Signet Jewelers, called "the world’s largest retailer of diamond jewelry" and owns Kay Jewelers, Zales and Jared, will become the first retailer to join De Beers' diamond blockchain pilot program for tracking a diamond’s journey digitally from mine to retail. Launched in January 2018 following a successful proof-of-concept trial, the platform, called Tracr, is billed a comprehensive mine-to-customer traceability solution for the entire diamond industry. The pilot project involves a small group of industry participants - five leading diamond manufacturers comprising Diacore, Diarough, KGK Group, Rosy Blue NV and Venus Jewel – that have been working with De Beers during the development of Tracr and have played an integral role in creating the first blockchain platform to span the entire diamond value chain. It is on track for a full launch later this year. Signet will now join the growing list of industry leaders trialling the platform during its pilot phase.
De Beers notes that the inclusion of Signet will enable them to ensure the platform meets the needs of the jewelry manufacturing and retail sectors by expanding the pilot’s scope to cater for smaller-sized goods, and focusing on the tracking of diamond jewelry. "Tracr is focussed on bringing the benefits of blockchain technology to the full diamond value chain - providing consumers with confidence, the trade with increased efficiency and lower costs, and lenders to the industry with greater visibility," said De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver. “Signet has deep insights into the needs of consumers, and our collaboration will ensure that consumers remain the focus of Tracr.” It is intended that a digital certificate created by Tracr for each diamond registered on the platform, storing its key attributes and transactions, will enable retailers to provide consumers with confidence that their diamond is natural, conflict-free and has been tracked across the value chain.
Virginia C. Drosos, CEO, Signet Jewelers, said: “Responsible sourcing of diamonds has always been an integral part of Signet’s corporate ethos, and this will be further strengthened through our cooperation with Tracr. We are joining the Tracr pilot because we believe the project not only has strong potential to facilitate increased transparency and confidence within the industry, but it can also foster much-needed digital transformation.”