New Australian technology tracks down gold thieves and blood diamonds – by Jessica Sier (Australian Financial Review – July 30, 2021)

Geologist and chemical scientist John Watling can tell you exactly where your diamonds come from.

Not just what the Tiffany’s or Cartier packaging says, or the murky certification offered by the world’s largest diamond miners, De Beers and Alrosa, but right down to the exact patch of dirt in the exact mine.

Used for more than 20 years by West Australian police investigators to catch gold and diamond thieves, Watling’s provenance company Source Certain this week announced a deal with SCS Global to become the embedded technology in a new international standard to combat blood or conflict diamonds – gems mined illegally in war zones.

It’s taken 10 years, the failure of the United Nations to stop blood diamond sales through the Kimberley Process, and waves of ethically motivated consumers who are ready to put their money where their mouths are for Watling’s provenance technology to hit the big time.

“Paper trails are so easily forged, and if one blood diamond is mixed up in a parcel of other diamonds, buyers have no idea where it came from,” says Watling, from his home outside of Perth.

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