A Walloon company creates the first software to completely trace diamonds: a tool to notably boycott the Russians in Antwerp

The Belgian start-up iTraceiT, a Braine-le-Comte company also having an establishment in Antwerp, announces that it has developed a program to trace the origin of diamonds, from the mine to the jeweler. According to her, this is a first.

The demand for traceability of the sources of diamonds is increasingly important. From now on, the watch and jewelry industry must prove, black on white, that their diamonds come from an ethical and ecological subsidiary. This demand for transparency has grown since the start of the conflict in Ukraine and the call for a boycott of diamonds from Russia.

Boycotting is only possible as a citizen, since politicians don’t seem to want to touch this sector. Which is also controversial. On February 24, the European Commission adopted a new set of sanctions against Russia. This time again the diamond sector, of which Antwerp is the world leader, was spared. In 2022, 21% of the diamonds arriving in Antwerp came from Russia.

A year ago, however, before the Belgian House of Representatives, the Ukrainian president had attacked “those for whom the Russian diamonds, which are sold in Antwerp and those for whom the income of the Russian ships in their port are more important than our struggle”.

The Russian diamonds of Antwerp in the sights of Volodymyr Zelensky in the House of Representatives

Back to iTraceiT… Thanks to a new technology combining blockchain (a database here on a global scale fed by the companies through which the diamonds pass) and QR codes”, iTraceiT succeeded in developing the “world’s first integral diamond passport”which retraces its route “regardless of its source, size, value and condition (raw or cut)”, explains the company. And thus to also detect if diamonds come from “suspect” countries in terms of organized crime? “It is not our role to orchestrate this hunt but it is true that the police could use this passport and detect suspicious elements in it.”, explains Guy De Smet, technical director of iTraceiT.

As such, a judicial investigation, which started at the end of 2021, touches the hearts of Antwerp diamond dealers, because HRD Antwerp is 100% owned by AWDC, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre. Investigators are looking into whether the manner in which HRD labs issue certificates results in a suspicious overvaluation of diamonds.

Belgium, crossroads of diamond trafficking

Our software allows you to compile all the evidence in a very simple way: photos of the diamond in the rough or videos, purchase invoices, waybills, certificates, etc.”, details in the CEO of iTraceiT, Frederik Degryse.

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