The cutting and processing of gem materials is now done in controlled environments where modern equipment and employment law is the norm. This has eliminated the problems of exploitation and child labour.
It is a competitive industry where lots of low cost items are manufactured by automated machines and computers. All our stones come from workshops and factories we have visited, and we are confident that the people employed are treated well and fairly for the different countries they are based.
There is much more of an ethical issue when it comes to the gathering or mining of gem materials, whether they are mineral, vegetable or animal. They are all natural to the environment we live in, some miles under the earth crust, some miles under the oceans, some under miles the glaciers or ice caps of our planet, and we must not forget the gems that come from living animals and reefs.
Our gems are sourced from these environments by two distinctly different types of supplier. The local population that gather material as a means of their best chance of any income, they may put in a lot of effort for little gain. Then there is the multi-national mining conglomerates that are out for maximum financial gain at any cost. The artisanal diggers will have little incentive to restore the landscape but they may be the only source of some materials. The mining giants will almost certainly be compelled by local governments to restore the environment when mining has ceased.
Please visit Links below for latest information on this subject.
Ethiopian Opal: History, Symbolism, Meanings, and More!
Opals come from all over the world, but many opal mining locales produce distinct, beautiful opals unlike any other. One African locale is where you can find the brightly colored Ethiopian opals, often called Welo opals.
Many opal enthusiasts know Australia as the world’s opal capital, so are Ethiopian opals real? Definitely! While roughly 95% of the world’s opals come from Australian mines, modern Ethiopian opal discoveries have put this African mine close behind Australia in terms of opal production and quality. Even more recently, an Ethiopian black opal played an essential role in the 2019 film Uncut Gems! If you’re a beginner to the world of opals, you may only know this gem as the traditional October birthstone. Maybe you’ve heard about the “opal curse” or simply know the stone for its kaleidoscopic colors—but there’s so much more to learn, particularly about Ethiopian opals.
Kimberley Process Certification Scheme
The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) is the process established in 2003 to prevent "conflict diamonds" from entering the mainstream rough diamond market by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 55/56 following recommendations in the Fowler Report.
The process was set up "to ensure that diamond purchases were not financing violence by rebel movements and their allies seeking to undermine legitimate governments." The effectiveness of the process has been brought into question by organizations such as Global Witness (pulled out of the scheme on 5 December 2011) and IMPACT (pulled out on 14 December 2017), claiming it has failed in its purpose and does not provide markets with assurance that the diamonds are not conflict diamonds.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
More than a dozen people have been killed after an unlicensed gold mine collapsed.
The accident happened at Kampene, some 180km (110 miles) south of Kindu town, Steve Mbikayi, minister of national solidarity and humanitarian action, said on Wednesday. Fourteen dead, three hospitalised with serious injuries. Search continuing.
The Colour of responsibility
Ethical Issues and Solutions in Colored Gemstones
The mining and processing of colored stones, a multibillion-dollar industry, spans 47 countries on six continents. Despite the industry’s high profile, an ethical, sustainable mine-to-market supply chain for these materials has still not been achieved, impacting the physical environment and quality of life for laborers.
Closure of mining activities at Tanzanite One mining site
Temporarily shut down by the government alleging breach of rules
The Tanzanian government has directed to stop mining activities at Tanzanite One Mining Limited (TML), the world’s biggest miner and supplier of Tanzanite. The government decision has come following the breach of some statutory guidelines. Deputy Minister for Minerals Stanislaus Nyongo said that the mining contracts have benefitted only a few instead of all Tanzanians or the nation at large.
The Irradiated Gemstone
Blue topaz can be found in nature but it is very rare. Most blue topaz on the market has been exposed to radiation. This is no cause for alarm. Irradiated gemstones are not harmful. Because they may be slightly radioactive immediately after their treatment, the NRC regulates the distribution of these products to ensure public health is protected.
A book providing guidance for responsible sourcing in the jewellery sector
The Board of Directors of CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, has approved the first edition of the Responsible Sourcing Book, which provides a framework and guidance for due diligence related to the responsible sourcing of gemstones and precious metals in the jewellery sector.
Facts and information regarding the Diamond industry.
Most people are unaware of the role diamonds play in bringing real benefits to people in the countries around the world where diamonds are sourced. Nowhere is this more evident than in Africa.
Belmont Emerald Miners
All of our larger Brazilian Emeralds are from this source.
Belmont Group was started in 1969 rendering services of transportation at that time exclusively for Companhia Vale do Rio Doce and is nowadays composed by several different companies.
In 1978, the mining activities were initiated after the finding of an emerald natural deposit in one of the company’s rural properties. Investments in an assembly industrial unit were made to extract and process the ore containing emeralds; this unit is now considered as the most advanced in the world for this industrial sector.
Australian Opal Mining
All of our Opal suppliers have these licenses.
A person must be licensed to mine for opals in South Australia.
South Australia has four proclaimed opal fields – Coober Pedy, Mintabie, Stuart Creek and Andamooka. There are also fields on Lambina and Welbourn Hill pastoral stations.
Gemfields - Responsible Gemstone Mining
Our Mozambique Rubies are all from this source, our newer Zambian Emeralds are also.
Our approach is to set new benchmarks for environmental, social and safety practices in the coloured gemstone sector. Recognising our leadership role, we are working to support increased transparency across the wider downstream supply chain, thereby providing the discerning customers with increased confidence in the responsible journey their gemstones have taken all the way from our mines
The Guardian. The Kimberley Process
The Kimberley Process is a certification scheme established in 2003 by a United Nations resolution, following a series of reports which first exposed the link between the diamond trade and the financing of conflict.
The Kimberley Process Website
Uniting governments, civil society and the wider industry, the Kimberley Process (KP) defines conflict diamonds as: ‘rough diamonds used to finance wars against governments’ - around the world.
Sapphire Mines In South East Asia
Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos