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Our Perspective on Responsible Sourcing of Rough Diamonds and Gemstones

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The Raw Stone was established with the fundamental goal to provide responsibly-sourced diamonds, gemstones and jewelry to customers worldwide. We base our business on integrity, ethical values and clean sourcing, and have devoted ourselves to this since day one. In this article we’d like to introduce you to our method of ethically sourcing rough diamonds and gemstones.

First, let’s start with our purchasing. In order to purchase rough diamonds, we purchase in large quantities, even though we sell stone by stone. By purchasing larger amounts of rough diamonds, we are able to approach sources who are as close to the mine as possible. For us, this means that we often buy directly from siteholders. A siteholders is a company that is chosen by large diamond mines to purchase their rough diamonds in bulk directly and blindly in what is known as a “site box”. The siteholder is chosen for their integrity, and for their repeated ability to distribute large amounts of rough diamonds of all types across the market successfully. It is extremely important for us to buy directly from the siteholder because we are assured that the diamonds have not been anywhere else before we purchase them, other than the original mine, and therefore we can trace back to origin.

Siteholder with site box

Photo courtesy of Idex Online

After we purchase our diamonds from the siteholder, the diamonds are shipped to us in the United States with a Kimberley Certificate. The Kimberley Certificate assures that the diamonds are conflict-free according to the definition of a conflict diamond by the World Diamond Council. A Kimberley Certificate is required by US law to accompany any unset or unmounted rough diamond that crosses international borders.

Kimberley Certificate

At The Raw Stone, we go beyond the Kimberley Process to make sure that our rough diamonds are sourced from clean, responsible sources.  We have our own list of requirements for our diamond and gemstone suppliers to make sure that the sources the stones came from is of the highest level of oversight and ethical standards possible. All mines that we work with do not employ child labor, adhere to strict safety precautions for workers, pay a living wage, prevent environmental damage by complying with international and local laws and regulations, give back to their surrounding communities, are on legal mining land and have all state assurances and licenses to mine legally, among others. We put these standards in place for both our rough diamonds and all gemstones that we sell. Customers can request a certificate of authenticity from us that states all the above for any stone they purchase from The Raw Stone.

We chose to go beyond the Kimberley Process because we believe that the Kimberley Process could be improved, and that at this time, it is an ineffective and outdated mechanism. This is a topic to be explored in our next blog post, so stay tuned!

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