Jul 03, 2018

Okavango Conducts Pilot Run on GIA M2M Platform to Guarantee Botswana Origin Diamonds

GIA announced recently that Okavango Diamond Company (ODC) is currently carrying out a pilot run on the Institute’s M2M programme. 

“M2M is a digital platform that brings together GIA’s unique ability to scientifically match rough diamonds to the resulting polished gems with information from each step in the value chain that tells the compelling story of a diamond’s journey,” the Institute explained. 

The GIA has processed thousands of rough diamonds ranging from one carat up to more than 100 carats, as part of its various pilot programmes.

ODC is a rough diamond marketing company wholly owned by the Botswana Government and offers its global customer base “open access to scale supply of the full range of rough diamonds sourced from Botswana”. It has access to 15% of Debswana's run-of-mine production, and clocks sales in excess of US$ 500 million annually.

As part of the pilot initiative, a selection of ODC rough diamonds that have been evaluated by GIA for its M2M programme will be offered at the ODC July 2018 Spot Auction, GIA elaborated.

ODC Managing Director Marcus Ter Haar  commented: “The M2M platform allows ODC, and our customers, to finally share with the consumer the story of the proud heritage and history of Botswana's diamonds and the positive contributions they make to society. This is an important step in confirming diamond provenance, which we anticipate will have benefits for our customers, retailers and ultimately consumers."

He added, “This pilot will allow those ODC customers who participate the advantage of confirming that the polished outcome of the M2M rough stones they purchase can be certified ultimately as true Botswana origin. For the end consumer, this provides the assurance that their polished diamond is natural and has been sourced from an ethical producer country where diamonds continue to make a profound impact on the livelihoods of millions of people.”

GIA explained that as consumers are exhibiting greater interest in the origin of the diamonds they purchase, it came up with the M2M programme, which allows the retailer, and ultimately the consumer, to trace the journey of a polished stone, adding to its story at each point along the value chain. “The M2M program allows for the individual characteristics of a polished stone, and its unique journey, to be shared with consumers using mobile application and smart card technology, together with traditional grading reports,” GIA said.

Tom Moses, GIA Executive Vice President and Chief Laboratory and Research Officer  commented: “We are very pleased to welcome ODC to M2M as part of this pilot. Dozens of retailers and several manufacturers are signed up, and we continue to engage the majority of diamond producers as part of the initiative.”