The Genealogy of Stones

First gemstones with physical tracers and digital trackers are entering the market – two Provenance Proof technologies by Gübelin Gem Lab combined for more transparency

How many years did it take to cre- ate you these two tracers?
«In spring 2017, the first Provenance Proof technology was presented: the Emerald Paternity Test. It is based on nanolabels developed to make them suit the needs of the gemstone industry, including the capability to penetrate into tiniest fissures, and to remain tightly deep in the stone, to survive the usual processes that emeralds are typically subjected to. Research and Development of this innovative technology took more than a year in order to use nanolabels for the first time in the coloured gemstone industry. Regarding the digital tracking system, we have kicked off in the second half of 2017. Together with our partner Everledger, we have designed and built the digital ledger in 18 months. In Febru- ary 2019, we presented the blockchain for coloured gemstones, and handed over this first free-to-use tracking solution to everyone in the industry».
How many companies are using these new technologies?
«So far, more than 100 companies – from large, stock-traded companies to small, artisanal operations – have completed the registration process and are authorised users of the Provenance Proof Blockchain. More than 70 have agreed to have their name listed on the Provenance Proof Billboard, a public directory that helps buyers finding traceable gemstones. About 20% of the high-quality production of emeralds is equipped with the Emerald Paternity Test. In the last few weeks alone, more than 5000 emeralds have entered the market that contain both our physical tracers and are also uploaded in the Provenance Proof Blockchain. This means that jewellery brands can now approach their sup- pliers and ask for traceable gemstones. Each technology works perfectly on its own, but a combination of both provides even more robust transparency».

How many stones are just tracked with them?
«Regarding stones entered in the blockchain, we receive such informa- tion directly from users of the blockchain. We cannot access such data. Since the en- tries are encrypted to protect the privacy of the participants, we cannot see who has entered the information. This privacy is a distinctive feature of the Blockchain».
Which is the real plus and extra value to have a tracked stone? Can you give me a % in money of this extra value?
«Provenance Proof is offering its innovative technologies to the entire industry. It is not at us to talk about extra financial value - it is the market that makes the price. But we are convinced that consumers are highly interested to get more and provable information about the journey of the gemstone. And we believe that a small premium can be added for gems that show their full supply chain journey. Transparency is a mega trend and we are providing solutions to bring a completely new level of transparency to the gem and jewellery industry».
Gubelin has offices in Lucerne, HK and NY: are there some differences between the requests of tracked stones? If yes, why?
«Provenance Proof has been an initiative by the Gübelin Gem Lab. Now, Provenance Proof is an independent entity, located in Lucerne, Switzerland. The innovative start-up is benefitting from the expertise and reputation of the Gübelin Gem Lab and the pioneering spirit and the financial support of the Gübelin family. Industry players from all over the world are contacting Provenance Proof directly. Initially, the main interest came from the US, but just recently also from Mainland China. Generally, we see a strong interest among mining companies, jewellery manufacturers and brands. But as you can see on the Provenance Proof Billboard, the mix of participants on this platform is very well balanced. i.e. miners, dealers, cutters, jewellers, retailers, and even gem labs. be sure of buying certified gold».


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