Media Release: SCI to provide critical technology in new global certification for diamonds

Perth based sci-tech company to provide critical technology in new global certification for ethical and sustainable diamonds.

2 August 2021

Perth-based Source Certain International (SCI) today announced it will partner with SCS Global Services and provide the company’s provenance verification technology for SCS’s newly formed Global Services Certification Standard for Sustainable Diamonds (SCS-007).

The standard establishes a leading benchmark of sustainable accountability, transparency and provenance assurance for the gemstone diamond industry, and is the first unified framework for assessing natural and laboratory-grown diamonds.

The standard is the first global ESG certification across any industry including diamonds, mining, seafood or agriculture that has implemented scientific provenance verification technology to underpin its Chain of Custody requirement.

SCI is providing the scientific provenance verification component, with its proprietary TSW Trace® technology, which will form an essential part of the requirement for certification.

According to Stanley Mathuram, Executive Vice-President of SCS Global Services, most diamonds sold today do not come with third-party proof of origin. “Our standard utilises SCI's scientific provenance verification techniques and chemical profiling to document a natural diamond’s or lab-grown diamond’s mine or lab of origin.”

SCI’s technology analyses the naturally occurring chemical and trace metal markers present in natural and lab grown diamonds which allows the provenance of diamonds to be verified down to a mine or lab level.

Dr John Watling, Chief Scientist, of SCI said, “Everything we need to know about a diamond’s origin is already present in it. We study the unique relationships between selected trace and ultra-trace elements to establish a ‘fingerprint’ used to identify the trace elemental signature unique to the mineralising event in which the diamond was formed. These fingerprints are imprinted on natural diamonds when they were formed, millions of years ago, and similarly are imprinted on lab-grown diamonds when they are produced.”

TSW Trace is a legally accepted and scientifically robust technology backed by over 40 years of development and has been widely used to verify food and gold provenance. Its work on diamonds, which has previously been reserved for forensic and law enforcement cases, dispels the myth that the origin of a diamond can’t be verified.

“Until recently, the sensitivity of the instruments used to produce the fingerprint wasn’t adequate to determine the impurities in all diamonds, so we have waited before trying to commercialise the protocols. Furthermore, the interpreting process is complex and requires specialist knowledge, but we believe we can now confidently provide scientific validation of diamond origin on a commercial scale,” Watling said.

The inclusion of SCI and their technology within the certification gives consumers the confidence diamonds carrying the certification are ethical, sustainably sourced and produced, and that those consumers are not inadvertently purchasing a conflict diamond.

Mathuram said, “Customers should demand that their diamond’s provenance is independently verified with empirical evidence detailing its mine or lab of origin, country and date of extraction.”

Cameron Scadding, co-founder and Managing Director of SCI said, “What SCS has done has coupled the science of provenance verification to connect brands and end consumers to the promises of the certification. It does not matter the sector – finding ways to mediate transparency in supply chains is now essential.”

“Seeing companies achieve certifications backed with scientific technology tells us they are measuring themselves to the highest of standards, far surpassing those set out by industry bodies and regulators. These are the companies that are going to change the face of the diamond industry.”

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