The Raw Stone is proud to announce that the report by RESP, "Challenges to Advancing Social and Environmental Responsibility in the Coloured Gems Industry" has been published. It was written by Eduardo Escobedo, Executive Director of the Responsible Ecosystems Sourcing Platform (RESP).
Our founder, Kerin Jacobs, was a proud contributor to this report, providing input and knowledge from her own vast experience in the field. She has spent the last six years dedicating herself to finding ways to source colored gemstones as responsibly as possible. These efforts have culminated in The Raw Stone having the great honor of sourcing gemstones from the Tanzania Association of Women Miners (TAWOMA), including rubies, sapphires, zircon, garnet, amethyst, moonstones, tanzanite, and many more. For more information about TAWOMA, please view our interview with TAWOMA's secretary general Shamsa Diwani here. And, establishing a partnership with a responsible, family-run mine and lapidary in Sri Lanka. For more information about this mine, please view our article here.
We believe at The Raw Stone that RESP's report is a wonderful first step in facilitating positive change in an industry that could very much benefit from such change. The report has many findings, most which outline challenges in developing a broad set of guidelines for the industry to improve. These challenges include, the economic model and valuation and pricing, capacity and knowledge gaps, ignoring differences and complexities in the industry, a top-down and enforcement-based agenda, appropriate laws and regulations for small-scale miners, illegality, informality and lack of organization, the environmental knowledge base, no common stance on transparency and traceability, the lack of an honest broker and collaborative approach, and the limited role for women.
We at The Raw Stone are in complete agreement with the findings of the report, and believe it should be read and considered by all stakeholders in the gemstone industry - including jewelers and end customers! You can download the report here. If everyone educates themselves on how to make the best purchasing decisions possible, then we can all do a great deal to affect some real change!