IBM Announces Cross-Industry Initiative to Track Finished Jewelry


IBM, together with a consortium of gold and diamond industry leaders, announced last week an initiative to use blockchain technology to record and track finished jewelry pieces across the supply chain for improved transparency and to combat counterfeit goods. Members of the consortium include Asahi Refining, Helzberg Diamonds, LeachGarner, UL, and The Richline Group. They plan to launch the TrustChain Initiative powered by the IBM Blockchain Platform and using the IBM Cloud.

“This initiative is important for our industry as we seek to raise the collective responsibility and provenance practices to new heights,” said Richline Group’s Chief Marketing Officer Mark Hanna, in a statement. TrustChain is the first blockchain of its kind within our industry, designed as a solution that marries IBM’s leading blockchain technology with responsible sourcing, verification and governance by third-party organizations, led by UL as the administrator.”

The TrustChain Initiative uses an immutable ledger, accessible and auditable by many different parties, to authenticate diamonds and other raw resources through every stage of the supply chain, using digital verification, physical product and process verification, and third-party oversight. The initiative is designed to instill trust and greater transparency in the ethical sourcing of jewelry around the world. “Blockchain technology will provide a single source of truth and shared view of information, without asking involved organizations to compromise privacy or confidentiality details”, said the statement.

“The global scale and complexity of the jewelry market makes it ripe for blockchain to serve as a unifier for all participants to improve trust, transparency and efficiency,” said Senior Vice President, Industry Platforms and Blockchain, Bridget van Kralingen.  “It also illustrates the ways in which blockchain can be used to form entirely new business models where all parties win. The collaboration will benefit not only trade partners, but also the individuals who matter most – consumers purchasing gold and diamonds to mark milestone moments in their lives.”