Traceability and provenance are part of the same story. Knowing where your gem comes from and who has handled it down the line.
The journey of a beautiful gem or jewelry piece from origin can span continents and cultures. Ancient and modern trading routes form part of the story and the hands that they pass though are numerous and, sometimes nefarious.
In today’s connected world we acknowledge this journey and strive to be part of a solution to ensure that our desires do not come at a high cost to others. We want peace of mind that people and communities are enhanced by these gems and not disadvantaged.
Tracing gemstones back to their source has been enormously difficult. Our solution is rather simple. We purchase only from the Australian opal fields where we have relationships with the miners who mine. We purchase rough opal which we process and cut ourselves here at BOD HQ as well as purchasing partially finished rough and polished gems from miners and field buyers. For 99% of our opal, the gems have travelled through no more than three sets of hands. The miner, the cutter and the buyer.
So how can you be sure where your opal has come from? Here at Black Opal Direct we are part of three major initiatives to give you peace of mind.
Australian Trusted Trader – trader no. 189
This is a government program backed by formal legislation that serves to physically audit the international supply chains of Australian businesses. In 2018, Black Opal Direct was audited by the Australian Trusted Trader delegate to ensure our products were exactly as described and that the chain of custody was true and secure from source to when it gets to you. Re-accreditation is currently being processed. For Black Opal Direct clients this means when we ship your opal, your country’s customs may have a similar program in place and therefore, our goods may be treated with a “lighter touch at the border”. To date, we are the only Australian opal company with the accreditation and one of less than 1000 companies nationwide who hold it.
Accredited Ethical Member – International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA)
The ICA is the premier worldwide member association for the Colored gem industry. Membership is obtained only through referral from three other members. Ethical Member accreditation is additional to membership and as members we have conducted a practical self-audit and voluntary pledge to ensure our supply chain duty of care and business practices are of the highest order.
The Provenance Proof initiative is a third party confirmed transparency process within the gem and jewelry industry. Designed by storied gem merchants House of Gubelin and the Gubelin Gem Lab, Provenance Proof is the first blockchain based platform that unveils the journey of every gem from rough to finished.
Black Opal Direct is proud to be a member of this platform and can, by request, list gems over $10,000 in value on the platform. Access is strictly limited via smart contracts to the owner of the gemstone only. The block-chain technology ensures that it is tamper proof and eternal.
Tracing back to source – Opal Reports
Our commitment to provenance flows though to you. Each opal is shipped with a QR code, pointing back to the original listing and video, allowing you to keep a record of your purchase, its origins and grading. Upon request we are also able to provide you with a printable version of this information.