There is significant buzz and a fair amount of contention right now in the jewelry industry about the term ‘fair trade’ as it pertains to gem stone purchase. Does fair trade actually mean something or is it simply a tag for marketing?
As an American jeweler for over four decades now, I have watched interest build in buying fair trade gemstones. I believe it is socially and morally responsible to buy ethically sourced gem stones. Which is to say, gem stones produced in accordance with the highest standards of social and environmental responsibility.
Any diamond or gem stone you see in my showroom, including special orders, is a diamond which has been guaranteed to be sourced from a conflict free area. It has also originated from ethical and eco-friendly sources.
In fact, I actively search out diamonds from companies that work with districts within countries that adhere to strict environmental and social standards. Choosing diamonds from these areas helps to promote sustainable development in often impoverished areas – many of them in southwest Africa.
When diamonds and other gem stones are mined and finished in fair trade areas, they provide much-needed jobs, health care and education opportunities for the very poor. Workers receive fair wages, education and often, skilled job training. They also benefit from the diamond-funded Prevention Care and Support Program, which helps protect miners from the spread of HIV/AIDS among laborers education and by making treatment readily available.
Buying diamonds and other gem stones ethically also can protect delicate African ecology, which has suffered from decades of irresponsible mining practices. Many African diamond mining regions are now closely monitored for environmental impact and rehabilitated after use.
Before you purchase a diamond or any precious stone, make sure that it is a conflict free stone, like those from Aronstam Fine Jewelers, benefiting the miners and local communities from which they come.
Tags: Aronstam Fine Jewelers, diamond, diamond mining, diamonds, environmental impact, gem, gem stone, gem stones, jeweler, jewelry industry, laborers, miners, precious stone, southwest africa, trade areas