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Hong Kong jeweler introduces Blockchain app for diamond authentication




Hong Kong jewelry company Chow Tai Fook has partnered with Gemological Institute of America (GIA) to create a blockchain-based app that will enable customers to ascertain the origin and authenticity of stones purchased.

This development brings closer the blockchain implementation processes to regular individuals through a more conversant user interface, the app.

Provenance Using Blockchain

Transparency and the ability for stored data to remain eternally immutable are some of blockchain qualities that set it apart as an exceptional piece of technology. The application of these qualities in storing and tracking data on decentralized ledgers appears as one of the key aspects where blockchain is increasingly finding implementation.

Prior to this time, renowned Anglo American diamond unit, De Beers had embarked on the implementation of blockchain processes towards effective provenance of the identity of its precious stones. The process aims at tracking gems each time they change hands, starting from when they are dug out of the ground.

Tackling Controversies Around Precious Stones

The controversy surrounding precious stones, especially diamonds is no secret even at a global level. Cases of theft and socio-political consequences that exist in the jewelry industry, especially as it concerns diamonds is a well known phenomenon. Illegal mining which is rampant in conflict zones has been identified as a serious issue with regards to financing violence in what today is popularly known as “blood diamond”.

In order to track and prevent such global vices, measures that prove the sources and identity of precious stones, and the real-time confirmation of ownership has become essential.

Despite the initial efforts towards using blockchain to solve this perennial problem, introducing a familiar avenue for regular users to access such services surely represents a huge step towards a lasting solution.

This initiative by Chow Tai Fook will see diamonds sold in its T Mark-branded stores “graded” for customers, by the respected Gemological Institute of America (GIA), a non-profit industry research body.

Boosting Consumer Confidence

Besides theft and illegal sourcing of diamonds, dubious acts that involve passing off synthetic materials as original stuff is a practice that De Beers has been involved in fighting prior to this time. The establishment also focuses on selling technology across the industry to help prevent anyone trying to pass off synthetic stones as natural, while working with the rest of the industry and governments to support the Kimberley Process set up in 2003 to increase transparency and eliminate trade in conflict diamonds.

Consumer confidence is an important factor in any kind of business, it is even a more crucial factor in exclusive industries like jewelries and precious stones. Being able to prove the origin and authenticity of an item certainly introduces the industry to an era of “fresh air”. However, making such services easily accessible via familiar user interfaces like apps is indeed a monumental step for the industry.

Blockchain technology offers numerous implementation opportunities. However, its ability to enhance transparency and provenance it a quality that will be appreciated across various ecosystems in the coming years.

Courtesy: ccn.com/ Image: ccn.com

Tags:  Gemological Institute of America, Chow Tai Fook, Blockchain app

Indian diamond consumption slips by 2.5%; demand set by millennials and gen-z says De Beers

Diamonds are a woman’s best friend. So far, there is nothing disputing that logic, but De Beers in it’s observation of the global trend finds that it is the millennial and Gen Z users setting the demand and not the woman alone. In fact, millennial (age group 21-39), Gen Z (up to age 20), and the largely younger audiences are the go-to-market in the diamond business, if stats from De Beers are to be believed. De Beers, the world’s largest producer of diamonds in a report said that the two groups consumed as much as two-thirds of the $82 billion demand for diamonds last year.

The consumption of these two groups has been dominating in US and China, said De Beers in its annual report. Millennial and Gen Z accounted for 63% of diamond jewelry demand in the US in 2017 and nearly 80% in China, De Beers said.

“The shift of consumer power to millennial and Gen Z presents considerable opportunities to the diamond industry, provided it commits to understanding these generations and adapts its marketing approaches to incorporate the needs and priorities of young people,” De Beers said.

The report gains significant importance to the diamond industry which has usually grappled around issues such as Blood Diamonds and Synthetic diamonds in recent times.

Courtesy: Sify.com/ Image: Sify.com

Tags: De Beers, India diamond consumption, Diamond jewellery market

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