The coronavirus pandemic is accelerating the digital transformation of coloured gemstone trading, says Nick Marrett, CEO of Gembridge, a new trading platform set to launch in early 2021.
Nick will join Gembridge Chairman Tony Brooke and Geneva-based high-end gemstone trader Elke Berr of Berr & Partners, who is also a Gembridge Ambassador, in a Jewellery Outlook webinar about “The future of Digital Coloured Gemstone Trading.”
Please click below to watch the replay:
Gembridge CEO Nick Marrett tells Jewellery Outlook Editor David Brough about his vision for the future of digital coloured gemstone trading in this interview:
What is your vision for the future of digital coloured gemstone trading?
I foresee a marketplace in which everyone can trade with trust, anywhere in the world.
Gembridge is the world’s first regulated, certified and verified marketplace for the trade of precious stones and jewellery. It will be a trusted marketplace that embraces new regulations, establishes universally accepted standards of business, derisks remote transactions, and attracts professional financial services.
Gembridge will gather a regulated and verified community to trade certified gemstones seamlessly. The marketplace will also permit the discovery and trade of gemstones, pearls and jewellery via social channels.
Why is this change happening?
Trading of precious gemstones has barely changed since the days of the pharaohs. Some US$1 trillion of gemstones, pearls and jewellery are trapped in industry and consumer hands: many of these articles are stuck in safes and vaults, gathering dust, in the absence of a trusted secondary market. The industry trades via countless fragmented networks, each made up of only a handful of trusted partners.
Imagine if they could trade with that same level of trust, with any Gembridge member, anywhere in the world.
The solution is a global digital marketplace where people can trade with trust. Gembridge brings the global gemstone industry out of the shadows and into the light.
The industry is ripe for disruption with only a tiny proportion of these precious stones traded digitally each year.
Digital adoption has been slow. Only 0.05% of gems are traded online. The pandemic has accelerated the desire to trade without leaving one’s home country — or even one’s home.
Buyers and sellers want to increase their share of e-commerce transactions but need the remote purchasing process to be de-risked.
On Gembridge, members can have their own virtual shopfronts — or fully integrate Gembridge listings into their existing digital presence.
The Gembridge platform is currently B2B but will offer B2C and C2C areas soon.
What feedback are you receiving from the global coloured gemstone trade?
Gembridge has been endorsed by many of the industry’s most recognisable figures. The pioneer programme for the Minimum Viable Product (‘live’ testing) was fully filled and ultimately oversubscribed.
Trading members know that they will get paid — and get exactly what they paid for.
Gembridge ensures that every step of the process is trustworthy — from content discovery to trade financing and door-to-door logistics.
The trade has welcomed Gembridge’s proprietary imaging services, which provide high-definition eye- and loupe-views of gemstones and jewellery.
Detailed descriptions and professional evaluation ensure full disclosure about every article for sale.
What steps can be taken to foster a responsible supply chain in the digital coloured gemstone trade?
Regulation, verification and certification are at the heart of every Gembridge trade. Gembridge will set new standards of business practices.
Sustainability is verified — members can even confirm provenance with other trusted members who have sold the rough.
All members will be peer-reviewed and have to pass our international KYC/AML verification process.
Every article purchased receives a Shipping Verification — a mini-cert — to ensure that the stone shipped is exactly the stone purchased.
Gembridge is licensed to trade by Singapore’s Ministry of Law in cooperation with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which is leading regulatory reforms across 200 countries.
In short, Gembridge facilitates mainstream acceptance of an industry still seen as an outlier in the global economy — one that financial institutions shy away from.
A key benefit of legitimization is greater integration with the wider economy, opening the door to trade financing, innovative insurance and mainstream acceptance.