Fair Trade Levels

Kimberly Process and Columbia Gem House Fair Trade Protocols

The Kimberly process was developed to make sure the production and sale proceeds from diamonds did not support civil wars in Africa. In addition, the process was written to assure all diamonds were legally exported and not smuggled.

The Columbia Gem House Protocols assure the production and sale of colored gemstones were done legally and do not support civil wars, and much more. In addition to the Kimberly ideals, Columbia Gem House Fair Trade Protocols also:

1. Assure country of origin.
2. Support the local community through production sales and by supporting development projects and critical needs in the local community.
3. Track Columbia Gem House fair trade gemstones through the cutting process to assure there is no worker exploitation or health hazards like Silicosis, which results in the death of stone cutters.
4. Understand and assure disclosure and clarity on any treatments that are done to gems that travel under the Columbia Gem House “Fair Trade Gems®” brand.

Given the similarities and differences between the Kimberly Process and the Columbia Gem House Fair Trade Gems Process, we are currently adjusting our Fair Trade rating levels to better coordinate the two.

Level 1

Complete Fair Trade. We can follow the gemstones all the way back to the mine, where we have significant impact on the mining itself.

Level 2

Protocols to the Producer. We can follow these gems back to the rough broker, who has an agreement with us that he can guarantee the material in question comes from the same locations. He understands and supports our Fair Trade principles and will communicate those principles to the mine operations.

Level 3

Country/Export Onward. Known traceable country of origin and legally exported from the country knowing they are not financing any civil wars. Additionally, these gems are cut only in gemstone workshops that meet our employment and health standards. This is the same as the Kimberly Process except we know and track the country of origin of each stone and who cut it.

Level 4

Factory Forward. These gemstones meet all our employment and health standards regarding how they were cut and we know country of origin, but not the details of how they were exported.

Level 5

Cannot be Considered Fair Trade. We do not cut these gems and therefore we cannot follow their journey from mine to market in a significant manner so as to guarantee that they fall into the Fair Trade categories.