Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but unfortunately, there have been some ethically questionable practices involved in the mining process. For example, “conflict diamonds,” also known as blood diamonds, are gems mined in war zones and then sold to fund insurgencies. For years, these have been a serious problem for the diamond supply chain.
Unethically produced diamonds are especially problematic considering that the global diamond jewelry industry is estimated to be worth more than $72 billion each year. In 2016, the total value of the diamond jewelry market worldwide was some 80.1 billion U.S. dollars, an increase of approximately one billion U.S. dollars from the previous year. Unfortunately, as the global diamond industry continues to be worth billions, consumers still have little knowledge as to where their diamonds come from, how they were produced and if a price accurately reflects the quality of a particular gem.
In order to bring a layer of trust and transparency to the diamond industry, Rare Carat has just announced a partnership with the independent emerging technology enterprise, Everledger, to launch the Rare Carat Report. This free tool leverages blockchain technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to let consumers intelligently evaluate diamonds for sale anywhere in the world, both online and offline.
“Consumers are often frustrated by a lack of transparency when buying a diamond engagement ring. The Rare Carat Report fills a key role as the industry addresses this problem with its newest generation of buyers, helping build trust between buyers and sellers,” said Apeksha Kothari, Rare Carat COO and fifth-generation in the diamond industry.
Consumers use the Rare Carat Report simply by entering a diamond’s certificate number. A report is then generated to show a detailed assessment that checks a diamond’s price, strengths and weaknesses. The price estimate and deal ratings leverage Rare Carat’s industry-best data set on diamond retail prices and proprietary AI machine learning algorithms. This estimate is analogous to Zillow’s famous Zestimate, an approximation of a home’s value that leverages similar statistical modeling.
Bringing Trust To Consumers
Additionally, Everledger’s blockchain-enabled platform provides information on a diamond’s provenance, fulfilling a key consumer demand for trust in their purchases.
“Price comparison is one aspect of this partnership, but consumers still want to know more, like how a stone was manufactured. People are sure to see more price aggregation sites come to market, but will this be enough? We are bringing a layer of trust to consumers with the Rare Carat Report,” Leanne Kemp, Everledger Founder & CEO, told me.
Ultimately, the Rare Carat Report is revolutionary in that it enables greater transparency through digital provenance tracking. Blockchain technology and other scientific methods are applied here to trace diamonds across the entire supply chain back to the retail network.The diamond supply chain is complex in that it has to follow a set of custody events. However, it takes more than just one company to enable a transition of this across the industry. Everledger acts as the connected tissue across the industry. We connect each participant through the supply chain and trace the diamonds to the source of origin back to the retail network. That is the baseline of our efforts, explained Kemp.
In Kemp’s opinion, this could also be the next killer application in terms of how consumers leverage blockchain technology moving forward.People typically think about the killer blockchain app for consumers from a cryptocurrency perspective. Yet Everledger is just now starting to show what that killer app could look like if we act as the persuasive layer that brings this out across the industry with items that matter. Right now, it’s a race to the bottom to produce products that are better, cheaper, faster. The reality is though, that the next wave of true consumer applications is where the consumer can have the full power in their hands to understand the total consciousness of choice.