We have found a very exciting thing recently - fairly traded rubies!! We've discovered a man who has bought a mine in the south of Tanzania who has formed a partnership with Tanzanian miners to unearth, cut and polish these stunning and highly sought after gemstones.
The miners' welfare, the environment and ecology of the land are all given careful consideration, care and reward. The welfare of all the workers is taken very seriously and safety equipment and procedures are strictly adhered to. The organisation has made improvements to roads surrounding the mines, which has led to better access to remote villages. The stones are cut in Dar Es Salaam by local people, bringing much needed money to the local economy.
What makes these particular stones even more interesting is that unlike most rubies, these gorgeous gemstones are completely untreated - around 99% of the rubies you see nowadays have been coloured or enhanced through dying, heating or filling. Untreated, fairly traded stones have a premium over a treated and enhanced ruby from another source, but this is perfectly understandable and acceptable to those who appreciate true rarity and natural, not man-made, beauty. That said, because we are dealing directly with the people who own the mine the stones work out less expensive than you might expect!
The organisation also sponsors a local children's home and orphanage, giving back to the local community.
I am so pleased that we've found this fabulous and forward-thinking organisation to work with. Let's hope there are more out there that we can work with in this way.
I look forward to setting one of these rubies in your bespoke engagement ring in the near future!
PS. The first commissioned ring with a fairly traded ruby is nearly finish - we'll post it on another blog soon!