29.08.23 | 5 min

Revolutionizing the Gemstone Industry: How Provenance Proof Enables Gemstone Traceability

Lucerne-based company Provenance Proof is revolutionizing the gemstone industry with blockchain technology. We speak with Klemens Link, Director of Provenance Proof, about the inception and advantages of this groundbreaking solution. Transparency, ethics, and innovation – ushering in a new era for gemstones.

Rohstein | © Provenance Proof AG

In an era where consumers increasingly value ethical and sustainable business practices, transparency in the supply chain has gained paramount importance. It not only facilitates risk management but also becomes an integral component of responsible and sustainable business conduct. With the goal of enabling gemstone traceability, Provenance Proof AG has developed a blockchain solution. In this blog article, Klemens Link, Director of Provenance Proof, discusses the pioneering efforts of the young company from Lucerne.

What inspired the establishment of Provenance Proof AG?

Provenance Proof is a startup within the Gübelin family business. It all began with the need for greater transparency and traceability in the gemstone and jewelry industry. Innovation has always played a crucial role in Gübelin's tradition. Raphael Gübelin's vision to shed light on the origin of a gemstone and to bring more clarity to the supply chain using state-of-the-art technologies was the driving force behind the Provenance Proof initiative launched in 2017. This initiative puts the entire value chain of the gemstone industry under scrutiny to create more transparency and trust.

In 2019, we introduced the world's first blockchain-based platform that securely maps the journey of each gemstone from raw stone to finished jewelry. In the same year, Provenance Proof AG was established as an independent subsidiary of Gübelin to ensure transparency in the gemstone and jewelry industry as a neutral third-party provider.

Provenance Proof's blockchain solution offers complete traceability of gemstones. How does the technology work exactly and what advantages does it bring?

Think of the blockchain as a kind of digital diary. All stakeholders involved in the gemstone's value chain add a page with their information. Simultaneously, the Provenance Proof blockchain allows for the creation of a digital inventory along the entire supply chain of each extracted gemstone. For each gemstone, a unique digital twin is generated, visible exclusively to the stone's owner. The blockchain technology offers highly encrypted and immutable data. This grants authorized individuals insights into the supply chain and the gemstone's origin. Subsequently, the consumer obtains a digital twin of their purchased piece of jewelry, complete with documentation and captivating insights into the world of gemstones that would otherwise remain concealed. Currently, around 9 million gemstones are registered on the blockchain, with approximately 700 companies from over 50 countries participating.

The advantages of this technology are manifold. Firstly, the comprehensive traceability creates transparency and trust in the origin of gemstones. Consumers can be assured that the stones have been ethically mined and fairly traded. Furthermore, the blockchain solution prevents counterfeiting or the trade of unlawfully obtained gemstones, as each gemstone possesses a unique digital fingerprint. Lastly, the technology aids in enhancing supply chain efficiency and security, as all information on the blockchain is available in real-time and protected against manipulation. Our blockchain solution marks a groundbreaking step towards a transparent and sustainable gemstone industry. With this innovative technology, we are setting new standards for the industry and paving the way for a more ethical and responsible future.

A notable example of our solution's benefits is the collaboration with Moyo Gems, a local initiative distributing ethically mined gemstones from Tanzania. The aim of this partnership was to improve the working conditions of predominantly female small-scale miners in Tanzania's gemstone industry through transparency. The results speak for themselves: Visibility exerted pressure on local authorities, prompting increased efforts to ensure women's safety. Additionally, demand for these traceable stones rose significantly. Both jewelers and end consumers are willing to pay a higher price for the created transparency. This successful collaboration powerfully demonstrates that transparency and ethical trade can generate real value for all parties involved.

Like Gübelin, Provenance Proof is also based in Lucerne. What makes Lucerne an attractive business location for you?

Over many decades, Lucerne has established itself as a globally significant hub in the luxury watch and jewelry industry. In addition to key players in Swiss retail, situated in Central Switzerland, Lucerne is also a crucial point on the map of the gemstone industry. Gemstones from around the world come to Lucerne and are analyzed by Gübelin's gemological laboratory on behalf of prestigious auction houses, jewelry brands, and museums. Operating from the same location as these flagship companies lends us added credibility and reputation, which has already opened international doors for us. For many, Lucerne is closely associated with jewelry and watches.

Furthermore, as a location for Provenance Proof, Lucerne excels due to its central location and excellent accessibility. This enables optimal networking in all directions, whether within Switzerland, across Europe, or worldwide. Additionally, our guests, including customers and business partners, appreciate the high attractiveness of the Lucerne location and gladly visit it.

Sarah Bieri
Project Manager Marketing/Communication

Phone +41 41 367 44 09



Provenance Proof AG
6006 Luzern