Chris Rock and Will Smith might have taken center stage at the Oscars, but there were other notable highlights including the ever-anticipated fashion statements.
The objects d’art worn by prominent influencers get more outrageous and politicized every year. In particular, there is always very expensive jewelry on display, not the least of which includes some lavish Tiffany and De Beers diamonds as worn by the likes of Vanessa Hutchins and her peers.
Controversy brewed last year when criticism was leveled at Beyoncé for wearing an ostentatious, mined stone that came from a source accused of using blood diamonds.
Millennials are especially attuned to environmental sustainability and exploitation in parts of the precious-stone trade, and that fueled the negative publicity.
This begs the question about how we can really know where a gemstone comes from. The next-generation solution to this ongoing dilemma involves advanced block chain technology, which has made its way from the virtual realm into difficult-to-trace merchandize.
The provenance concern especially applies to mined gems, some of which have come from unethical sources. Popularly known as “blood diamonds,” the eponymous name of the awareness movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
Sarine Technologies is a diamond-tech that has been a major player in the behind-the-scenes diamond industry since 1998. The high-tech company pioneered a unique form of diamond-tracing blockchaining that will influence the way the rare stones are perceived.
Sarine blockchain forensically IDs a stone, and catalogs the journey from mine to the retail jeweler’s velvet cushion. There are two key advantages of this exciting technology. First, it ensures that the gemstones are sourced from an ethical mine that doesn’t exploit its workers or fuel conflicts.
Second, as an optional add-on, it uses the world’s most precise, AI-driven 4Cs grading system that replaces the antiquated and inconsistent GIA certification.
Blockchaining is an online distributed ledger system that forms an unbreakable chain of custody–completely documenting source and ownership. Sarine’s diamond-tracing is a non-fungible online blockchain that relies on a network of 3D forensic scanners at the point of production.
Each producer involved in the gem’s journey scans and authenticates the digitally fingerprinted match.
Manhattan Jeweler Robbin Jacobs described how the provenance ledger system will change the retail landscape. “Our company experienced a marked trend toward synthetics as awareness grew about unethical diamond sourcing.”
She went on to talk about how natural gemstones have an innate value that is important to many of her customers.
“We sell lab-grown diamonds, which are very beautiful… but many customers feel that the real stone’s uniqueness and journey are part of the romantic allure. No modern synthetic lab method actually reproduces the Earth’s natural history.
Real, mined diamonds are billions of years in the making, and this is perhaps one reason they are so cherished.” Jacobs said that knowing a precious stone’s source will be good for sales.
According to the RobinReport, big-name luxury companies are also adopting blockchain concepts to prevent counterfeit goods from infiltrating their supply chains.
In a Zoom webinar last week, venture capitalist and former software engineer Marcus Zagreb discussed how the blockchaining of tangible goods is sidelining illegal trade.
“This is a really interesting and disruptive model, because unlike virtual cryptocurrency, these companies are using encrypted, distributable ledgers for physical objects. It’s an inevitable evolution of a concept, but it required sophisticated problem solving to pull off. If a product can have an inimitable identifier, then suddenly we’re doing business on a whole different level.”
There are many reasons why people would be interested in provenance. Technology has finally caught up to eliminating questionable trade. In these uncertain times, knowing anything for certain is a rare gem in itself.