Every once in a while, it's important to come back to what we are really all about, and why we're here. I originally started The Raw Stone with two goals in mind:
1. Provide a more ethical source of diamonds and gemstones to the jewelry industry
2. Increase awareness of our earth and humanity
If you follow us on Instagram then you'll get your daily dose of goal #2 above plus plenty of sparkly photos of our rings and stones.
As for goal #1, this is something that is constantly going on behind the scenes, and I don't think we discuss it enough.
Rough diamonds and gemstones are incredibly valuable resources, and they often come from lands where there is poverty, lawlessness, or general human desperation. Fear and torture can become the governing force of the mines, and miners and the earth are their victims.
Not all mines are run like this. Some are overseen by the government and large international bodies with standards for safety, human rights and environmental protection. Some mines follow rules for artisanal mining, and are required to do low-impact, non-invasive forms of lighter mining that benefit both the earth, and the people doing the mining.
We buy from these types of mines - the types that are constantly under international scrutiny and hold themselves up to international standards, or the types of mines that are very small and obtain local licenses and undergo governmental inspections at least once a year, or the types of small mines that band together and employ also women into their workforce.
It isn't easy to devote ourselves to this. We see sparkly and gorgeous pieces all the time that we know our customers would delight in. But, if we can't verify where those pieces came from, then we just have to pass them by.
Instead, we get to share wholeheartedly the treasures we find from these incredibly good sources. Tanzanites, garnets, rubies and citrine from the Tanzanian Association of Women Miners, rough diamonds from internationally recognized facilities in Botswana, sapphires from a tiny family mine in Sri Lanka. These are the true treasures, really. Not only are they gorgeous, but they carry with them an energy of goodness, and they remind us all to be conscious of our purchases, of our actions, and of the people and world around us.