You may have wondered if the stones you’re buying have any extra strings attached. Questions like ‘where is this stone sourced’ might come up often for you. If this is the case, don’t worry. I have listed a couple of tips to help you with your buying experience.
Research where you’re buying from.
As millennials begin to enter the jewellery market more and more questions about the responsibility and ethical sourcing of jewellery brands have arisen. It’s always important to know who you’re buying from. Do some research into the brand beforehand. Are they a local business or an international brand? Have they committed to upholding international mining, cutting and/or selling regulations? Make sure you are getting as much transparency out of the company as possible. This will ensure you are well informed and gives you a better understanding of the brand.
Understand the Supply Chain.
Gemstones are a global community. With mines and gem cutting labs set up across continents its more important now more than ever to know where a gemstone comes from. This will give you a better indicator if the stone is ethical. If you know where the gemstone is mined you can do independent research into the working conditions and the trading laws of the country. Allowing you to have an in-depth understanding of a gem and how ethically sourced it may be. The Gemological Institute of America has peer reviewed, industry level articles and reports that may be useful when looking into a gemstone.
Know your country’s standards.
Does your country have laws and restrictions in place to prevent the sale of unethical gemstones? Knowing where your country stands can help you identify potential sellers and understand the regulations those sellers have to meet. For example, Australia joined the Kimberly process in 2003 which is a ‘commitment to remove conflict diamonds from the supply chain.’ (Kimberly Process, 2014). For more information you can visit https://www.kimberleyprocess.com/en/what-kp. In Australia when buying from legitimate jewellers you can rest assured the diamonds have not contributed to rebel militia and were mined through ethical labour.
The gemstone industry is complex and old. It has a vast history in countries all across the globe. Large, industry wide changes have been made possible because consumers started and continue to ask questions about stone sourcing and labor. We hope we have been able to answer some of your queries and set you on the right path to buying ethical gemstones.