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De Beers, the world’s largest supplier of diamonds, is investing in a blockchain-based platform that will enable greater tracking of its stones.

The platform will trace the diamonds’ route through the value chain, from mine to consumer, Bruce Cleaver, chief executive of the Anglo American-owned company, said.

“Consumers should be able to know there is an accurate register of a diamond’s journey that provides assurance of its provenance and authenticity,” Mr Cleaver said.

The platform will create a more secure register of each transaction involving the diamond, De Beers said. It be an open platform for those in the diamond industry that will allow for further apps to be built on top of it, the company said.

Diamonds are mostly sold by De Beers to authorised buyers at a series of so-called “sights” in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. They are then normally sent to be polished or cut before ending up with retailers.

Concern over conflict diamonds led to the establishment of the Kimberley Process in 2003. Diamonds are now sent in sealed containers accompanied by certificates that say they are conflict-free.

But critics have said the process does not help prevent money-laundering using diamonds.

Image source: Bloomberg

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