Fair Trade Gems
earth and the people who mine its gifts with respect"
Now when conscientious consumers sip
their fair trade coffee, the fingers that hold their
cups can be adorned with Fair Trade Gems from Columbia
Gem House, Inc.
Columbia Gem House, Inc. and its jewelry-manufacturing
Designs, offer consumers the option of Fair
Trade Gems thanks to the first Quality Assurance
and Fair Trade Gems Protocols in the jewelry industry.
Fair Trade Gems are closely tracked from mine to market
to ensure that every gem has been handled according
to these strict protocols. The protocols include environmental
protection, fair labor practices, health and safety
standards, and a tight chain of custody that eliminates
the possibility of treated gems or synthetics being
introduced into the supply chain. The program also includes
promotion of cultural diversity, public education and
"In addition to supporting employees
and taking care of the environment, protecting the
quality and integrity of the product is very important,"
explains Columbia Gem House, Inc. President, Eric
Braunwart. "It extends the protection of the
Fair Trade Gems program to consumers, who deserve
to know exactly what they are buying."
Columbia Gem House, Inc. has extensive
contracts with mine operators around the world and its
cutting operation accounts for 90 percent of its gem
production. Mining partners agree to support the company's
efforts to safeguard workers, the environment, and the
integrity of the gems they produce. Columbia Gem House,
Inc. is the first jewelry industry company to join the
Fair Trade movement. "I would like to encourage
other companies in the industry to join this movement,"
Braunwart says. "This is what romancing the stone
really means - making sure that people and the earth
are treated with respect, and so that gemstones bring
positive emotions to the lives of everyone who touch
Some examples of Fair Trade Gems benefits include:
· Financial support for the
construction of a school in Southern Africa.
· Helping several mining projects improve their
· Assisting USAID with funds to ship anti-AIDS
drugs to Africa
· Micro-financing small-scale mining operations.
· Prohibiting business practices such as: employing
under aged workers, demanding employees to work exorbitant
hours, paying below the standard or minimum wages,
environmental degradation, smuggling, supporting terrorists
groups, or unethical behavior.
· Binding contracts that establish strict procedures
for buying and selling rough and polished gemstones
throughout the pipeline that:
- Demonstrate to the customer where the gemstones
- Identify what, if any, treatments have been done
to the gemstone;
- Determine that the gemstone is of natural origin
and not synthetic or imitation;
- Confirm that the gemstone was obtained legally;
- NOT support those who utilize business practices
such as: employing child labor or slave labor, demanding
employees to work exorbitant hours, paying below
the standard or minimum wages, destroying the environment,
smuggling, or supporting terrorists groups;
- NOT support those who are unethical or non-transparent
in any manner.
The Fair Trade Gems initiative is a work
in progress. We are committed to the efforts to promote
The Quality Assurance and Fair Trade Gems Protocols.
To view a copy, visit our PDF
File Index page
Please visit the Fair Trade Gems Organiztion at http://www.FairTradeGems.org