who already employ best practice in managing their supply chains as they plan to heighten the level of assurance to buyers with regards to the traceability of their jewellery.
This will make it easy for participants in the blockchain network to keep track of every component in a piece of jewellery from the day they are mined, and journey with them as they’re fabricated into as diamond engagement rings, until they’re sold.
Giving Buyers Peace of Mind
Impeccable level of trust is the new standard of global business and this means that a whether companies follow ethical practices will more than every impact not only their reputation and levels of consumer trust but it can determine its very existence.
Applying Blockchain technology to jewellery will increase consumers’ influence to unprecedented levels and it would make it easy for them to verify if the gold, diamonds and gems in their jewellery are mined and fabricated according to global ethical standards as well as their origins.
With this new development, it becomes important for all key stakeholders in jewellery supply chain to have access to trusted information.
This jewellery blockchain partnership around the TrustChain Initiative has come at the most appropriate time. It is properly positioned see to it that all of the jewellery industry will become more efficient. It will also assure consumers that the movement of diamonds, gems and precious metals from the mines all the way to the retail shops where they will be buying them is free of conflict and has no blood on them.
Well done to IBM and the consortium.