Pearls of Australia Utilises the Blockchain to Prove Provenance and Ownership

December 08, 2021, 9:45 AM AEST - 5 months ago

A partnership between an Australian pearl farming and retail business and blockchain technology company Everledger will bring greater transparency to the sale and transfer of rare, high-quality pearls.

In an industry first, buyers of rare pearls produced by Pearls of Australia will gain a Statement of Provenance that guarantees certainty around the gems’ origin, attributes, sustainability practices, and journey from farm-to-market.

Sea pearls of the WA Kimberley coast. Source: Pearls of Australia

Immutable Digital Records on the Blockchain

Pearls of Australia has partnered with Australian blockchain platform Everledger – specialists in supply chain traceability – on a pilot program to provide accessible and immutable digital records for its pearl jewellery, via a platform called Provenance Proof. 

In a December 6 statement about the pilot, James Brown, managing director of Pearls of Australia and Australian Farmer of the Year 2021, said the impetus for the project was a perceived “erosion” of pearls’ value in the eyes of consumers:

We needed a way to make the value of pearls more visible and enduring beyond the dialogue we have with customers at a single point of time.

James Brown, Pearls of Australia

The Provenance Proof platform will make each pearl’s unique provenance and ownership data available to retailers and end consumers from a mobile phone or computer.

Verifiable Gems Add Value and Support Conscious Consumption

Known for its commitment to sustainability and quality, Pearls of Australia grows premium saltwater pearls across three farming operations in Western Australia and NSW, and also designs and sells luxury pearl jewellery online, at boutiques located on-farm, and through retailers. 

Everledger states that blockchain-enabled proof of provenance will add value for end customers by providing peace of mind and informing insurance or estate planning, making it easier to transfer ownership of pearl jewellery across generations. 

Everledger CEO Leanne Kemp also argues that unlike the problematic supply chains associated with diamonds, Australian pearls have a more sustainable story that can now be articulated for consumers.

“Where diamonds needed to counter conflict and human rights issues, pearls needed a platform to share their unique journey of harmonious collaboration between man and living nature,” Kemp says, adding: “There are exciting plans ahead, including how we ensure the positive impact of pearling is captured and shared.”

Blockchain solutions are increasingly being adopted to increase confidence in Australian products, including red meat and native superfood, the Kakadu plum.

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