Issues in the Jewellery Industry
What is important to you when buying gems and/or jewellery?
What stone are you going to buy? What colour of stone? Clear coloured gems or coloured gems? Do you want synthetic or natural gems? Are you curious about enhancements on the gems?
What metal are you going to get? What colour of metal do you want? Should it be platinum, gold, silver or some other metal?
Are you into the ethics of mining and is this a concern to you? Do you want to know where your gold was mined, gems mined? Are the wages fair to the workers? Are they treated properly?
That is a lot of questions to think about! Do you think about any of this when buying your jewellery or are you the consumer that sees something, likes something and buys it without considering all behind the item issues.
It is okay if you are that consumer because the questions listed above and many more are on the mind of the gemmologists, retailers , etc. who help make up a lot of the associations and organizations in the jewellery industry. We are trying to make sure that the gems and metals that go into making up the beautiful creations are something you will want to own in all ways. We look into ethical mining, the labour laws in different countries and as a gemmologist I can vouch that we are always on the lookout for new enhancements that are there to deceive the consumer.
Will we always win-no- but we keep trying to make sure the industry and the people that are part of it are the kind of people you want to deal with. I am asked about Canadian diamonds a lot (I guess being Canadian does invite those questions) and I can say that there is a paper trail on these diamonds to ensure they were ethically mined, especially those cut in Canada. The government of Canada also requires environmental details before a mine is opened, to show how it will impact the environment and how this will be fixed at the end of the mines life. These may be a consideration in buying a diamond.
There will always be enhancements in gems; they have been around for centuries. What we as an industry (at least the ethical members) would like to see is all enhancements being disclosed right down the chain of sale to the ultimate consumer, who would then have all the correct information, with no surprises, when making their decision in purchasing. Oh that we would live in such a world! Until then we continue to strive to make sure the industry does the best it can. There is still a ways to go though!
I wish the rest of your summer to be a restful, enjoyable time and you are able to take time to be with family and friends. Remember keep your jewellery safe from sand, surf and sun but if you need an appraisal done look for an independent appraiser near you.
For an ethical Jewellery Appraiser near you, check the Association of Independent Jewellery Valuers website. It lists them from around the world.