This new technology could be the worst enemy for blood diamonds

Illegal diamond miners.image www.wordwidediamonds.info

Sooner than you think, you will be able to learn where a diamond really comes from, its measurements, grading and other key information by simply using a smartphone, as two companies have partnered to bring near field communication (NFC) — best known for enabling mobile payments — into the diamond industry.

Thinfilm, which prints NFC tags, and Sarine Technologies, which develops technologies for diamonds and gemstones, said Tuesday they are working together to empower jewellers and consumers by increasing transparency in the diamond retail.

Applying near field communication, or NFC, smartphone users can learn a diamond’s history, measurements, grading and other key information.Thinfilm will produce NFC tags that show a smartphone user the profiles of individual diamonds. They will be printed on paper sold with diamonds wholesale or eventually on tags attached to rings in stores.

The technology could ease the work began in 2003 by the Kimberly Process, an international organization that oversees the diamond trade, and which goal is to eliminate from the market all blood diamonds—stones that fuel violent conflicts through their sale.

Currently, The KP works through a so-called “system of warranties,” whereby every government must provide a written guarantee that their diamonds are not involved in funding any conflict. The 81 participating countries, which account for roughly 99% of the world diamond trade, also only deal with each other.

However, the system is not exempt of fraud and fake certificates have been often found attached to diamonds sold in global markets. This, as the a Kimberley Process certificate does not apply to an individual diamond but to a group of rough stones which are then cut and shipped around the world. Without a tracking system, this is where the trail currently ends.

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Henry Sapiecha

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