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EMERALD JEWELLERY AND 5 STEPS TO BUY THEM
Often when we buy emerald jewellery in Australia, we get distracted by its quality and territorial origin, and we forget other factors that add value to the engagement ring or wedding anniversary ring. So, today, let’s discuss the five considerations when buying emeralds of ethical origin.
When we speak of value, we are not referring to price. It is important to make this distinction as many people confuse the two concepts and think that we are talking about the same thing. However, we are referring to that positive quality in the essence and social background behnd every precious stone that comes into your hands.
So, let’s forget for a moment the issues of quality, carats, size, colour, etc., and focus on what almost nobody talks about: the business morale and good principles when it comes to mining and trading a precious stone.
Global mining is a thorny issue. Due to different practices in the mining sector, whether individual or corporate, many people view it negatively. In some parts of the world, artisanal mining (independent miners), as well as industrial mining, have historically been dangerous, not only for people due to the latent possibility of occupational risks and accidents but also for the environment, due to contaminants causing significant impacts on rivers and other ecosystems.
In the social sphere, there are known cases of mining slavery! But, without going to the extremes and even just being conservative, there are cases that involve bad days, excessive work, lack of social security, local violence, and lack of corporate and state attention.
The poor working conditions that many miners or ‘guaqueros’ face, highlights the need to establish moral parameters. Defining corporate ethics that looks after the trade goods of those involved in each part of the process, starts with those who toiled to obtain the precious stones that we covet.
This is how the concept of ‘Emeralds of Ethical Origin’ started. It performs surgery, local and international organisations, interested in guiding the emerald industry to be based on personally affected moral principles.
In Colombia, the National Federation of Emeralds of Colombia (Fedesmeraldas in Spanish), represent and defend the ethical principles of the industry, to ensure adherence of the guidelines to respect and attend to the basic needs of the guild members. Its mission is to invest resources and apply principles of transparency and honesty that help carry out community and social development initiatives, and thus break the cycle of corporate misconduct that has tainted large-scale mining over the decades.
Thanks to the work of organisations such as Fedesmeraldas, emeralds produced in Colombia are free of all kinds of conflicts, which means that the buyer of a Colombian emerald can be reassured that its purchase is socially responsible, that its acquisition was ethical.
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That said, we want to mention 5 steps you must follow to buy emeralds of ethical origin.
- Check the jeweller’s website: A decent emerald marketer will always include detailed information about the origin of your gemstones. He will also talk about their traceability process, their participation in it and, of course, their level of corporate social responsibility.
- Identify the country of origin: As we speak of the most desired green stone in the world, we must also speak of the countries with the best and most productive mines on the planet. The eyes of the world watch over these countries and therefore try to be exempt from problems such as exploitation and worker slavery. Confirm that your emerald comes from Colombia in the first instance, then Brazil and finally from Zambia. He distrusts other African countries that have failed to overcome the issue of labour exploitation of their miners.|
- Ask the right questions: These questions are natural and necessary, and should not be uncomfortable for the seller, so if you notice something irritated by your questions, take it as a reason for alert and you can start to mistrust. If, on the contrary, he responds fluently and appropriately, that would be a sign of authority and knowledge.
- Request the certificate of origin and traceability: The certificates are gemological reports that delve into the details of the jewellery, and are issued by different laboratories and authorities in the matter. In the case of our emeralds, you will receive a Class “A” certificate, from International Gemological laboratories.
- Claim your guarantee: A jeweller that is able to offer you a product guarantee is a jeweller that surely has a defined and strengthened traceability structure from its first productive link. The guarantee is a sign of reliability and respect for the client, which supports the argument of respect and honesty with the workers on their team.
Do you think ethics is a vital value when we buy a jewel? Tell us in the comment box, how you verified the ethical origin of your jewellery before going to this blog!