By Brecken Branstrator
The blockchain developed in partnership by Everledger and Gübelin Gem Lab tracks colored gemstones through the supply chain, beginning at the mine all the way through to the consumer.
Lucerne, Switzerland—The blockchain for gemstones developed by Gübelin Gem Lab and technology company Everledger soon will be available industry-wide.

Gübelin first announced the blockchain project in January as part of its Provenance Proof initiative, created to establish solutions and services for transparency along the global supply chain.

The Provenance Proof Blockchain is designed to keep tabs on colored gemstones as they travel along the supply chain.

Tracking the stones begins at the mine, and then each transaction adds an entry to the blockchain, resulting in a record that tracks the stone’s journey all the way to the end user.

Every transaction can be recorded with a smartphone to allow all sectors of the industry to utilize it.

To test the system in its pilot phase, Gübelin and Everledger established “a simplified supply chain consisting of high-profile pilot partners,” including a major emerald mining company, a cutting factory and global jewelry brands, though specifics on which companies were involved was not available by press time.

During that phase, the stakeholders tested its functionality, user-friendliness and security.

The pilot testing is scheduled to be completed by the fourth quarter. Global rollout and onboarding will begin during the Tucson gem shows in February 2019.

The blockchain is open for full use to anyone in the industry who is interested, and Gübelin noted it is meant to be used independently of the lab or Everledger. To ensure it will provide the best solution to the industry autonomously, further development and maintenance of the blockchain will be entrusted to an advisory board; details of who will serve on the board were not available by press time.

Gübelin also said there are no fees involved in using the blockchain, as contributing and accessing the data is free of charge.

The Provenance Proof blockchain will allow for visibility up the value chain (toward the mine), meaning the entity that has the stone in its ownership or custody will be able to see the identity and location of all involved prior to that point in time.

However, it won’t allow for downstream visibility (toward the consumer), meaning users within a blockchain won’t be able to see the identity and location of those involved after the stone leaves their custody.

Gübelin and Everledger said that due to the blockchain’s “resounding success,” they will continue to partner beyond the first phase to develop additional functionalities to the technology past next year. For example, since some users may have specific requirements for their business, like integration into their database or evaluation tools, add-ons built for the needs of specific users will be developed.

For additional information about or registration for the Provenance Proof Blockchain, interested parties can reach out via the Provenance Proof website.

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