Dr. Daniel Nyfeler

A geologist by formation, Daniel did his Master’s thesis in the Limpopo belt in Southern Africa. As part of his PhD in mineralogical crystallography at the University of Berne, he worked on a joint research project on superconductors at the IBM Research Lab in Rüschlikon, Zürich, together with Georg J. Bednorz (nobel prize in physics, 1987).


He then joined an international management consultancy, where he worked for several years as a strategy consultant. Daniel took over the position of Managing Director of the Gübelin Gem Lab in 2003, overseeing the expansion of the lab to Hong Kong and New York. He is also in charge of the Provenance Proof initiative which develops a range of technologies to bring transparency in the gemstone industry.

Provenance Proof: technologies for tracing and tracking gemstones along the entire value chain


The purpose of our Provenance Proof initiative is to develop transparency technologies and offer them to everyone in the industry. In this initiative, we distinguish two main types of technologies: i) physical tracers (also referred to as nano-anchors) and ii) digital tracking systems, deploying blockchain technology. A first type of physical tracer is the Emerald Paternity Test, using DNA based nanoparticles that are applied into the rough gemstones at the mine, and provide proper proof of the exact provenance of the gemstone. This technology is meanwhile applied at large scale in several countries. Related tracers for other types of gemstones, as well as for pearls and diamonds, are currently under development.


A digital tracking system dubbed Provenance Proof Blockchain was developed during the last 18 months, and the results of the pilot project were presented in February in Tucson 2019. Since then, this platform is open for onboarding to everyone in the industry, i.e. miners, cutters, dealers, gem labs, wholesalers, jewelers and retailers. To make it accessible for any participant of the supply chain, the Provenance Proof Blockchain is based on smartphone technology and its use is free of charge. The tandem of physical tracers and digital tracking system gives unprecedented certainty, and opens new ways of verifiable and auditable transparency of gemstones.

Impressions from the first EGS 2007 in Idar-Oberstein

Register for the European Gemmological Symposium
on May 24 – 26, 2019 in Idar-Oberstein.

During the two days’ conference, you will enjoy numerous internationally recognized and distinguished speakers, as well as a broad spectrum of subjects including diamonds, coloured stone, pearls and jewellery.

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