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Everledger’s commitment to diamonds with provenance

28th May 2019 by Nicole, posted in Diamonds, Guidance & Education, Our Story, Why Custom?

In an increasingly conscious world, we are constantly looking for ways we can make the experience of buying a diamond transparent & informed. At Taylor & Hart, when it comes to how we talk about our supply chain, we see that the jewellery industry oscillates between opaqueness over diamond sourcing and complete transparency about ethical diamond sourcing practices.

Amidst our efforts to improve the customer experience, we became the first jewellery brand in the UK to craft an engagement ring with a blockchain tracked diamond. Blockchain is a digital technology that allows the purchase of a diamond to be secure, unmodifiable and completely transparent.

As an industry that has traditionally relied on secrecy and ambiguity to help sell diamonds, blockchain is a disruptive force that allows the industry to appeal to the conscious consumer.

 

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One of our core values is transparency. When we had our first engagement ring customers, they would ask where their diamonds were sourced. I found it frustrating to not have the diamond’s full history to share. I would say what 99% of the industry repeats, that our suppliers abide by the terms of the Kimberley Process. However, I felt that was disingenuous because the Kimberley Process doesn’t go far enough.

Nikolay Piriankov

To address this issue, we introduced Canadamark and fairtrade. We also have the option of using recycled metal and purchasing lab-grown diamonds. We strive to open avenues for customers who value provenance and innovation.

 

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In 2015 we were approached by Leanne Kemp, CEO of the blockchain company Everledger. As a pioneer of digital provenance tracking and certification, Everledger’s leading work in the use of emerging technology for real-world applications has been widely recognised in the diamond industry. Through authenticated provenance tracking from the mine to the end consumer, Everledger is enabling transparency across the global diamond supply chain, giving us the ability to track every step of the diamond’s journey. This provides conscientious consumers with the choices that they desire and deserve.

 

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We quickly realised that we had common values and shared a vision for the future in which technology could amend the disjointed nature of the diamond and jewellery trade.

Ready to fulfill our first order with an Everledger diamond, we waited for the perfect customer to test out the process. That’s when we met James Kirby. Working in a blockchain start-up, James immediately understood the value of Everledger’s vision and just happened to be in the market for an engagement ring.

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I was really excited about the concept of this ground-breaking new scheme; knowing the provenance of my stone was as important and interesting to me as the quality and design of the ring were.

James Kirby

For James’s ring, we purchased a selection of diamonds from Russia, Canada and Botswana. All of the diamonds bought were specifically purchased with Everledger, answering the question of the origin in the first point of the blockchain.

James had peace of mind knowing where his diamond came from–a hexagonal step-cut from Russia’s Siberia province. However, what truly added to his experience was knowing the history of his diamond engagement ring’s journey.

Over two months, each touch point was recorded and stored in the blockchain, allowing James to know who crafted his stone. By using blockchain, we were able to figure out where it was individually cut, polished and checked for quality. What is especially remarkable is that we also are able to identify the artisan that finished each job.

For James’s ring, by looking at the Everledger report we know that the diamond was cut by Bhavik H. Savani, on the 10th April 2018. We then see that the diamond was polished on the 27th April 2018 by Nitinbhai Vasan. The diamond quality was then checked for on the 3rd May 2018, by Ghanshyam Patel. By using blockchain, we were able to get an incredibly detailed log of the diamond’s journey. Moreover, the customer is able to experience a real insight into the craft behind the diamond.

As pioneers of the future of blockchain, Everledger is creating a platform for authenticity through the use of high tech. The fashion industry has historically been slow to adapt to technology, as online shopping grew over time to become a prominent channel for sales. Blockchain has the chance to make a profound effect on some of the issues within the luxury market, such as fraud and counterfeit. Consumers investing in luxury pieces will be able to have the security of blockchain to ensure that their items are authentic and not tampered with.

Anything that is paper-based has a higher risk of data fraud. The digitally logged certificates provided by Everledger give a source of provenance to the client, thereby helping to eliminate concern that their diamond was in some way unethical.

Nikolay Piriankov

By using blockchain, we’re able to ensure authenticity, giving the company and the customer peace of mind. Upon buying their diamond, the customer knows the complete story of the stone, from its origin and to who expertly crafted it to create their ring. We feel that by using diamonds from blockchain companies like Everledger, we will be able to give customers more visibility into their diamond’s provenance. We want to return the focus on what’s truly important–the emotion and story captured within our jewellery.

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