Botswana's Okavango Diamond Company Joins GIA Tracking Program

Origin Tracking
02/07/2018 13:25

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has announced that Okavango Diamond Company (ODC) is participating in the Institute’s M2M (Mine to Market) program, a digital platform tracks rough diamonds through to the resulting polished gem. As part of a pilot initiative, a selection of ODC rough diamonds GIA has evaluated for its M2M program will be offered at the ODC July 2018 Spot Auction. The GIA's new service offers retailers a new method of being able to uncover a stone’s history. 

“The M2M platform allows ODC, and our customers, to finally share with the consumer the story of the proud heritage and history of Botswana's diamonds and the positive contributions they make to society,” said ODC Managing Director Marcus Ter Haar. “This is an important step in confirming diamond provenance, which we anticipate will have benefits for our customers, retailers and ultimately consumers. This pilot will allow those ODC customers who participate the advantage of confirming that the polished outcome of the M2M rough stones they purchase can be certified ultimately as true Botswana origin. For the end consumer, this provides the assurance that their polished diamond is natural and has been sourced from an ethical producer country where diamonds continue to make a profound impact on the livelihoods of millions of people.”

Consumers are exhibiting greater interest in the origin of the diamonds they purchase. The M2M program allows the retailer, and ultimately the consumer, to trace the journey of a polished stone, adding to its story at each point along the value chain. The M2M program allows for the individual characteristics of a polished stone, and its unique journey, to be shared with consumers using mobile application and smart card technology, together with traditional grading reports. “We are very pleased to welcome ODC to M2M as part of this pilot,” said Tom Moses, GIA executive vice president and chief laboratory and research officer. “Dozens of retailers and several manufacturers are signed up, and we continue to engage the majority of diamond producers as part of the initiative.”

Okavango Diamond Company is a rough diamond marketing company that is wholly owned by the Botswana Government. ODC offers its global customer base open access to scale supply of the full range of rough diamonds sourced from Botswana, and has access to 15% of Debswana's run-of-mine production.