Our Coloured Gems
When we began our business in 2005, the idea of ethically sourcing gemstones was in its infancy. A gemstone tracked from mine to market, transparent and fair with social and environmental considerations. For the first few years we mainly used recycled gemstones as we struggled to find any suppliers in Australia who could provide information about where their coloured gemstones came from, let alone what impact the mining and trading may have caused. Unfortunately, much of the coloured gem industry is still chaotic, some purposeful to cover up issues like child labour, some just due to the dislocated nature of small-scale mining.
Thankfully today, with over 15 years’ experience we have many wonderful, thoughtful suppliers here in Australia and all over the world, who like us strive for a fairer and more just world. We try to purchase as direct as possible to the mine, from miners or gem cutters as both sources have reliable information pertaining to the gem’s origin and it insures the highest financial returns for the miners and cutters. It gives us a chance to talk with the people on the ground about the conditions, both environmental and social. We also work with a select group of gem suppliers, who themselves work directly with miners and gem cutters. This way we have unbroken custody chains from us right back to the exact place the gem was taken from the earth.
Australian gems feature heavily in our collection. We believe in using local materials whenever possible and it makes is easier for us to document the mining practices. Australia has some amazing coloured gemstones, but it’s the Sapphires that are our specialty due to their spectacular colours and suitability for daily wear. Australia has one of the worlds largest deposits of sapphire and most of the sapphires we sell are from small, family run mines. Some are open cut mines, some shaft, both follow ancient riverbeds containing sapphires that are millions of years old. Mining practices are heavily governed in Australia and thankfully environmental damage from sapphire mining is minimal as chemicals are not used in their extraction. In Australia mining ventures must be revegetated with native plants, which in the case of old grazing land, greatly increases the biodiversity.
Many mining communities in other parts of the world are quite disadvantaged, so we try, where we can, to purchase direct and from suppliers who have intimate and personal knowledge of the area and gemstone. There are now some gem supply businesses who specialize in the ethical acquisition of coloured gemstones. They visit remote locations all over the world to advocate for more ethical mining and trading. They build long standing relationships with the mining communities, much like we do here with our Australian miners. This gives us an incredible array of gemstones we can provide in every colour of the rainbow. If there is something specific, you are looking for and you can find it on our website please contact us and one of our experienced staff will be able to provide you with information and most likely some gemstone options.
Coloured gemstone miners work hard, and they deserve to be paid fairly for the beautiful crystals and rocks they provide for us to enjoy. Through knowledge and care it can be a symbiotic relationship where we all prosper.