What are Fair Trade Gems®?
At Columbia Gem House, we are dedicated to ethical treatment of the environment and people involved across the gemstone supply chain. Our Principles and Protocols ensure all our gems are responsibly sourced. Here’s what we mean when we talk about ‘fair trade gems.’
Fair Trade Gems® are closely tracked from mine-to-market to ensure every gem has been handled according to our principles and protocols. Our principles include environmental protection, cultural diversity, protecting worker's rights in the mining, cutting, and manufacturing processes, education, product integrity, and a fully transparent supply chain. Our protocols are broken down into levels so consumers are able to get the whole story behind the gems they are buying.
We are fortunate enough to have constructed the protocols of the Fair Trade Gems® program because of the close relationships we built with mine operators and partners over the last 40+ years. Our mining partners have all agreed to support the efforts outlined in this program to formalize procedures to safeguard workers, the environment, and the integrity of the gems they produce.
"It is more difficult to source gems only from miners and exporters who are able and willing to sign the Fair Trade Gems® Protocols," Founder Eric Braunwart admits. "But I would rather be sure of the integrity of the product and of the people I am working with."
After 20 years of building our Fair Trade Gems® program, there is still more work to do. This is an ongoing process and we are always looking for ways to continually improve. We encourage everyone to research and define what it is that you believe in so you are able to make educated and informed buying decisions. "Whether you buy from us or not," Braunwart says, "we hope that you join the fair trade movement."
To learn more, visit our Fair Trade Gems® Principles and Protocols.