- Authenticity is key
- A great deal of clarity
- What exactly is blockchain?
- What are the major benefits of blockchain?
- Solution for total transparency
- Widely in use
- Looking for authenticity: choose BAUNAT
Were you browsing our website, and did you get lost in the beauty of our diamond rings or necklaces or, who knows, engagement rings? Of course, the beauty of the diamond and the competitive price are important, but you should also ask yourself the following questions: where does this diamond come from? And how do you know that it is really worth what you pay for it?
Actually, there is no need to ask yourself those questions, because you are buying from BAUNAT. And we purchase our diamond from only the most respected diamond producers. That is our warranty. At the same time, a lot of other big players from the diamond industry make use of new technology to ensure the authenticity of a diamond ring. More specifically, they use blockchain.
Blockchain, that’s right. A term you have probably heard a lot in the media, but which is rarely carefully explained. What does this seemingly revolutionary solution entail, exactly? And how can blockchain make the origin of a diamond ring ‘Internally Flawless’, from the mine to your ring finger?
If you buy a diamond ring, for example, you want to be absolutely sure of its authenticity, its ethical correctness and its quality.
At BAUNAT, this is our guarantee, but many diamond companies have started using blockchain to prove it.
Blockchain is a new kind of shared database, which records transactions as well as other info regarding a diamond.
For example, the diamond from your engagement ring can be traced, step by step, from the mine up to your ring finger.
A good number of companies are developing a blockchain platform for diamond rings, necklaces et cetera, from London pioneer Everledger to IBM and De Beers.
Authenticity is key
Don’t you agree? If you buy an engagement ring or a diamond necklace, you do not want to live with the idea that it might be a conflict diamond, sold to you to finance a movement trying to abolish a government or a bloody civil war. Or with the thought that a diamond ring might be forged or subject to insurance fraud…
At the same time, you want quick access to the four C’s: Carat (the weight), Colour, Clarity (the purity) and Cut (the cutting quality), which together form the quality and, thus, the value of the diamonds.
A great deal of clarity
The question that remains is how to realize that certainty. It has been twenty years already since an important step was made, with the introduction of the Kimberley Process. This is an international cooperation agreement between many countries, countless of NGOs, and the diamond industry itself, supported by the UN, with the goal to exclude all rough conflict diamonds from the world trade. It was very successful, as today 99.8% of the globally sold rough diamonds are guaranteed conflict-free.
We at BAUNAT guarantee authenticity by purchasing very close to the source, and only from renowned diamond companies. That is how we also guarantee 100% conflict-free diamonds. However, a lot of our competitors have different methods, with many middle men, from miners to cutters, resellers and jewellers.
These diamond companies want to be able to show you every move a diamond exactly and quickly, from its source to the buyer, to ensure you of its quality and ethical responsibility. Who mined the gem, to whom has it been sold after that and where is it today? Transparency at a glance. That is what Blockchain offers.
What exactly is blockchain?
Blockchain is a new type of database that stores transactions. However, the database itself is not stored at a single location, but at multiple computers all over the world, so-called nodes. Each node contains a full copy of the database with transactions. And each new transaction is immediately added to each copy of the database. The result is that everyone with access to a node always know the full, most recent content of the database.
To some extent, you can compare it to a shared spreadsheet on SharePoint or in the Cloud. Everyone with access to the file can use it. And everyone always has the latest version of it. But the blockchain database is not stored centrally, but in many copies on many computers. They can also be partially copied, but that makes things too complicated for this article.
What are the major benefits of blockchain?
What is special is that changing something in a blockchain is nearly impossible. Every transaction is a block of information. Each block has a unique code, a unique fingerprint, so to say. Every block simultaneously refers to the last block of information, meaning to the previous transaction, through its code.
Now, if someone tries to alter the content of an existing block, of an executed transition, then they change its unique fingerprint. After all, that code was calculated based on the content of the block. As a result, the connection between the changed and the next block is broken off. The change is refused! A hacker could change the info from a block, but it would then need to change every block that comes after, a hopeless task…
Of course, it is possible to add new information to the blockchain database. But only at the end, as a new block in the chain. And everyone with access to the database agrees to its contents. Once it is created, blocks cannot be deleted.
The end result is a completely authentic, not (yet) hackable ledger of every transaction of any which product. And that is exactly why many industries are starting to experiment with blockchain, from financial institutions to logistic companies. Including the diamond industry.
Solution for total transparency
Blockchain immutably documents every step a diamond goes through, from the mine to the diamond ring on your finger. 100% correct, in the actual order, in real-time and totally secure. No matter the number of steps. This allows companies to show you exactly which course the diamond in your engagement ring took, where it comes from and whether everything was ethically sound.
In addition, a block in the chain is not limited to information regarding a payment. It can contain all kinds of info regarding a diamond, such as the certificate from a renowned lab that vouches for its quality. Immutably added, available to everyone.
This really makes the diamond as pure as a ... diamond, in origin and in quality. On the condition, of course, that the entire industry actively uses blockchain. Which they do. Dozens of initiatives are launched that offer you complete transparency.
Widely in use
One of the pioneers making full use of the power of blockchain in the diamond industry is the London technology company Everledger. This company has already documented over 20 million diamonds and their origin in a blockchain database, based on technology developed by IT giant IBM. Each diamond is given a unique passport, based on forty characteristics.
On the blockchain platform of Everledger, Diamond Time-Lapse Protocol, all players in the diamond industry, including you as consumer, can consult the full path of diamond jewellery. To provide this service, Everledger is partnered with the Indian diamond producer Dharmanandan Diamonds. See how Everledger explains how a diamond ring is made traceable through blockchain.
IBM is itself also developing a blockchain database, TrustChain, for golden and diamond rings, necklaces and bracelets. The company is partnered with five diamond and jewellery companies that represent the entire supply chain. IBM is looking into options for making this solution available for its consumers.
In May 2018, De Beers, one of the largest diamond producers in the world, announced that the company was able to document each production step for a hundred self-mined rough diamonds in a blockchain. De Beers used its own platform, Tracr, co-developed with five leading colleague-producers. This solution allows you to verify authenticity and the fact whether or not a diamond was mined in a war zone.
Looking for authenticity: choose BAUNAT
You notice it as soon as you visit our website, looking for a beautiful diamond ring or necklace: at Baunat, we believe in the power of new technology. We follow the evolutions surrounding blockchain with great interest. We also applaud initiative such as the Hack4Diamonds, the first hackathon for the diamond industry, held by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre.
But if you want authentic, 100% conflict-free and ethically sound diamonds in, for example, your engagement ring, there is no need to worry. All you need to do is to choose from our selection. Start to shop in our extensive web store, contact our BAUNAT experts or, if you would like, visit us in our showrooms.