Chain of Trust The jewelry industry begins embracing blockchain technology

Imagine a common scenario: A woman visits a jewelry retailer or contacts a designer to shop for a special piece for herself. Before making the purchase, she starts to ask questions: Where did the diamond or gemstone come from? Were the materials responsibly sourced? How did you or your company obtain it?

Meet today’s contemporary jewelry consumer, who wants ethically sourced jewelry and, more importantly, to know the story behind it. She joins the vast majority of jewelry buyers, according to a 2015 Nielsen report, which said that almost 75 percent of global Millennials and 66 percent of all consumers are willing to spend more on a product if it comes from a sustainable brand. The jewelry industry is embracing this trend, with more and more stakeholders committing to practices that uphold human rights, labor rights, environmental im-pact, mining practices, and more.

And that’s a good thing because in this age of computers and global access to information, consumers have come to expect that lineage of information prior to purchasing. As technology catches up and is applied to the jewelry industry, it is getting increasingly more likely that those consumers will not only be able to see the supply chain more clearly, but know it is credible and verified. And the way they’ll likely be able to do that? Blockchain technology.

What Is Blockchain?

Blockchain technology is emerging and it’s going to make a significant impact on the jewelry industry, say experts. It will eventually allow those in the industry to track diamonds, gemstones, and metal—virtually everything involved in the making of jewelry—throughout the supply chain.

While a complex system, blockchain is really appropriately named. Simply put, it is a chain of blocks of data that are essentially a shared database or digital ledger that is stored across multiple computer networks. Think of it from the starting point: a piece of information or record is uploaded. It has a digital mark or signature on it. Then the record is validated throughout the network (or “nodes”) as it moves through the process using consensus algorithms. If it passes the validation, the record is then timestamped and embedded into a block of information. Each block contains a hash (a digital fingerprint or unique identifier) and the hash of the previous block. The previous block hash links the blocks together, creating an immutable chain.

This technology has been around since 2008, but it generated more headlines when it was used for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Users liked that the technology allowed them to trade funds directly with each other without a bank or middleman charging fees and taking time to conduct the transactions. Users also were enthused about the idea of a secure network that exists in numerous places and can’t be hacked or forged.

“Blockchain and the jewelry industry were made for each other,” says Anne Miller, a Massachusetts-based business transformation consultant. “Provenance and responsible sourcing are critical industry challenges that blockchain can address. With blockchain, you have shared access to data, and when you get to the data, it is accurate. As transactions move from point to point, you know who you are engaging with, that the thing is what it says it is, and that what’s supposed to happen is happening. All of this is moving in real time—cutting out friction, delays, and intermediaries.”

Technology companies are taking notice. IBM has emerged as a powerhouse in blockchain technology, developing projects across a number of industries, from food sourcing to healthcare to jewelry. It began a collaboration with major diamond and jewelry companies from around the world on an initiative called TrustChain®. The consortium began working in 2017 with the goal to track and authenticate diamonds, precious metals, and jewelry at all stages of the global supply chain, from mine to retailer. This effort combines the strength of IBM technology with wide expertise in the jewelry industry. Involved in the project are the Richline Group, Underwriters Laboratories, LeachGarner, Helzberg Diamonds, and Asahi Refining.

Blockchain Mark Hanna

As the chief marketing officer for the Richline Group, Mark Hanna was a founder of TrustChain®, which makes sense given his company’s commitment to social conscience. Through the Richline Responsible Initiative, the company says they are committed to “ethical best practices and a fully responsible supply chain as well as verified trust.”

“It is about the 5Ts for suppliers and retailers to provide for consumer ethical concerns: track, trace, transparency, truthful, and trusted,” Hanna says. “Socially responsible sourcing is imperative in the jewelry industry. The blockchain protocol/platform provides the technical system to optimize a chain of custody documentation inclusive of every participant in a product’s journey.”

Hanna says unlike cryptocurrencies, TrustChain® is not an open, decentralized system. TrustChain® uses a platform that is private, and potential users need permission to join the network. Only those authorized may contribute, and they will have been fully evaluated for best practices with third-party confirmation (such as being a certified member of the Responsible Jewellery Council). Hanna says interactions are guided by versions of a “Smart Contract,” which includes all the participant-to-participant requirements of the product, plus all the ethical confirmations compulsory by TrustChain®. And since the data within the chain is transparent to every participant throughout the chain, there would need to be multiple collusions to create incorrect data on essential elements.

Another major blockchain initiative within the industry involves De Beers, which conceived Tracr in 2017 and rolled out its pilot last year in a comprehensive “mine-to-finger” traceability solution for the entire diamond industry. It joined with Russian miner, Alrosa, and five diamond manufacturers, in addition to Signet Jewelers Ltd. as well as Asia’s Chow Tai Fook.

David Bouffard, vice president corporate affairs of Signet Jewelers and chair of the Responsible Jewellery Council, says it was a natural decision to join this effort. “When De Beers approached us to participate in a pilot for their Tracr initiative, we did not hesitate. The potential for blockchain to help strengthen the integrity of the global diamond supply chain is beneficial to both Signet and the industry as a whole.”

Tracr works by having industry participants go through a KYC (Know Your Customer) process. They connect to the platform and create their unique identity. Then, for example, they can upload a digital certificate of a diamond, which has primary and secondary information in it (such as cut, clarity, grading certificates, invoices, etc.). All data is encrypted and stored in a blockchain. This now becomes a historical ledger that is secure and en-crypted, but available to users.

In addition to tracing and tracking precious metals and diamonds, blockchain technology is also being put to use with colored gemstones. Gübelin Gem Lab launched the Provenance Proof Blockchain during the 2019 Tucson gem shows. Its goal is to provide the industry with a tool that enables the tracing of specific gemstones along the supply chain. Building the system is Everledger, a London-based company that was created in 2015 and says it became the first company to start tracking the movement of diamonds in 2017 via its Diamond Time-Lapse Protocol. Rounding out the team is the mining company, Fura Gems, which will help to develop and test this new system.

According to the initiative, Provenance Proof Blockchain is suitable for any type of gemstone. All processes, including registration and uploading data, can be done on a smartphone, making it inclusive for all types and sizes of stakeholders, from artisanal miners and large cutters to gem labs and retailers.

What Comes Next?

While all these initiatives are on the road to qualified success, there are some twists and turns ahead. Since this technology is still developing, experts say there are still many unknowns, and the technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace.

“The technical challenges are primarily the lack of interoperability between various blockchain protocols,” says Hanna. “This eliminates the potential for far more participants in the chain due to different protocols.”

Interoperability issues can add costs and delays in processing, not to mention the inconvenience of stakeholders having to be active participants in more than one initiative. However, experts believe that as new innovations come on board, interoperability issues will be resolved.

Bouffard says the complexity and diversity of global supply chains across multiple minerals and geographies are the biggest challenges facing initiatives. “We work to be inclusive and help our supply chain partners evolve and improve,” he says. “We try to leverage the benefits from partners from whom we source larger diamonds, where tracking and tracing is already underway, and Tracr can be more readily applied. The biggest challenge is in melee, which represents the vast majority of Signet’s diamond supply chain. Developing applications of Tracr for melee will be of tremendous benefit to Signet and the industry.”

There’s also an impact to core business strategies and procedures, as well as legal issues, adds Miller. “It changes policies, standards, governance, procedures, etc.,” she says. “In addition, legal implications are still being understood and worked out. The distributed nature of blockchain introduces new challenges, for example, around jurisdiction, service levels and performance, liability, intellectual property, data privacy, compliance, and more.”

Joining an Initiative

Companies thinking about wading into a blockchain initiative should educate themselves first, say experts. There may be no fee to join these initiatives, but companies have to be responsible for their own integration of their systems and there can be transaction fees.

“Companies would be well-served to investigate what is available rather than embark on their own system,” notes Bouffard. “It’s important that these efforts take into account the realities and practicalities of the global supply chain, as well as existing best practices, so as not to be extraordinarily burdensome or exclusive.”

Remember it will take some time as well, Bouffard adds. “The application of blockchain to the minerals supply chain remains in its nascent stages; we will need to allow time for significant learning before we have a clearer view of the most appropriate ways forward, especially for the many small or medium-size companies that represent our global supply chain.”

Miller agrees and says full adoption of this technology is still years away. “Gartner Inc., a leading research and advisory company, estimates a 5- to 10-year time-scale before blockchain enters the mainstream. Similar to the internet, there will be a shakeout of providers and the full transformation blockchain can enable will take time.”

Hanna believes that blockchain technology will make its impact eventually, especially as there is increasing pressure for documented proof of ethical practices, which he thinks will someday turn into an industry-wide mandate.

“We firmly believe in the future potential of blockchain,” he says. “It may be over-hyped in the short-run but very underestimated for the longer term.”

Will the use of blockchain technology affect costs of goods? Hanna says initially there may be incrementally higher costs as systems are constructed and people are trained. The belief over time is that efficiencies throughout the full procurement process will offset those initial costs.

Despite any challenges, Hanna says the use of blockchain technology will become essential in telling the full story about any piece of jewelry. “The added benefits of the TrustChain® are in the expanded and demonstrated story of the full path of the product,” says Hanna.

Bouffard looks forward to the day blockchain is commonplace. “For us, blockchain is about industry, not items. We are working toward a time in which blockchain will become the technology most used to verify responsible supply chains and all the companies within that chain. Over time, Signet believes that responsible sourcing will become a normal part of doing business—not a bolt-on afterthought for when you have time, but rather a core business function. Fine jewelry customers around the world expect nothing less.”

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Richline’s Gemvara Adds Lab-Grown Diamonds to Ring Builder

New York—Gemvara, the e-commerce site for custom jewelry owned by Richline Group, is getting into the lab-grown game. The company announced this week that it is now offering customers both natural and lab-grown diamonds as well as colored gemstones as options on its ring builder.

Gemvara  is selling lab-grown center and accent diamonds as well as lab-grown sapphires, rubies and emeralds 3 mm and larger for most jewelry styles.

Richline said the initiative is currently in a “private test” with a “large retailer” under the name Gembuilder.

The company is not disclosing which retailer is testing the initiative at this time, though it seems likely it is one of the sizable retailers owned by parent company Berkshire Hathaway.

Berkshire Hathaway owns 210-store chain Helzberg Diamonds and 92-store chain Ben Bridge Jeweler along with Borsheims in Omaha, Nebraska.

Richline said it will expand the program to a limited beta test group later this year, allowing retailers to utilize Gemvara’s customization platform for their own customers for both complete designs as well as semi-mounts with lab-grown diamond accents.

Gembuilder is slated for a wider rollout in 2020.

When asked the source of its lab-grown diamonds for Gemvara/Gembuilder, Richline said it is not releasing that information at this time.

The sale of lab-grown diamonds on Gemvara is Richline’s second initiative involving lab-grown diamonds after the launch of “Grown With Love” at J.C. Penney and Macy’s last year.

For that line, Richline sources some of the lab-grown diamonds from  WD Lab Grown Diamonds.

“By adding both the Gemvara and the upcoming Gembuilder launch to the company’s already robust lab-grown diamond offerings, we are proud to be at the forefront of this exciting new space with an innovative experience that offers modern shoppers meaningful choices,” Richline Group President and CEO Dave Meleski said.

For more information on Gembuilder, email  gembuilder@richelinedigital.com.

Richline will exhibit at the upcoming JCK Las Vegas jewelry trade show, scheduled for May 31-June 3 at The Venetian and Sands Expo.

Contact Michael Schechter,  mschechter@richlinedigital.com, for an appointment.

Consortium of Jewelry Industry Leaders Announce TrustChain®, First Global Blockchain Initiative to Bring Full Transparency to Consumers

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–IBM (NYSE: IBM) and a consortium of gold and diamond industry leaders today announced the first cross-industry initiative to use blockchain to trace the provenance of finished pieces of jewelry across the supply chain for increased transparency.

Asahi Refining (precious metals refiner), Helzberg Diamonds (U.S. jewelry retailer), LeachGarner (precious metals supplier), The Richline Group (global jewelry manufacturer) and UL (independent, third party verification) are launching the TrustChain® Initiativepowered by the IBM Blockchain Platform, delivered via the IBM Cloud.

TrustChain® is initially tracking six styles of diamond and gold engagement rings on the blockchain network. As the program continues to develop, TrustChain® jewelry is expected to be accessible to consumers in participating retail stores by the end of 2018.

“This initiative is important for our industry as we seek to raise the collective responsibility and provenance practices to new heights. TrustChain® is the first blockchain of its kind within our industry, designed as a solution that marries IBM’s leading blockchain technology with responsible sourcing, verification and governance by third party organizations, led by UL as the administrator,” said Mark Hanna, Richline Group’s Chief Marketing Officer.

“Consumers care deeply about the quality and source of the jewelry they purchase,” said Bridget van Kralingen, IBM Senior Vice President, Global Industries, Platforms and Blockchain. “This is evidenced by the fact that 66 percent of consumers globally are willing to spend more to support sustainable brands. TrustChain® is an example of how blockchain is transforming industries through transparency and viable new business models that specifically benefit the consumer.”

The TrustChain® Initiative tracks and authenticates diamonds and precious metals through every stage of the supply chain as it becomes a piece of finished jewelry. It provides digital verification, physical product and process verification, and third-party oversight. The collaboration’s goal is to instill trust in the origin and ethical sourcing of jewelry by bringing together a community of responsible and ethical organizations across the complex and multi-tiered jewelry supply chain.

Built by IBM Services on open source technology and based on the IBM Blockchain Platform and the Hyperledger Project, TrustChain® uses distributed ledger technology that establishes a shared, immutable record of transactions that take place within a network and then enables permissioned parties access to trusted data in real time. By applying the technology to digitize processes, a new form of command and consent is introduced into the flow of information, empowering those in the blockchain network to collaborate and establish a single shared view of information without compromising details, privacy or confidentiality.

For consumers, TrustChain® establishes a trusted product with documented provenance and brings together quality assurance, social and environmental responsibility, and authenticity spanning the entire jewelry ecosystem – from miners, manufacturers, wholesale suppliers and retailers – on a single digital platform.

About Asahi Refining

Asahi Refining, a wholly owned subsidiary of Asahi Holdings Inc., is a leading precious metal refiner, trader, and bullion product manufacturer. The company maintains LBMA-certified London good delivery refineries in the USA and Canada and serves a global client base from the mining, recycling, banking and bullion trading industries. Find out more at www.asahirefining.com.

About Helzberg Diamonds

Helzberg Diamonds, a retail and online jewelry store focused on customer service, was founded in 1915 and has more than 200 stores nationwide, featuring a wide selection of fine jewelry, including diamond engagement rings and wedding rings, precious gems and watches. Helzberg Diamonds takes pride in its history of offering exceptional value, exclusive designs and timeless jewelry. Helzberg Diamonds is based in North Kansas City, Mo., and is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE symbols BRK/A and BRK/B). For the locations nearest you, call 1-800-HELZBERG (800-435-9237) or visit helzberg.com.

About IBM

IBM is recognized as the leading enterprise blockchain provider. The company’s research, technical and business experts have broken barriers in transaction processing speeds, developed the most advanced cryptography to secure transactions, and are contributing millions of lines of open source code to advance blockchain for businesses. IBM is the leader in open-source blockchain solutions built for the enterprise. Since 2016, IBM has worked with hundreds of clients across financial services, supply chain, government, retail, digital rights management and healthcare to implement blockchain applications, and operates a number of networks running live and in production. The cloud-based IBM Blockchain Platform delivers the end-to-end capabilities that clients need to quickly activate and successfully develop, operate, govern and secure their own business networks. IBM is an early member of Hyperledger, an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies. For more information about IBM Blockchain, visit https://www.ibm.com/blockchain/or follow us on Twitter at @ibmblockchain.

About LeachGarner

LeachGarner provides the most comprehensive range of melt to market products and expansive technical expertise portfolio in the precious metals industry. As a global Precious Metals supplier, LeachGarner continually evolves to meet the challenges of the industrial, jewelry, and government markets they serve. As precious metals fabricators, the product portfolio spans industries, capabilities, and expertise all centric to precious metals. The company excels in creating and developing products to precise specifications. Visit www.leachgarner.com

About Richline Group, Inc.

Richline Group, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., and one of the USA’s foremost Fine Jewelry Manufacturers and Marketers. The other major brands comprising Richline’s portfolio are Inverness, LeachGarner, Rio Grande and Richline Jewelry. Berkshire Hathaway and its subsidiaries engage in diverse business activities, including property and casualty insurance, utilities and energy, finance, manufacturing, retailing and services. Visit www.richlinegroup.com.

About UL

UL solves the safety, security and sustainability challenges of the 21st century. Around the world, UL employees share a common passion for UL’s public mission to promote safe working and living environments for all people. UL tests, inspects, audits, certifies, verifies claims, advises and trains, as well as provides software solutions. To learn more, please visit www.UL.com/crs.

Contacts

Richline Group
Mark Hanna, 212-886-6212
mark.hanna@richlinegroup.com
or
IBM
Leesa D’Alto, 212-671-9806
leesa.dalto@ibm.com
or
Helzberg
Marti Greathouse, 816-627-1457
mpgreathouse@helzberg.com
or
UL
Marla Hedworth, 860-212-6644
Marla.Hedworth@UL.com
or
LeachGarner
Ed Rigano, 774-203-1129
erigano@leachgarner.com
or
AsahiRefining
David Dorris, 801-972-6466
david.dorris@asahirefining.com

Richline Group Acquires The Aaron Group

The Acquisition Adds A Major Industry Supplier To The Berkshire Hathaway Owned Firm.

Richline Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, and The Aaron Group, a leading jewelry manufacturer and marketer, announced today that Richline has acquired The Aaron Group business effective today, January 11th.

“We are extremely excited and energized about joining forces with The Aaron Group. The Aaron Group’s differentiated, prime-manufactured products will offer Richline’s retail partners a dramatic new range of options and increased value, while preserving the legacy of customer satisfaction that both companies prioritize,” said Dave Meleski, Richline Group’s President.

Since its founding as Samuel Aaron Jewelry in 1950, the Aaron Group has grown from its New York City roots to become a widely renowned, vertically integrated international jewelry manufacturer. Along the way, the Aaron Group has remained a true family business and, under the stewardship of third-generation leader Robert (Bobby) Kempler, has achieved stature as a major global force, with operations, factories, partnerships and hundreds of employees in New York, London, Mumbai, Hong Kong, and Guangzhou.

Richline’s CEO, Dennis Ulrich, said “this acquisition will allow The Aaron Group to continue as the leader of bridal, three-stone and fashion diamond and gemstone fine jewelry while leveraging Richline’s advanced capabilities across our entire jewelry value chain”.

Per Aaron Group President, Robert Kempler, “Richline Group support will enable The Aaron Group to grow faster, introduce new designs and collections more rapidly, and expand on our history of success by reaching a broader array of customers and markets. Our mutual goal is to anticipate, foster and drive positive change in our industry.”

ABOUT THE AARON GROUP

The Aaron Group is an international jewelry manufacturer with hundreds of employees in offices around the world. A firm believer in the power of jewelry to connect people, The Aaron Group has grown from its 1950 founding as a one-man shop to become globally recognized in the jewelry industry, with an unblemished reputation for quality, value, and commitment to the customer.

ABOUT RICHLINE GROUP, INC.

Richline Group, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., is the USA’s foremost Fine Jewelry Manufacturer and Marketer. Currently the major brands comprising Richline’s portfolio are LeachGarner, Inverness, Rio Grande and Richline Jewelry. Berkshire Hathaway and its subsidiaries engage in diverse business activities including property and casualty insurance, utilities and energy, finance, manufacturing, retailing and services.

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Silpada Launches E-commerce Site

Following its recent acquisition by Berkshire Hathaway’s Richline Group, Silpada is proud to announce the launch of its new e-commerce site in time for Black Friday.

The new website focuses on Silpada’s unparalleled sterling silver jewelry, including never-before-seen pieces and best-selling legacy styles, in a direct-to-consumer model.

“We could not be more excited about this launch,” said Matt Nichols, Senior Vice President of Richline’s Digital division. “We’ve worked hard to craft a digital shopping experience that is worthy of Silpada’s dedicated fanbase and its beloved sterling silver designs. These fresh styles, as well as a new digital presence for Silpada are just the beginning. We look forward to building upon the extraordinary brand that the Kelly and Walsh families created.”

At launch, Silpada will unveil 40 entirely new designs. In addition to these new styles, silpada.com will bring back hundreds of customer favorites at permanently reduced prices. As the team at Richline Group develops the next line of Silpada jewelry, the site will host “The Sale Shop”, which offers exceptional last-chance values on legacy designs.

“Since acquiring Silpada in October, we’ve spent considerable time taking in feedback from passionate customers and representatives. Their insights have been invaluable as we work towards a new and inclusive direction for Silpada. We believe the new silpada.com is the right first step forward,” said Richline Group Chief Marketing Officer, Mark Hanna.

To learn more and shop the latest collection, please visit silpada.com.

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Richline Group Featured in Responsible Jewelry Council Annual Progress Report

Mark Hanna, as featured in the 2016 Annual Progress Report from the Responsible Jewelry Council:

Richline believes that our Corporate Social Responsibility programs must be authentic. We pursue a “Return on Responsibility” model that considers our investment in responsible practices by examining all the positive effects of our future viability. Transparency and trustability are real goals. Our RJC Membership and participation is a catalyst for the guidance and verification of our corporate commitments. RJC’s certified Members clearly exhibit this responsible commitment; one that is meaningful to the jewelry industry’s reputational value and consumer positioning. RJC Membership and certification is an investment in harmonized, responsible initiatives. As responsible leaders in our industry, RJC devotes time, effort and money to do work that, in many cases, is not easy to measure. Our RJC Membership keeps us on track and the network of RJC Members ensures a “best in class” framework for initiatives.

Click here to learn more about the Responsible Jewelry Council, and to read the full report.

Richline Group Acquires Viawear To Bolster Wearable Product Offerings

Richline Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, and Viawear, an innovative wearables provider for jewelry brands, announced today that the companies have completed an agreement for Richline to acquire the Viawear business.

“The world has embraced wearables, and we intend to provide our customers with the right jewelry products that blend seamlessly with the latest technology. Viawear’s technology and designs compliment everything we’ve set out to achieve in the smart jewelry space,” said Joel Schechter of the Richline Group.

Viawear has developed a unique approach to filtering mobile notifications and delivering the most contextual wearable alerts. With Viawear, wearers can stay connected to their most important alerts, and eliminate the need to constantly checking to see if they missed something important. An interactive preview of their technology and designs will be on display at the Plumb Club at the JCK Show in Las Vegas, booth #PC–200.

“Our objective has always been to develop smart accessories that truly complements our wearer’s lifestyle. Blending Richline’s tremendous jewelry acumen with Viawear’s technology platform allows us to make this vision into a reality that can help drive the world of fine jewelry into the world of wearable technology,” said Ben Isaacson, Founder and CEO of Viawear.

ABOUT RICHLINE GROUP, INC.

Richline Group, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., is the USA’s foremost Fine Jewelry Manufacturer and Marketer. Currently the major brands comprising Richline’s portfolio are LeachGarner, Inverness, Rio Grande and Richline Jewelry. Berkshire Hathaway and its subsidiaries engage in diverse business activities including property and casualty insurance, utilities and energy, finance, manufacturing, retailing and services. The Common Stock of Berkshire Hathaway is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols BRK.A and BRK.B.

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Richline Group Acquires Gemvara

The acquisition adds online retailer to leading U.S. Jewelry Industry Corporation.

Richline Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, and Gemvara, the leading online provider of customizable fine jewelry, announced today that the companies have completed an agreement for Richline to acquire the Gemvara business.

“We are eager to integrate the Gemvara platform, technology and team into the Richline Group,” said Richline Group CMO Mark Hanna. “We believe that Gemvara’s differentiated platform will offer Richline’s retail partners additional value in the rapidly growing personalized jewelry space, and will also help them to enhance their overall e-commerce businesses.”

Gemvara will continue as the leader of customizable fine jewelry shopping online and will leverage Richline’s advanced capabilities across the entire jewelry value chain. In return, Gemvara will bring its unique, world-class ecommerce platform and customization technology to the Richline Group. “The acquisition will enable Gemvara to grow faster, introduce new designs rapidly and expand on our success with a broader array of affordable fine jewelry” said Gemvara President Jon Blotner.

Gemvara CEO Matt Nichols said “Richline’s deep experience and capabilities align with our strategy to deliver an innovative, next generation, personalized jewelry shopping experience” to the omni-channel consumer.

ABOUT GEMVARA

Gemvara is the revolutionary leader of fine jewelry shopping online. Every piece of heirloom-quality jewelry is skillfully handcrafted to order. Gemvara combines the values of traditional jewelry creation with modern technology to truly provide shoppers with fine jewelry exactly the way they want it, plus a shopping experience that is creative and fun.  Gemvara is headquartered in Boston, MA.

ABOUT RICHLINE GROUP, INC.

Richline Group, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., is the USA’s foremost Fine Jewelry Manufacturer and Marketer. Currently the major brands comprising Richline’s portfolio are LeachGarner, Inverness, Rio Grande and Richline Jewelry. Berkshire Hathaway and its subsidiaries engage in diverse business activities including property and casualty insurance, utilities and energy, finance, manufacturing, retailing and services. The Common Stock of Berkshire Hathaway is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols BRK.A and BRK.B.

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Richline Participates in Washington, DC Symposium to Combat Wildlife Trafficking

Mark Hanna from Richline Speaks on Panel to Combat Wildlife Trafficking

Richline Group CMO, Mark Hanna, speaking on a U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance panel:

“There’s nothing more important and an asset to any kind of business than your reputation. We’ve been preaching something called return on responsibility. […] That reputation is justified by the return on responsibility of doing the right things. We think that there are enough organizations and enough great companies, like Tiffany, that are working to do the right things. And it proliferates. And it sets by example, and it creates a little bit of a pressure point to follow.”

Click here to watch the entire panel discussion, including insights on how companies like Ebay and Etsy are working to combat wildlife trafficking.

Richline Jewelry: The Chrysalis Catalyst

Professional Jeweller on the Chrysalis brand:

It’s been almost a year since British jewellery brand Chrysalis partnered with US-based manufacturer, distributor and marketer, Richline, and the company has certainly seen strong results from this collaboration.

While Richline is the outright owner of the Chrysalis concept, co-founders Andrea and David Maine continue to run the company with Richline’s support and financial backing. When the two joined forces, no-one could have predicted just how well the partnership would go and, furthermore, the snowball of success the brand would enjoy.

To give you an indication of its rapid growth Chrysalis opened 40 new doors in Latin America, over 40 new accounts in Spain and 11 Chrysalis shop-in-shops in Switzerland at the end of 2015 alone. At the recent Italy-based Vicenza trade show the brand’s Italian distributors opened 50 new accounts, while Portugal is set to have more than 190 Chrysalis shop-in-shops implemented before the end of 2016.

Read the full article to learn more about the continued success of one of the newest members of the Richline Jewelry family, Chrysalis.