Leading Hong Kong jeweler Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group has concluded plans to use the blockchain to track diamonds, the South China Morning Post reported.
As part of the efforts, Chow Tai Fook—a top retailer with offices in China and Singapore—will put up its diamonds on a blockchain platform created by startup Everledger, in a bid to promote transparency and trust among its buyers across its stores.
Stamping Out Fraud
In an industry known for fraudulent practices and lack of authenticity checks, the development marks a breakthrough in the industry as a retailer is finally providing grading information to customers.
The retailer plans to pilot the new process to four retail outlets in Hong Kong, including including Causeway Bay, Tsim Sha Tsui, Mongkok and Tuen Munu—which is expectedly to allow customers ascertain the origin and authenticity of the stones sold in its T Mark branded stores, allowing users to verify using the T Mark app.
Chow Tai Fook started the T Mark initiative in August 2017, and it works by assigning a series of serial numbers to diamonds so that consumers can authenticate their provenance and transaction history.
Company Officials have also reported that details and information of about 3,000 T Mark diamonds are ready on its blockchain, and that coverage will be extended as time goes on to 10,000 diamonds across ten stores in Hong Kong.
Alan Chan, Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group General Manager of Group Branding, stated:
“The retail industry is undertaking a digital revolution, and this serves as one of the key drivers of this pioneering initiative.”
Authenticity for Millennials
He went on further by saying millennials, who form a growing part of the business are often interested in the “entire cycle of diamonds” which makes it important for jewelers to “help ascertain the origin and authenticity of gemstones by leveraging modern technology.”
Kent Wong, the retailer’s group managing director also echoed the sentiments of Chan by stating:
“Not only does this initiative make it easier for consumers to manage their assets conveniently and efficiently, it is a long-term and invaluable investment that enriches consumers’ knowledge of their diamonds.”
Other jewelry companies have made inroads into using the blockchain to track products. Global diamond corporation De Beers announced the results from its blockchain powered platform Tracr, which it says was used to track 100 high-value diamonds from the mine to the retailer, in partnership with five diamond manufacturers and UK retailer Signet Jewellers. The effort was undertaken to enhance consumer confidence in the diamonds, and gaining public trust in the diamonds.
At the time of the launch, Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers, while commenting on the Tracr platform stated:
“The Tracr project team has demonstrated that it can successfully track a diamond through the value chain, providing asset-traceability assurance in a way that was not possible before. This is a significant breakthrough made achievable by the close engagement of the pilot participants who share our commitment to industry progress and innovation.”
In April, gold and diamond manufacturers also partnered with IBM to develop a blockchain powered platform for tracing the origin of finished pieces of jewelry to their retail location.