If you’re looking to buy a gemstone for your jewelry, ethical sourcing is one of the most important things to consider. It can mean many different things, but it boils down to making sure that the stone you buy has been ethically mined and manufactured. Many unethical practices in the gemstone industry range from using child labor to using forced labor. Here we will look at some tips on picking an ethical gemstone for your jewelry.
What Are Ethical Gemstones?
It’s important to note that ethical gemstones are not just conflict-free. Conflict-free is a term that means that the diamond in question did not finance armed conflict, but it does not address any other issues regarding the mining of diamonds or how they were produced.
A blood diamond is considered unethical because it funds war efforts and human rights violations in Africa. Blood diamonds are mined under terrible conditions, leading to many casualties among miners, then sold on the black market or sometimes even to legitimate companies who don’t know where they originated.
However, there are other concerns beyond just funding armed conflicts; a stone can still be “ethical” even if it wasn’t mined using slave labor or child labor; it could be mined using fair labor practices instead.
Fair Labor Practices
When purchasing gemstones, fair labor practices are important to consider. Fair labor practices are not only a way of improving the working conditions of employees but also an ethical way to produce products that consumers can feel good about wearing. But how do you know if a company follows fair labor practices?
As with any product you purchase, knowing what companies stand behind their products and sharing information about them openly is helpful. A jeweler may be able to tell you whether or not they have visited the mine where their gems were mined or check with their suppliers regarding whether they follow fair labor standards when dealing with their suppliers. After all, these companies have invested time and money into making sure that their products come from responsible sources; they should also be able to give you some answers.
If your jeweler does not want to share this information with you or seems evasive about answering your questions, then perhaps it would be best for both parties if you choose another store for your next purchase.
Extended Supply Chains
When it comes to gemstones, the extended supply chain is important. Think about the long and complex path that your gemstone takes from the mine in which it was found to the cutters who shape it into a ring or necklace, and finally to you. This process can take months or even years, so you must trust where your gemstones come from.
Ethical gemstones should come from countries with fair labor practices where miners are compensated fairly for their work and have access to health care and education for their families. Avoid stones sourced from countries known for human rights violations, such as Burma (Myanmar), China, or Cambodia. You can pick a variety of ruby gemstones, diamonds, or others, that are ethically sourced from online stores.
There are several different types of gemstones that you can choose from. Although these are all beautiful, they have other environmental impacts and social aspects attached to them.
If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly gemstone, consider diamonds or a variety of ruby gemstones. Diamonds are mined using open-pit mining techniques, which require large amounts of land and water resources, but they do not cause damage to the environment in any way (except for some erosion). On the other hand, rubies are mined using underground tunnels that leave behind small holes where minerals can collect over time. It is great because it prevents animals from getting trapped under rocks.
The main concern when choosing an ethical gemstone is how it’s mined and what happens during this process. There should be no harm to workers or animals and minimal impact on the surrounding environment; this will ensure your jewelry lasts longer than expected.
Conflict-Free and Blood Diamonds
Conflicts diamonds are not the same as blood diamonds. Conflicts diamonds are mined in a manner that does not support warlords or terrorists. Blood gems, on the other hand, come from countries where people were killed or tortured to obtain them.
For example, ruby gemstones from Burma (Myanmar) have been linked to human rights abuses by the government against its citizens while mining for rubies. It would make those rubies blood gems, and thus you should avoid buying them if possible. According to reports, around 4% of all market gemstones are in conflict.
The Four C’s of Diamonds
Many terms are thrown around when it comes to stones, and it can be hard to know what they all mean. For example, cut refers to how well the stone has been shaped and polished. Color is its color grade, usually D for colorless or F for fancy colors like green or blue (you’ll often see these referred to as “fancy” diamonds).
Clarity refers to how free of blemishes the stone is; sometimes, certain flaws can be so minor that you’d never notice them with the naked eye. Carat weight measures exactly what it sounds like and how heavy your diamond is.
Ethical gemstones are more than just conflict-free and blood gemstones. They also encompass fair labor practices, extended supply chains, mining methods, and the four c’s of diamonds (cut, clarity, carat weight, and color). It is important because it ensures you buy from a trustworthy vendor.
The most ethical choice for your jewelry has been mined safely by people who were paid fairly and respected human rights. We hope this blog post has helped you understand the difference between ethical gemstones and conflict-free or blood diamonds. Now that you know what to look for, you can make a better-informed decision when it comes time for your next jewelry purchase.