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First blockchain system for coloured gems

11 February 2019

Rough emeralds
Photo credit: Gübelin Gem Lab


A blockchain system aimed at boosting transparency in the coloured gemstone sector – the first in the industry – recently made its debut in the US.

The Provenance Proof Blockchain, which tracks the provenance of gemstones along the supply chain, is applicable to any type of gemstone and is free of charge.

The project is part of the Provenance Proof initiative, a long-term programme established by the Gübelin Gem Lab to create services and technologies enabling and promoting more transparency in the gemstone industry. The Provenance Proof Blockchain is suitable for any type of gemstone. It complements the Emerald Paternity Test, the first innovation under Provenance Proof. This technology uses physical nanolabels, which are inserted into emeralds so they can be traced back to the exact mine. A combination of both a physical tracer (Emerald Paternity Test) and digital ledger (Provenance Proof Blockchain), enables stronger transparency.

“A gemstone’s journey begins at the mine, which is where the Provenance Proof Blockchain ideally starts. Every transaction and hand-over adds an entry to the blockchain, resulting in a record, providing transparency into the complete journey of a gemstone, from the mine to the end consumer,” said Gübelin Gem Lab.

The project was launched at the 2019 AGTA GemFair Tucson.

Everledger, an emerging technology enterprise specialised in blockchain-based solutions for high-value assets, built the system architecture, feature design and technological infrastructure for the Provenance Proof Blockchain. Mining company Fura Gems, meanwhile, pilot tested the project.