New blockchain platform can track pearl provenance and ownership

Pearls of Australia has announced a “world first” blockchain authentication platform to track the provenance and ownership of its Cygnet Bay pearls.

Provenance Proof is a blockchain platform – in partnership with digital company Everledger – which can determine provenance and track ownership of pearls from source to market using non-invasive and immutable blockchain digital technology.

The pearls are digitally scanned using high-quality images and precision-based descriptors are collected and stored in a digital dossier, rather than microscopic etching, or code tagging, that require physical contact and apply pressure to the pearl’s surface.

The digitised data is then collected into a digital dossier for each pearl and uploaded in the blockchain platform.

James Brown, managing director, Pearls of Australia told The Australian that adapting blockchain technology will appeal to today’s conscious consumers.

“Pearls should go into families, stay with them and be handed down through their family and really become their story,” Brown said, noting that blockchain technology as an add-on service “is obviously a really big win.”

“I am convinced it will become part of the pearling industry. And I genuinely hope it’s our collaboration that gets it through,” as he explained that previously there was no way to track Broome pearls through the supply chain unless as consumer or jeweller is “lucky enough to buy direct from the farm.”

Everledger founder, Leanne Kemp, said it aims to ‘layer in’ the “environmental, social and governance sustainability development goals and greenhouse gas emissions calculations” aside from determining the provenance and traceability of the pearls.

The pioneering blockchain service started in 2015 and creates secure databases of where and by whom a pearl, diamond or gemstone has been handled to help develop a clear supply chain that both retailers and consumers can access.

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