Gemfields has decided to tackle head on a big issue which has been plaguing the gem trade for a long time. How to guarantee the emerald you bought is ethically sourced? Through the partnership with Gübelin Gem Lab, they came up with a very creative solution by using Gübelin’s new “Provenance Proof” nano-particle technology which proves that the emeralds bought through their auction was sourced from Gemfields’ Zambia Kagem mine and can be checked and verified.
The first of these emeralds rough have been auctioned on May 15 to May 18, 2018 though not all had the nanotechnology. Of the total 10 emerald lots sold only 5 lots had nano-particle technology embedded.
However, with this technology there is now a way to trace ‘some’ emeralds and build more confidence to end consumer that their purchase did not influence harm to a community or environment.
Before this development, the colored gem trade has had no fixed global system which can confidently trace gemstones from mine to market as the trade still follows ancient and very secretive trading methods. During the production process, there is a lot of ‘mixing’ which occurs from different sources and Gemfields hopes that by having this technology they can tackle the transparency issue in the trade.
How it works
Gübelin Gem Lab in 2017 created a “Provenance Proof” synthetic nanotechnology code which contains key information. List of information included are provided below:
1) Rough gemstone’s origin (or provenance) – includes the miners name and mining location.
2) Actual date when the gemstone rough was mined.
This means each set of nanotechnology code is unique to that miner, mine location and date it was mined. It is like having a unique DNA which is traceable back to the rough’s origin.
The way Gübelin Gem Lab embeds this nano-technology in the rough is by immersing the emerald rough, such as Zambia Kagem mine rough, in a liquid containing the unique coded nanoparticles. Through this liquid immersion the nanoparticles embed themselves in the emerald’s natural fissures (or inclusions) so that they cannot be removed except by Gübelin Gem Lab. (please note fissures are very common features in emeralds and you can read more about it here).
Through Gübelin Gem Lab test, these particles do not have any effect on the quality of the gemstone both in rough or the finished cut & polished gemstone.
If a consumer or retailer wants to verify that an emerald has the nanotechnology and therefore guarantee gemstone’s origin, they just have to submit the stone to Gübelin Gem Lab. They will then examine and verify the code through their highly secured database revealing the miner, mine location and date the gemstone was mined.
Why is this an important step in Gem trade?
This is one big issue which has been plaguing the gem & diamond trade for a long time, how to make sure the gems you are buying are ethically sourced and not harming people or communities. I actually have covered this topic with ethically sourced diamonds in my past blog post which you can read here.
By adding a transparency level through modern technology I actually do feel that Gemfields and Gübelin Gem Lab is moving in the right direction towards resolving this very important issue.
Thai Native Gems – Conflict free gemstone clause –
We at Thai Native Gems try our best to check the companies or people we deal with, have a clause, mission statement, or manifesto stating that they deal only in ‘conflict-free’ gemstone. As we truly believe in eradicating these horrible acts from the trade we will strive to the best of our ability and knowledge to make sure we will not trade or acquire any conflict sourced gemstones.
Contact us today to get all your wholesale gemstones, diamonds and jewelry needs. We can Source, Search and Supply anything you require.
What will you get if you contact us
- Get wholesale and highly competitive prices of gemstones & diamonds from anywhere through our extensive network of contacts around the world
- All stones sold by us is verified in house by our GIA Graduate Gemologist or certified
- We provide personalized service and NOT the same old “One Size Fits All” Approach
You can learn more by clicking here or image below