We do our absolute best to ensure that the gemstones that we source are as ethically responsible as possible. But what does this mean?
Ethical Concerns Surrounding Gemstones
Perhaps the most widely known example of the ethical problems around gemstones are blood diamonds. Blood diamonds, or conflict diamonds, entered the popular imagination in the late 1990s. Conflict diamonds are defined by the UN as any diamond that is mined in areas controlled by forces opposed to the legitimate, internationally recognized government of a country and that is sold to fund military action against that government. But diamonds are not the only gemstone plagued by ethical problems.
Other gemstones also present ethical problems. Like other small-scale extractive industries, gemstone mining often involves child labor, worker health and safety concerns, and environmental damage. As of 2016, there was still no responsible and sustainable mine-to-market supply chain.
Since it’s nearly impossible for a consumer to trace where their gemstones were sourced from or how they were mined, this responsibility falls on us.
How We Source Our Gemstones
Because the gemstone supply chain suffers from a lack of transparency, we do our homework before purchasing from a supplier.
One of our main suppliers is a family owned and operated manufacturer in Rio Grande Do Sul in southern Brazil. This region is very important as a source of agate, amethyst, and citrine. Their operation is fully licensed by the IBAMA (The Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Resources), which ensures that they are in compliance with government regulations. The mine they source from is certified by COOGAMAI, a Brazilian miner cooperative that was established in 1990 to prevent a few large companies from dominating the mining sector by appropriating mining rights in the region. COOGAMAI also monitors compliance with all government regulations, ensuring health and safety standards for workers as well as environmental protection.
Our other main wholesaler is a family owned small business based in the US. They’re members of the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA). The owner travels the world to source the finest raw materials and vets all operations for safety and ethical operations. As a member of AGTA, they must comply with any foreign laws and agree to maintain the highest possible ethical standards and principles in their business transactions.
In addition to these high ethical standards, this wholesaler provides unparalleled quality, and they provide most of the gemstone cabochons for our jewelry.
We want to make sure that we provide you with a crystal or piece of jewelry that you can feel good about. We are careful about where we source our crystals and gemstones so you can rest assured that your beautiful necklace or stunning piece of crystal was sourced with the highest ethical standards possible.