Fair Trade Gems® Protocols
A key part of our Fair Trade commitment is to share the whole story of every gem we sell. From the minute we mine or purchase rough gems, we track each parcel separately with information about its origin. While we’ve done this for 20 years, not all our gems can be identically traced.
We only work with suppliers who believe in creating a traceable supply channel, even if they aren’t completely there yet. Once we know they are committed, we can work with them to improve, step by step. That being said, we never buy rough that is completely undocumented or untraceable. We improve every year by working with suppliers to document the process and make improvements, if needed. Many times, the process suits our Principles and Protocols already, it just is not documented.
In any case, that is why we created our Fair Trade Gems® Protocols with Levels One to Five: so you know exactly what we know. Our goal is to push all our gems into a Level One or Two, but as with all worthwhile things – it’s a process.
Fair Trade Gems® Level One
Can be traced to a specific mine, where we either mine ourselves or have formal agreements with the producer, in which all Fair Trade Gems® requirements for workers and environment have been met. We visit the mine regularly, legally export, and cut these gems ourselves.
Fair Trade Gems® Level Two
Can be traced to a specific rough broker or miner who guarantees the rough comes from a known region in the country of origin. The supplier understands and supports our Principles and Protocols, has conveyed them to the miners, and assures the supplied rough meets those standards. We legally export and cut these gems ourselves.
Fair Trade Gems® Level Three
Can be traced back to the legal documented export of the rough from the country of origin. At this level, we work with the broker or miner to continually improve traceability and then cut these gems ourselves.
Fair Trade Gems® Level Four
Can be traced back to the gems being cut in our workshop. We are able to confirm country of origin but is typically pre-2001 rough sourced prior to the development of our Principles and Protocols.
We do not cut these gems ourselves so we cannot document the supply chain, but we only buy gems from suppliers we know and trust. This material is typically pre-2001 rough sourced prior to the development of our Principles and Protocols.