IBM Corp., a group of four gold and diamond industry companies, and an independent laboratory are developing a blockchain network for tracing the provenance of finished pieces of jewelry from mine to store.

The TrustChain Initiative, which will run on IBM's technology, includes precious-metals refiner Asahi Refining, U.S. jewelry retailer Helzberg Diamonds, precious-metals supplier LeachGarner, jewelry-maker the Richline Group and verification service UL. Other industry players may join the effort as well, said Jason Kelley, general manager for blockchain services at IBM. Products being tracked through the program should be available to consumers shopping for jewelry by year-end, according to a joint statement Thursday.

TrustChain is the latest effort by the jewelry industry to use blockchain — a digital ledger that is immutable — to prove to consumers that their purchases don't include blood diamonds or conflict metals and are ethically sourced. IBM has also been actively helping form a slew of blockchain-focused companies and industry initiatives around various supply chains.