July 2019 | News | Vertical Focus

VERTICAL FOCUS | Jewelry

Tags: Technology , Supply Chain

Blockchain clasps the supply chain

Best known for its use in cryptocurrencies, blockchain is now making its way into the jewelry supply chain. In an industry where transparency is in high demand, the technology has a lot to offer.

Aside from cost savings, which many other industries have realized by implementing blockchain to trace products through the supply chain, this technology also allows for a higher level of transparency. The virtual ledger created when using blockchain is secure, allowing a material to be tracked from one end of the supply chain to the other.

This is particularly important in the jewelry sector, as the mining of precious metals and gemstones presents a range of social and environmental issues, with consumers becoming increasingly concerned about the impact of their purchases and the story behind their products. More customers want ethically sourced and eco-friendly jewelry; they want transparency and a backstory behind their gemstones, and they want to know that their purchasing habits are supporting good causes.

As blockchain becomes more prevalent throughout various industries, jewelry buyers can look forward to an added bonus—the knowledge that their purchase has done no societal or environmental harm.

3D-printed Diamonds: A Gem of a Development

In the past, the very composition of super-hard diamond materials—harder than any other materials in nature—meant that only simple geometric shapes could be successfully formed.

Today, by using additive manufacturing and a proprietary post-processing methodology, Sandvik Additive Manufacturing has introduced a 3D-printed diamond composite material that can be manipulated into almost any shape. The new material also boasts heightened levels of hardness, heat conductivity, thermal expansion, and corrosion resistance.

The difference between this new diamond material and natural or synthetic forms is that Sandvik's is a composite material. Most of it is diamond, but to make it printable and dense, it needs to be cemented in a matrix material, keeping the most important physical properties of pure diamond. This slurry, or semi liquid mixture, is combined with a stereolithography approach, where complex parts are produced layer by layer using ultraviolet light.

The additive manufacturing approach also minimizes waste; the diamond powder can be extracted from the polymer in the slurry after printing and reused in another job.

the bling's the thing

  • 43% percentage of total U.S. sales generated by fine jewelry
  • $645b anticipated value of the jewelry market by 2035
  • 52% percentage of global demand for gold attributed to jewelry
  • $82b total value of the diamond jewelry market worldwide in 2017

SOURCES: Statista, research reports world






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