I feel that the quality of life is more important than a pretty gem, so if I cannot source something responsibly, I won't. While this wasn't always the case, the more research I did, the more disheartened I became. If you knew the dirty details of mining, trading and cutting, I know that you would feel the same way too.
My commitment to responsible sourcing includes, but is not limited to:
- Assessing and responding to human rights risks throughout the supply chain, from mining, trading, cutting, polishing and selling.
- Use independent third party auditing whenever possible. By doing this, I lower the risk of sourcing based solely on heresay or spoken claims. Third party auditing legitimizes claims made by Emily Chelsea Jewelry and the suppliers I work with.
- Publish the names of my gold, gemstone and diamond suppliers.
- Maintain an ethical price point. I will not inflate or deeply discount prices based on demand and competition but rather ask for a fair price for each piece of jewelry. My pricing structure takes all aspects into account- cost of materials, labor and services including 3D printing, casting and setting, as well as a reasonable profit to maintain sustainability for the business and the jewelry industry as a whole.
- Incorporate a robust transparent supply chain policy between Emily Chelsea Jewelry and each supplier.
With the growing trend of claiming that jewelry is "ethically sourced," "responsibly sourced" and "sustainably sourced" the true meaning of these terms has become a bit fuzzy. Once bold claims to ensure responsible practices with respect to the environment and human kind, they are now frequently used as a marketing strategy to appeal to conscious consumers. There is no way to monitor who can use these claims and no set of standards to determine what exactly they mean.
What is the value of a claim if it is self declared? Without third party auditing of such claims, they are completely baseless and void of meaning. Because of this, Emily Chelsea Jewelry has decided to no longer participate in the use of these labels and more importantly, using them as hashtags. Instead, I will do my best to educate and explain each source and process and why it is significant.
Perpetuum Jewels- Perpetuum deals in all post consumer diamonds, specializing in unique and vintage cuts, like Old Mine Cut and Old European Cut. Perpetuum Jewels is certified by SCS Global Services as a Certified Responsible Source and for 100% Post-Consumer Recycled Gemstones, offering environmentally sustainable alternatives to newly-mined stones.
Hoover and Strong- Hoover and Strong offer recycled and Canadian sourced diamonds for both their small and large diamonds. They also offer lab grown diamonds. Hoover and Strong has long been a supporter of the "green" movement and are certified by SCS Gloabl Services for their 100% recycled precious metals.
Rough Diamond World- Rough Diamond World offers recycled melee diamonds. They also offer diamonds organized by country source. All of their diamonds are cut by a third party audited cutting facility in India.
Sheahan Stephens Sapphires
True Blue Opals- True Blue Opals sources all of their opals from Lightning Ridge, Australia and all of their stones are cut and polished in Australia.
Superior Gems- Chris White, the owner of Superior Gems, mines all of his sapphires in Montana and has all of his stones cut in a responsibly run cutting facility in Sri Lanka.
Hoover and Strong- Hoover and Strong sells all 100% recycled precious metals or Fairmined and Fairtrade gold.
Fell Refinery- Fell is a refinery in California and they sell all recycled metals that they refine themselves. If I am not sourcing from Hoover and Strong, all gold, silver and platinum is coming from Fell.
Stuller- Stuller has received SCS certification for their recycled metals. I buy small jump rings, chain, jewelry components and wedding ring blanks from Stuller if needed.
Understanding what each source means is imperative to knowing where your jewelry comes from. Below is a breakdown of each source referenced and why each is beneficial and a sustainable source for the industry.
SCS- SCS Global Services is a trusted leader in third-party environmental, sustainability and food quality certification, auditing, testing and standards development. By providing third party certification and auditing, SCS promotes environmental stewardship and social responsibility. To read more about SCS Global Services, click here.
Canadian sourced goods- There are strict environmental laws and sustainable development implemented by the Canadian government. The diamond mines also offer fair labor opportunities to the indigenous people. You can read more about the Canadian government regulations here.
Australian sourced goods- There are several frameworks in place in Australia that maintain environmentally sound processes and social responsibility in the mining inudstry. They focus on safety, economical sustainability, resource efficiency, environmental practices and community support and cooperation. Read more about that here.