With today’s consumers becoming more and more discerning about the provenance of a product, especially a jewellery piece from how the gemstone was sourced to how the jewellery piece was manufactured, the need for companies to show their commitments in providing transparency of their products is proven more and more critical.
The Physical Tracers enable all stakeholders to work towards the realisation of their goals of transparency. Companies in the gems and jewellery industry are facing limitations when it comes to the exact source of origin of the gems they use in their products. They must rely on a mixture of trust and self-declaration of mining companies, which usually lacks independent proof of provenance.
Through our Physical Tracers, such proof is now available for all the gems and jewellery industry stakeholders. The Physical Tracers is the first of an array of technologies of Provenance Proof dedicated to bringing more transparency into the gems and jewellery industry. The right of using the technology is subject to a Code of Conduct, defining the use and application of the technology.
Our Physical Tracers are nanolabels that are based on DNA. These nanolabels contain information that can be custom-made to meet a user's needs, identifying the mine of origin, mining period, country of manufacture, manufacture period, and so on. These Physical Tracers can be applied to a gem at any stage, from rough to a finished piece of jewellery.
With gems and jewellery sales are thriving in the digital landscape more than ever in the past, these Physical Tracers help protect your brand from counterfeiting, false claims of product origin and build customer trust by providing traceable provenances for your products.
Recent advances in nanotechnology and the customisation of DNA has enabled invisible tagging of various materials. We have customised DNA-based, nano-sized particles to suit the specific needs of the gemstone industry. The particles have a diameter of about 100 nanometres or 0.0001 millimetres. Our nanoparticles are invisible even to the best opticalmicroscope and do not induce any optical effect whatsoever.
Information on the mining location, the miner and the mining time is encrypted and stored in the DNA and encapsulated in a sphere of amorphous silica to resist the influences of sunlight, temperature, and humidity. By means of a carrier liquid, these particles are applied on the rough crystals and gems, penetrating even the tiniest fissures, and tightly adhering to the walls. The nanoparticles can be retrieved for the information contained in the DNA to be decoded and read at a later stage, disclosing the paternity of the emerald.
The process typically starts in the mine. The rough crystals are tagged with the nanoparticles before any cleaning or sorting is undertaken. The application of the Physical Tracers in the mine is handled by an independent auditor.
The nanoparticles penetrate the fissures in the emerald and adhere closely to the surface. Then, the applied ethanol-based liquid evaporates completely within a few minutes. After this step, the tagging process is already complete.
Experience has shown that a sufficiently big number of DNA tags remain in the fissures during cutting, polishing and re-oiling processes, so it is usually possible to determine their origin at a later date.
During the sale of the final piece in a retail shop, the Provenance Proof label and Emerald Paternity Test inspire trust and bring consumers additional confidence in the jewellery piece.
Whenever required, the stone can be submitted to an authorised lab to conduct the paternity test. And the client gets transparency about the exact location where the emerald was unearthed.
The emeralds are immersed in an ethanol-based liquid containing the nanolabels. The suspended nanolabels penetrate eye-visible, microscopic or even submicroscopic fissures and adhere to the walls of all these fissures. The exact chemical mechanism behind this process is a proprietary procedure protected by an international patent.
The nanolabels (Physical Tracers) consist of synthetic DNA encapsulated into silica spheres. As a biological molecule, DNA is not a very stable material, and degrades when exposed to sunlight, heat or humidity. To protect it from such degradation, it needs to be protected. In our nanolabels, the DNA is encapsulated into silica, comparable to the processof fossilisation.
DNA makes an excellent medium for storing client-specific information dueto its nano size, which makes them invisible to even the best optical microscopes out there after they have been tagged on a rough gem. This explains why DNA has always been the favourite method of mother naturefor storing information in extremely small volumes of space. Furthermore, the nature of the DNA structure allows for an infinite number of unique codes to be written which makes it suitable for a long-term, global application.
The synthetic DNA sequences used in our nanolabels are identical to natural DNA fragments found in many fruits and vegetables. Furthermore, through the daily intake of food, humans' digestion is shown to have no issues in processing even a large volume of DNAs. Concerning that, nanolabels that accidentally get swallowed are therefore not going to cause any known health risk. And yes, our nanolabels are perfectly vegan!
Even for people working with the nanolabels daily, for instance, those involved in applying the Physical Tracers onto the rough crystals are not exposed to any known health risk according to the current state of knowledge. In addition, as the nanolabels are suspended in a liquid, the nanolabels are not airborne and therefore not prone to cause any lung disease such as silicosis.
According to research findings, the amount of nanolabels getting airborne during the cutting process is usually moderate and does not imply an increased health risk for the cutter. Likewise, no health risk arising from the nanolabels in connection with the handling, setting, cleaning, oiling of the gems, and finally wearing jewellery with gems containing our nanolabels could be proven. Furthermore, according to the requirements defined by the European Commission and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), these nanolabels contain nothing considered persistent, bioaccumulative, or toxic.
It is up to the market or a trade authority such as CIBJO to decide if the application of the Physical Tracers is considered as a treatment. Provenance Proof does not consider this process as a treatment. A treatment refers to any process excluding cutting and polishing that alters the appearance in the hope of improving its colour or clarity. Our studies could not prove such an alteration due to the application of our Physical Tracers. Furthermore, the nanolabels are invisible even to the best optical microscope. For instance, they have no discernible effect on the appearance (including colour and clarity), weight, value, or properties of the emerald in the case of the Emerald Paternity Test. Additionally, this process, if requested for any reason, is reversible. That means that through a special procedure, the labels can be removed.
The carrier liquid used for transporting the nanolabels into the fissures is isopropanol based, i.e. standard alcohol that evaporates completely withina few minutes, leaving no traces whatsoever
Rough gems that are completely free of any fissures might not be suitable for the application of the Physical Tracers, as all particles might get removed during the cutting and cleaning process. However, based on our recent experiences with the technology in the case of the Emerald Paternity Test for example, the few emeralds that are loupe clean still feature sufficient fissures of submicroscopic dimensions for the nanolabelsto enter them and adhere to their walls, enabling a later paternity test.
The particles found within the fissures are removed from the walls using a proprietary buffer solution. The retrieved DNA fragments are analysed using quantitative PCR (qPCR), a standard method applied for reading DNA. The analysed DNA is then decoded to determine the client-specific information, such as the identity of the owner, the mining location, the mining period etc. Provenance Proof is the custodian of the information encrypted into the DNA and the sole party in charge of decoding this information.
Emeralds can be submitted to Provenance Proof or any Gübelin Gem Lab in Switzerland, Hong Kong or New York to perform the Emerald Paternity Test, i.e. retrieving and analysing the nanolabels. We foresee contracting a few other analytical laboratories that get entrusted with the extraction of the nanolabels. The decoding of the information stored in the nanolabels remains exclusively with Provenance Proof. For any requests, just contact the Provenance Proof team and we will find the most convenient solution for you to submit your gem products to us.
In principle, it is possible to reproduce a known DNA sequence. So how canwe ensure that the information in the DNA-based nanolabels is not copied, reproduced and misused on other gems other than the one made for? Firstly, the intellectual property of the nanolabels and the application for emeralds are protected by different international patents, making a possible unauthorised application illegal. Better protection arises from increasing technological challenges a counterfeiter would have to overcome. Counterfeiting the DNA itself would not help much. The DNA has to be encapsulated in special silica beads, which have a specific affinity to the emerald surface. The highest level of security stems from the fact that the technology is based on a key-lock system, meaning that reading the DNA sequence is only possible with a key specific for that sequence. Hence, the information is made inaccessible and kept under careful custody in a bank vault. Therefore, our physical tracers are fairly secure against counterfeiting.
The nanolabels used in the Physical Tracers contain information specific to a mine, a mining company and a mining period. Therefore, these Physical Tracers must only be applied to the correct gems. Furthermore, to minimise the risk of having the nanolabels applied on the wrong gems, theapplication of the Physical Tracers is strictly allowed to be operated only by independent and professional auditors assigned by Provenance Proof. We reserve the right to additionally visit and send auditors to the mines requesting the Physical Traces whenever needed.
Companies in the gems and jewellery industry face mounting scrutiny when it comes to the sourcing of their raw materials, with gems in particular. Today's consumers are more informed and expect transparency on their purchase's value, background, and context.
However, providing transparency throughout the jewellery value chain is extremely difficult, as the supply chain is long, fragmented and complex. The current system is based on trust or in some cases, lengthy paper trails. With the Emerald Paternity Test launched in March 2017, this latest project is part of the growing array of technologies that aim to bring more transparency to the gems and jewellery industry
Blockchain is a technology that is revolutionising transactions. It digitally records individual peer-to-peer transactions, creating a virtual ledger secured through cryptography, distributed and accessible to each participant. The main benefits of this digital ledger are high transparency, security and speed.
This makes blockchain technology an incredibly interesting tool for improving traceability throughout the supply chain. For example, with the adoption of blockchain technology in the gems and jewellery industry, this digital ledger can offer a permanent, tamper-proof record that traces a gem's journey, from the mine to the end-consumer and even beyond.
To design and build the required technical backbones of Provenance Proof Blockchain, Provenance Proof has partnered with Everledger, a leading expert in tracing the provenance of high-value assets using blockchain technology.
Blockchain technology works as follow: Whenever a transaction occurs, it is validated within the ecosystem of the so-called blockchain. Once verified, a transaction is recorded as a digital block, containing the key to the previous entry, a timestamp and the transaction data, all secured through cryptography. Any further transaction is secured in the same way by creating a new block with a new key linked to the previous block. This creates a chain of individual transactions that can be traced back to the original. These blocks become part of a digital ledger, which is continuously distributed to all participants.
This concept of distribution and verification is considered to be resistant to data loss, modification or fraud.
Provenance Proof Blockchain focuses on building a platform that uses this process to create a digital ledger tracing a gem's lifetime journey. Every step or transaction which adds value to the gem will be recorded within this digital ledger. At any stage, only the party who physically holds the gem will be able to consult its history and add a new chapter to it.
Any stakeholder, such as miner, wholesaler, jeweller, cutter or gem lab will be able to join the blockchain easily and in most cases for free with a simple one-time online registration. In principle, only internet access via smartphone or PC and basic gemmological tools such as a scale and measuring devices are required.
However, despite its immutable traits and ensuring the integrity of its data, it is advised to deploy other technologies to complement such a digital tracing solution. One good example is our Physical Tracers.
Blockchain technology is built to improve the data integrity of a gem or jewellery to the highest standards. By design, blockchain is inherently resistant to the modification of data. The blockchain's encrypted and decentralised nature minimises the risk of an unauthorised change of blockchain data, which can trigger a halt of the respective chain in the event of an attempt to tamper data.
However, blockchain technology can maintain data integrity, but not its honesty and authenticity. Blockchain technology alone cannot ensure that the stone described in the blockchain as being mined responsibly is indeed mined responsibly. For example, it can not guarantee that the Colombian emerald described in the ledger is indeed from Colombia or if it is even an emerald. Besides that, a stone can get swapped along its way from the mine to the end consumer, a process that can get utterly unnoticed by the digital logbook that travels alongside the gem.
Hence, we must manage our expectations regarding the capability of blockchain technology to ensure the integrity of the gem. Nevertheless, the blockchain adds confidence to your purchase. The transparency granted to the supply chain will make it more difficult for fraudsters in the long run, as they leave a pattern that can be traced, which can help identify a cheater. A more immediate and robust way to get confidence in the integrity and authenticity of a gem is to combine the digital traceability of the blockchain with Physical Tracers. Physical Tracers containing provenance-specific information are inserted into or attached to a rough crystal at the source and remain with the stone all along the value chain and throughout their lifetime. The Emerald Paternity Test is one good example that perfectly complements the digital traceability of blockchain technology by boosting its resistance against an undisclosed alteration or swap of stones.
Compared to a traditional paper trail, the blockchain offers secure identification of all parties involved in case of fraud, holding them accountable. All our users have undergone verification through a KYC check prior to being granted access to our blockchain.
Once the background check is passed, and after signing the Code of Conduct and the Terms & Conditions, the new participant is a registered user of the Provenance Proof Blockchain and can start using its services.
No. Access to the blockchain is granted for everyone who has accepted the Terms & Conditions. Still, visibility into the history of a specific gem is granted only to those who own the stone or have the custodianship of the stone. The visibility is only granted during the time this specific gem is in their ownership or custodianship. Once the gem is passed on to the next stakeholder, the exclusive right to see the existing blockchain data is also handed over to this person or company, so is the permission to write the next chapter in the logbook of that specific gem.
The Gübelin Gem Lab and Gübelin AG have no privileged insight into the data of Provenance Proof Blockchain, Provenance Proof is an independent entity. Like other participants, the Gübelin Gem Lab and Gübelin AG can only access the stone's data when they have the ownership or custodianship of the stone. It is worth noting that due to the nature of blockchain technology, Provenance Proof also has no access to any asset-related data.
Everledger has provided us with the report of an independent audit company that has scrutinised the source code of Everledger and the underlying Hyperledger operating system. This report confirms that no backdoor access exists and that no unauthorised party can access the information on the Provenance Proof Blockchain.
No, Provenance Proof Blockchain does not show any prices or values of the gems. Prices mentioned on the integrated marketplace only appear there and will not be stored on the blockchain.
The main purpose of the Provenance Proof Blockchain is to provide transparency for the final customer into the lifetime journey of a gem from its source to a finished piece of jewellery. In short, whoever holds the stone will only have the upstream visibility into the past journey of the stone, which means a stakeholder in the past will not have the power to see to which client the stone was sold to at the end.
Provenance Proof Blockchain is built for all kinds of gems. There are no restrictions on the type of gems. Gems can be added onto the blockchain either in bulk or individually.
Provenance Proof Blockchain is open for any stakeholder along the supply chain and value chain of a gem in the gems and jewellery industry, regardless of its size.
The registration process is simple, with only a smartphone connected to the Internet is required. While the data needed to complete the registration is also very basic, as you can see on the Sign-Up page.
For large companies, there is the option to develop custom-built interfaces with their databases and ERP systems, facilitating an automated and efficient data feed in the Provenance Proof Blockchain. An integral part of the registration process is a Code of Conduct which every user must agree to. It obliges the users of Provenance Proof Blockchain to comply with the rules, such as being honest about the nature, provenance, and properties of the gems they put on the blockchain and the identity, values, and standards they pursue and comply with as a company. Furthermore, every company or individual that completes the registration process is subject to a background check.
Provenance Proof Blockchain is fundamentally free of charge for all the stakeholders in the gems and jewellery industry. Stakeholders who want to contribute transparency to the industry can easily sign up.
However, charges are applied for additional features, such as the ability to print out the Statements of Provenance for their gems on Provenance Proof Blockchain or APIs for users who have lots of assets to upload onto the platform.
The Provenance Proof Blockchain was designed and built also to cater the needs of small-scale participants of the gems and jewellery industry.
While building the user interface, we kept all the small members from the industry like artisanal miners, small-scale mining cooperatives, small-scale dealers, independent designers, and retailers in mind. Hence, small members can easily access Provenance Proof Blockchain and its features with any mobile device connected to the Internet, even in remote areas
Passing a gemstone to the next owner without transferring the digital twin is interrupting the chain. In this case, the blockchain comes to an end, leading to the traceable and verifiable history of the stone cannot be maintained. Unfortunately, this also means losing value for the new owner and all the subsequent owners. On the bright side, we offer a solution by re-linking the digital asset to the current stone owner again, which of course the break will be documented for security and transparency reasons.
Blockchains are coming under public scrutiny for the amount of energy they consume. As a matter of fact, this criticism refers mainly to the immense energy required to mine new cryptocurrencies such as bitcoins based on the proof-of-work concept. On the other hand, Provenance Proof Blockchain as a permission-based decentralised ledger used for tracing goods with no cryptocurrencies integrated requires only a fraction of the energy for data handling compared to mining cryptocurrencies.
To help put it into perspective, Provenance Proof uses Hyperledger Fabric for its blockchain platform, which achieves consensus using a deterministic ordering service. Compared to Bitcoin, it is estimated that Hyperledger Fabric consumes over 1 billion times less energy per transaction, making it more energy friendly.
No. The access to the Provenance Proof Blockchain and other Provenance Proof services such as the Emerald Paternity Test are not attached to any services of the Gübelin Gem Lab or Gübelin business. On that note, Provenance Proof is an independent company, and we treat all laboratories the same way.
Provenance Proof Blockchain and Physical Tracers like the Emerald Paternity Test are two individual services offered by Provenance Proof. Provenance Proof Blockchain is a platform that can be used for any type ofgem. Physical Tracers are a kind of tracing technology applicable on emeralds for the time being and possibly some other gems like diamonds, opals, and pearls.
The combination of physical tracing and digital tracing provides the highest level of traceable transparency. Hence, it is highly recommended to use both Provenance Proof Blockchain and Physical Tracers in combination whenever possible. For other gems, Provenance Proof Blockchain is used as a stand-alone service.
No. Provenance Proof Blockchain can be used as a stand-alone service for any kind of gem. A gem does not require a Physical Tracer to enter Provenance Proof Blockchain.
At present, we're providing complimentary access to all the features available on Provenance Proof Blockchain. Feel free to explore and enjoy our Premium Package or Premium Plus Package. You'll receive an email notification prior to the commencement of your subscription.
The costs vary depending on the package you select. Detailed pricing information is available on our website within the Pricing section.
Yes, your subscription will automatically renew unless you opt to cancel it before the renewal date.
Regrettably, once a billing cycle has begun, canceled subscriptions are not eligible for refunds.
Proof of Donation
Proof of Donation is a service offered by Provenance Proof to enable transparency hence traceable and provable trust in a donation programme to aid an initiator in fulfilling his promise to the cause of the donation. Thanks to this service, the initiator has a proof about their donation. On the other end, the donee (charity organization) can rest assured that all the funds raised through Proof of Donation will be received to benefit their charity cause.
Proof of Donation is a modern way of raising charity funds by trading NFTs associated with a charity cause in the name of Provenance Proof which is known for providing third-party confirmation based on transparency and traceability within the gems and jewellery industry. Therefore, stakeholders within the gems and jewellery industry that want to give back to the world can easily fulfill their promise in a transparent and trusted manner by implementing Proof of Donation in their charity programmes.
A stakeholder who wants to organise a charity programme through Proof of Donation to raise funds for a cause is known as the initiator. An initiator then decides the beneficiary of the charity programme, which is known as the donee. An initiator is obligated to acknowledge and sign the Code of Conduct and Terms and Conditions prior to using the Proof of Donation service in their charity programme.
Following acknowledgement of both the Code of Conduct and Terms and Conditions, the initiator is responsible for providing all the materials needed to create their NFT(s) for charity purpose. These materials include media files representing the NFT, collection logo, banner image, webpage (optional) about the NFT project etc.
Once all the required materials are ready, Provenance Proof will mint the NFTs for the initiator and manage the trading of these NFTs, ensuring the revenue generated from the selling and subsequent selling of these NFTs is transferred to the payout wallet address of the designated donee as intended.
An initiator is responsible for all the costs associated with designing their NFT(s) and any transactions that occur during the trading and handling of the NFT(s). These include fees for minting the NFT(s), network transactions, and banking transactions involved in withdrawing cryptocurrency to the bank account of the designated donee.
NFT stands for “non-fungible token”. NFTs are cryptographic assets on blockchain with unique identification codes and metadata that distinguish them from each other. Unlike cryptocurrencies, they cannot be traded or exchanged equivalently as each token is uniquely identified and cannot be replicated.
So why do we use NFTs for raising funds for a charity cause? Because royalties can be programmed on these NFTs to maximise donations to a charity cause. With that being said, not only the full revenue generated from the primary sale will go to the charity cause, but as an option, up to 10% of the resale value from every subsequent sale that occurs on OpenSea in the future. This helps create a continuous stream of donations to the charity cause and maximize the fundraising of a charity programme.
In the meantime, we offer all the initiators the options to mint on either Ethereum or Polygon on OpenSea. Unlike Ethereum, Polygon uses a Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism which is far more energy-efficient than the Proof-of-Work consensus mechanism used by Ethereum.
On the bright side, Ethereum is scheduled to be upgraded to Ethereum 2.0 in 2022 to solve all the high carbon emission issues linked to the Proof-of-Work consensus mechanism. And for reference, Ethereum is still considered exceptionally efficient compared to Bitcoin, as it consumes 11 times less than what Bitcoin requires for a transaction.
One of the biggest reasons to own an NFT listed under Proof of Donation by Provenance Proof is to be part of a community concerned about society and the environment.
Owning one of these NFTs listed by Provenance Proof can positively impact the charity cause with which the NFT is associated. In other words, you can become a donor simply by owning one of these unique NFTs listed by Provenance Proof.
People who are interested in owning a Proof of Donation NFT can check out all the available listed NFTs at the storefront of Provenance Proof on OpenSea at https://opensea.io/ProvenanceProof.
Buying NFTs listed by Provenance Proof on OpenSea is as easy as purchasing any NFT on the marketplace. For those who are new to OpenSea, all you need is a wallet that supports OpenSea and some ETHERs in it and you are good to go.
To learn more about buying an NFT on OpenSea, please kindly visit the link below: https://support.opensea.io/hc/en-us/sections/1500000462261-Buying
The greatest risk in buying and trading NFTs is losing the private key that holds all the NFTs in your ownership, leading to NFT(s) and other crypto assets getting stolen. Hence, please never share your private key or seed phrase with anyone, and make sure you keep your private key and seed phrase at somewhere safe and only you are the one who has access to it.
Fraudsters on the Internet will attempt to steal your private key by any means. For example, you may experience problems with your digital wallet, and they may pose as customer support agents or service providers, asking for your private key to "resolve" the issue. However, it's important to note that legitimate customer support will never ask for your private key. Therefore, you should never give your private key to third parties under any circumstances to protect your assets and personal information.
When transferring any crypto asset, including NFTs and cryptocurrencies, please always ensure that the destination address entered is valid (e.g. by copying the entire address and pasting it to the destination address field or scanning a QR code of the address). Otherwise, you risk permanently transferring the NFTs to an unknown address.
Counterfeits that imitate NFTs listed by Provenance Proof may exist on OpenSea or other platforms. Please be aware that Provenance Proof is currently only listing all the NFTs under Proof of Donation on OpenSea, and to ensure that you are at the authentic store of Provenance Proof, please always make sure the link shown in the address bar is https://opensea.io/ProvenanceProof or check if the public address of the account is 0xdcc282c568b38d48baa738575759c6733138eb11 or compared the smart contract address of a self-claimed suspicious Provenance Proof listed NFT to the one mentioned on Proof of Donation.
A transaction error can occur when specific parameters change between sending a transaction and receiving confirmation.
Some common transaction errors occur, for instance, when there are insufficient funds to pay the transaction fees on the blockchain. To mitigate this problem, many crypto users can calculate the transaction costs in advance to give the users an idea of how much cryptocurrency they need to have in their wallets to perform a successful transaction.
A wrong address can also result in the loss of a digital token, but this can be mitigated by copying the entire address and pasting it to the destination address field or scanning a QR code of the address.
- Effectively enhance trust and credibility of a charitable donation through provable transparency and Provenance Proof as the third party handling the donation.
- Simple and effective
- Increase reach for potential participants within the large growing NFT-affine /crypto-affine community
- Implementation of modern technology that ensures maximum impact of a charity donation
- A creative and fun way to engage in efforts pertaining to giving backto those in need and our mother earth as simply as by just owning a unique NFT listed by Provenance Proof.
- As a collectible with charity purpose behind, the NFT can be resold at a higher value or passed on to whomever the owner wishes.
- To be part of a philanthropic programme community through owningone of the NFT avatars from a collection.
- Access to the unlockable content of an NFT (if available).
- Able to rest assured that the money spent in a unique NFT will benefit the designated charity programme associated with the NFT
- More awareness can be created around their charity cause.
- Can rest assured all the funds raised through the donation programme with Proof of Donation will be received.
- Access to all the transactions related to the charity programme with full transparency.
- Transactions are independent from the initiator of the donation programme.
- NFTs with royalties enabled can create a continuous stream of donations over time depending on the future trading and value development of the NFTs