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Kagem Mining is introducing a new blockchain nano-technology that enables gemstones to be traced back to the mine.

Kagem’s parent company, Gemfields, is advancing the industry as the first company to offer coloured gemstones for sale complete with Gübelin’s Provenance Proof technologies, not only citing the gemstone’s place of origin, but also setting up an encrypted record of a gemstone’s journey as it changes hands from mine to consumer.

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Kagem is 75% owned by Gemfields in partnership with the Zambian Government’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), which owns the remaining 25%.

At the end-of-year emerald and ruby auctions, several schedules of Gemfields’ high-value emeralds and rubies will be offered for sale at the company’s closed-room auction with complete blockchain records, providing customers with next-level transparency of gemstone history.

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The Provenance Proof Blockchain records can then be completed with details of ownership at every step as the gemstone exchanges hands, providing customers with an unprecedented level of clarity over the path a gemstone has taken.

The move comes as consumers increasingly demand knowledge of gemstone origin, showing heightened interest in mindful purchasing and appreciation of the impact of consumer behaviour throughout supply chains.

In 2017, Gemfields pioneered Gübelin’s Emerald Paternity Test, the first Provenance Proof technology – the introduction of unique DNA particles that remain within an emerald’s fissures and serve to identify a gemstones’ origin on decode – and are now marrying this advance with Gübelin’s blockchain record process, providing a next step towards the goal of full transparency.

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Gübelin Gem Lab’s advances in blockchain technology have given a huge boost to this ambition by providing a secure solution for proving the provenance of gemstones – the only way to be sure of exactly how a gemstone changes hands throughout its journey.

This technique involves data for each gemstone being checked meticulously, using sophisticated algorithms, and then entered on a network of distributed digital ledgers: an efficient and secure alternative to an unreliable paper trail, with access to this information only granted to the gemstone’s current owner.

This new technology allows traceability along every stage of the value chain and provides seamless documentation for peace of mind.

Information is encoded as well as being backed up on multiple servers, to prevent the data from being altered, deleted or manipulated, and to ensure that the individual history of each gemstone, from the mine to the final customer, is stored permanently and securely.

Gemfields aims to operate in a manner that contributes positively to the national economies of host countries, and to build lasting, sustainable livelihoods for the communities around its mines.

The company seeks industry-leading solutions using state-of-the-art technology: for example, its ruby sort house in Mozambique and its proprietary coloured gemstone grading systems, which revolutionised the coloured gemstone trading mechanism.

The company works to improve awareness and delivery of responsibly sourced African coloured gemstones all the way from mine operations through to the end consumer, while having a positive impact on the countries of origin.

It is pleased to have customers who care as passionately as it does about where their gemstones come from, and by adopting Provenance Proof Blockchain, it is able to give them the certainty that they deserve.