Columbia Gem House is supplying fair trade gems for two new collections of jewelry in The Met store.
The Hellenistic and Byzantine Collections feature custom carved crosses, custom low cabochons, and historically inspired gem shapes executed in responsibly sourced gem materials. The pieces are inspired by jewelry and artwork in The Met’s collection.
Case displays in The Met store mention the gem sourcing: something we’ve never seen at a major retailer and something that we hope more of our customers will be inspired to do.
The jewelry features Blue Ice chalcedony, Black Stallion jasper, Idaho garnet, Uniquartz rock crystal quartz, Chilean lapis, and Madagascar labradorite. Each of the gems was featured in an article on The Met store’s blog about responsible gems.
Our founder Eric Braunwart spoke at The Met on November 2, 2018 to introduce the collections to museum members. He talked about the journey gemstones take from mine to market, the stages of the gem cutting process, and how important it is to make sure that the environment, workers, and community benefit at each step of the process.
“We’re excited to bring responsible gemstones to a wider audience thanks to The Met’s prominence,” Eric said. “This will really help educate consumers around the world to ask about how their gems were mined and cut.”