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World famous jeweller Tiffany & Company has launched an initiative to provide greater transparency about the origins of its diamonds to customers, from miner to retailer.

Following in the footsteps of world’s No. 1 diamond miner De Beers, which is testing a blockchain technology-based platform aimed at clearing the supply chain of imposters and conflict diamonds, Tiffany has begun tracing each of its individually registered diamonds (0.18 carats and larger) by a unique serial number.

The “Diamond Source Initiative” identifies for customers the country where diamonds were mined, and, eventually, will also include information on where they were cut, polished and set.

The digits, etched by laser and invisible to the naked eye, provide consumers with the exact provenance and country of origin for the diamonds they are acquiring.

By 2020, the New York-based jeweller plans to add further information about the "craftsmanship" journey of its precious gems, such as cutting and polishing workshop location.

The program, known as the “Diamond Source Initiative”, is part of jewellers’ effort to attract younger shoppers, for whom the issue of sourcing is a key factor in their shopping behaviours.

"Diamonds, formed up to three billion years ago and brought to the earth's surface by a miracle of nature, are symbols of the most important moments in our lives," Tiffany CEO Alessandro Bogliolo said in a statement. "There should be nothing opaque about Tiffany diamonds."

Despite the establishment of the Kimberley Process in 2003, aimed at removing those so-called conflict diamonds from the supply chain, experts say trafficking of precious rocks is still ongoing.

While Tiffany controls most of the process that readies its diamonds for display cases, it buys its roughs from suppliers with various mines. The...

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