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‘Game-Changing’ Technology Traces Origins of Certain Gemstones

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It uses DNA-based nanoparticles.

In what has been labeled as a “true game-changer” for the colored-gemstone market, a Switzerland-based laboratory is using DNA-based nanoparticles to mark emeralds with an invisible imprint that will provide proof of their origin anywhere along the supply chain.INSTORE Emerald1

The particles, which are smaller than 100 nanometers in size, will be applied to rough emerald crystals at mining sites. The particles are so small that they can only be seen with an electron microscope. A human hair, by comparison, is 100,000 nanometers wide.

Gübelin Gem Lab explained that the particles will remain intact throughout the cleaning, cutting, polishing and setting processes. What’s more, they will have no effect on the appearance or properties of the gemstones. For now, Gübelin will be focusing on emeralds because the particles are able to adhere to the natural fissures unique to the gemstone.

“This technology offers all stakeholders along the entire supply chain, from the miner to the final customers, proof of the exact source of emeralds, instilling confidence and creating trust,” said Daniel Nyfeler, Gübelin’s managing director. “It enables a new level of transparency for the gemstone trade.”

Gübelin is calling its ground-breaking traceable technology the “Emerald Paternity Test” due to the fact that each mine will have a unique DNA tag.

Partnering with Gübelin to test the nanotechnology is Gemfields, the London-based majority owner of Kagem, the world’s largest emerald mine in Zambia.

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“Embracing innovation, technology and increased transparency is at the heart of our approach,” noted Ian Harebottle, CEO of Gemfields. “We were therefore thrilled to assist Gübelin in the testing of this new technology, and we are very excited about the outcome as it offers a multitude of benefits to the industry and the consumer.”

Credit: Photo by Parent Géry (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons.


HOWARD COHEN is the Shoreham, NY-based editor of The Jeweler Blog, a daily blog ghost-written for retail jewelers. Cohen, a long-time industry veteran, is dedicated to making social media tasks simple and affordable for every jeweler. For more information, visit thejewelerblog.com or contact Cohen at 631-821- 8867, [email protected]. Websites: thejewelerblog.com, thejewelerblog.wordpress.com.

This article is an online extra for INSTORE.

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The store was a landmark in Topeka, Kansas, but after 80 years in business, it was time for Briman’s Leading Jewelers to close up shop. Third generation jeweler and owner Rob Briman says the decision wasn’t easy, but the sale that followed was — all thanks to Wilkerson. Briman had decided a year prior to the summer 2020 sale that he wanted to retire. With a pandemic in full force, he had plenty of questions and concerns. “We had no real way to know if we were going to be successful or have a failure on our hands,” says Briman. “We didn’t know what to expect.” But with Wilkerson in charge, the experience was “fantastic” and now there’s plenty of time for relaxing and enjoying a more secure retirement. “I would recommend Wilkerson to any retailer considering a going-out-of-business sale,” says Briman. “They’ll help you reach your financial goal. Our experience was a tremendous success.”

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‘Game-Changing’ Technology Traces Origins of Certain Gemstones

mm

Published

on

It uses DNA-based nanoparticles.

In what has been labeled as a “true game-changer” for the colored-gemstone market, a Switzerland-based laboratory is using DNA-based nanoparticles to mark emeralds with an invisible imprint that will provide proof of their origin anywhere along the supply chain.INSTORE Emerald1

The particles, which are smaller than 100 nanometers in size, will be applied to rough emerald crystals at mining sites. The particles are so small that they can only be seen with an electron microscope. A human hair, by comparison, is 100,000 nanometers wide.

Gübelin Gem Lab explained that the particles will remain intact throughout the cleaning, cutting, polishing and setting processes. What’s more, they will have no effect on the appearance or properties of the gemstones. For now, Gübelin will be focusing on emeralds because the particles are able to adhere to the natural fissures unique to the gemstone.

“This technology offers all stakeholders along the entire supply chain, from the miner to the final customers, proof of the exact source of emeralds, instilling confidence and creating trust,” said Daniel Nyfeler, Gübelin’s managing director. “It enables a new level of transparency for the gemstone trade.”

Gübelin is calling its ground-breaking traceable technology the “Emerald Paternity Test” due to the fact that each mine will have a unique DNA tag.

Advertisement

Partnering with Gübelin to test the nanotechnology is Gemfields, the London-based majority owner of Kagem, the world’s largest emerald mine in Zambia.

“Embracing innovation, technology and increased transparency is at the heart of our approach,” noted Ian Harebottle, CEO of Gemfields. “We were therefore thrilled to assist Gübelin in the testing of this new technology, and we are very excited about the outcome as it offers a multitude of benefits to the industry and the consumer.”

Credit: Photo by Parent Géry (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons.


HOWARD COHEN is the Shoreham, NY-based editor of The Jeweler Blog, a daily blog ghost-written for retail jewelers. Cohen, a long-time industry veteran, is dedicated to making social media tasks simple and affordable for every jeweler. For more information, visit thejewelerblog.com or contact Cohen at 631-821- 8867, [email protected]. Websites: thejewelerblog.com, thejewelerblog.wordpress.com.

This article is an online extra for INSTORE.

Advertisement

Continue Reading
Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

Wilkerson Testimonials

Retirement Made Easy with Wilkerson

The store was a landmark in Topeka, Kansas, but after 80 years in business, it was time for Briman’s Leading Jewelers to close up shop. Third generation jeweler and owner Rob Briman says the decision wasn’t easy, but the sale that followed was — all thanks to Wilkerson. Briman had decided a year prior to the summer 2020 sale that he wanted to retire. With a pandemic in full force, he had plenty of questions and concerns. “We had no real way to know if we were going to be successful or have a failure on our hands,” says Briman. “We didn’t know what to expect.” But with Wilkerson in charge, the experience was “fantastic” and now there’s plenty of time for relaxing and enjoying a more secure retirement. “I would recommend Wilkerson to any retailer considering a going-out-of-business sale,” says Briman. “They’ll help you reach your financial goal. Our experience was a tremendous success.”

Promoted Headlines

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