Mining has always been quite a dirty business, not only the working conditions, corruption and the compensation but also the environmental footprint it has left behind in most countries where gemstones are found.
There are different kinds of mining, most people think of coal mines when they think of mining. But many stones are found just beneath the surface or in a superficial ‘nerve’ crossing the land. Especially the first kinds leaves behind a mine field full of potholes making the land unsuitable for agricultural use as seen in the picture below.
Our mission is to create ethical jewelry by only using stones which have a minimal environmental impact. This is a bottle neck as most stones are mined in third world countries where the environment is the least of their worries. International NGO’s have been trying to educate artisanal miners but as you can imagine this is only in its initial stage and still has a long way to go.
Basically it is complicated. We want to give back by buying ethical stones from preferably countries where they need the income to most but on the other hand these countries usually have the least regulations. Our goal is to give back in several ways one of them being by contributing to certain local initiatives which restore the land. As you can imagine this is also not a top priority when for example eduction is also lagging behind but it is doable. We also decided to support Gem Legacy, an non profit organisation that supports education, vocational training, women mining initiatives and local economies in East African colored gemstone mining communities.
We believe we can make a difference regarding the mining either by buying ethically mined stones, giving back to mining communities through Gem Legacy or by contributing to the restoration of land. Baby steps but to us this is the only way to go.