Thai jewellery makers to quell ‘blood diamond’ fear with blockchain verification
Buyers of Thai jewellery will soon be able to verify their purchases via blockchain, in a move to lift the industry to international standards.
The Commerce Ministry has asked the Gem and Jewellery Institute of Thailand (GIT) to help local jewellery producers use blockchain technology so customers can trace the origins of gems used in their products.
Traceability has become a big feature of the gems trade in Europe and the US over concerns surrounding so-called “blood diamonds”, or gems mined to fuel conflicts or war.
Rubies and jade mined in Myanmar have come under an international spotlight over concerns that they fund the country’s military dictatorship and its brutal campaigns against citizens.
“Now, Europe and American brands have started requiring makers to declare the origins of gemstones, which can be traced back and verified using blockchain technology,” Deputy Commerce Minister Sinit Lertkrai said.
“Thai makers must adapt themselves to this development.”
The minister said GIT was asked to educate Thai jewellery makers on accountable business practices, environmental issues and technology used to trace gems’ origins.
He warned that Thai jewellery makers who were too slow to adopt these technologies would “fail to catch the train”.
Jewellery was Thailand’s fifth-highest exports earner in 2021, at Bt194.65 billion. Thailand ranked as the world’s third-largest exporter of gemstones and 17th largest exporter of jewellery last year, Sinit said.
GIT and the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) will launch free online transparency and good governance training for gems traders on March 9, GIT director Sumet Prasongpongchai said.
The training will be carried out using Zoom Meeting application
Conducted via the Zoom app, the training will be led by RJC executive director Iris Van der Veken and GIT deputy director Thanong Leelawatanasuk as well as representatives from Precious Metal Refining Co Ltd and Pranda Jewellery Plc.