An Inside Look: Ethical Gem Sourcing
With hundreds of billions of dollars spent on jewelry every year, the topic of ethical gem sourcing has become quite popular. Consumers want to be able to enjoy their jewel-encrusted pieces without simultaneously bearing guilt over how harmful the process of mining gems can be both on the environment and those who mine them.
Ethical gem sourcing allows consumers to enjoy their jewelry pieces free of that guilt. Continue reading to learn more about ethical gem sourcing.
Changes in the Gem Industry
When stories about conflict diamonds first began appearing in the media, the diamond industry desperately tried to cover them up. It was only when public pressure became great enough that sustainable options began to arise.
Similar situations occur all the time in other industries, but as they are brought to the light, increasing solutions and regulations are put into place to protect both people and the environment.
Nowadays, select jewelry and gem companies strive to focus more intently on preserving life in their daily operations and improving the quality of life for their employees. Whereas some big-name jewelry brands still rely on mines operated by workers who are paid the bare minimum (if anything), others are stepping up and investing in those communities to improve the quality of life for the miners that help source their products.
By choosing to pay workers as much as three times the minimum wage, building schools, and training workers, these gem suppliers are basically guaranteeing the future of their mining communities and the top-quality of their products.
Why is Ethical Jewelry Trending?
As people become more environmentally conscious, they expand that thinking into many different areas of life—especially when something as precious as life is threatened.
Gems like diamonds can cause a lot of harm to men, women, and even children if mining conditions are not regulated with safety protocols. Conditions that are maintained in those mines are unthinkably horrible: cramped, unsafe, and likely to result in workers’ injuries either from on-the-job accidents or merely from breathing in dusty, contaminated air for endless hours.
When conditions like this are discovered, people want to stop that kind of thing from happening, and turning to ethical gem mining is a great way to make sure standards are upheld.
How Much Demand Can Artisan Mines Fulfill?
With artisanal miners spread out all over the globe, artisan mines provide small communities with opportunities for rural development and jobs that can support families who otherwise may not find employment.
Artisan mining, while not a rapidly growing business, has increased from a 10-million-dollar-a-year industry in the late 1990s to a 20-30 million-dollar-a-year industry today, and it provides jobs as well as additional support to whole communities, not just the individuals that work to source the gemstones.
Help Us Create a Better Tomorrow
Purchasing jewelry that has been sourced responsibly, using ethical practices, is a great way to invest in the environment and in mining communities around the world. By protecting the environment and fellow humans this way, you can help build a better world.
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