The event is organized by the Ethical Gemstone Suppliers Group, a community of gemstone suppliers based in the U.S. and abroad that share a commitment to transparency and responsible sourcing throughout the gemstone supply chain.
The Importance of Ethical Gemstone Sourcing
Ethical gemstone sourcing is important for both social and environmental reasons. On the social side, it helps to ensure that the miners and workers involved in the gemstone industry are treated fairly and paid a decent wage. It also helps to prevent child labor and other human rights abuses.
On the environmental side, ethical gemstone sourcing helps to minimize the environmental impact of gemstone mining. This includes reducing pollution, conserving water, and protecting biodiversity.
The Challenges of Ensuring Ethical Sourcing in the Gemstone Industry
Ensuring ethical sourcing in the gemstone industry can be challenging for a number of reasons. First, the gemstone supply chain is often complex and opaque, making it difficult to track the provenance of gemstones. Second, gemstone mining can be a dangerous and hazardous occupation, and workers are often not adequately protected. Third, gemstone mining can have a significant environmental impact, particularly in developing countries where environmental regulations may be weak.
The Ethical Gemstone Suppliers Group
The Ethical Gemstone Suppliers Group (EGSS) is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to promoting ethical and responsible sourcing practices in the gemstone industry. The EGSS has a number of standards that its members must meet in order to be certified. These standards cover a wide range of issues, including labor practices, environmental protection, and transparency.
The Ethical Gem Fair
The Ethical Gem Fair is an annual event that showcases gemstones from EGSS members. The fair is open to trade members, as well as students and metalsmiths of Brooklyn Metal Works. Visitors to the fair can expect to see a wide variety of gemstones, including diamonds, sapphires, rubies, emeralds, and pearls.
What to Expect at the Fair
In addition to browsing the booths of EGSS members, visitors to the Ethical Gem Fair can also attend educational sessions on responsible sourcing practices. These sessions will cover topics such as:
- How to choose an ethical gemstone supplier
- The environmental impact of gemstone mining
- The human rights abuses that can occur in the gemstone industry
- The role of certification programs in promoting ethical gemstone sourcing
The Ethical Gem Fair is a great opportunity for consumers to learn more about ethical gemstone sourcing and to purchase gemstones from reputable suppliers. It is also a great opportunity for trade members to network with other professionals in the industry.
How to Buy Ethical Gemstones
If you are interested in buying ethical gemstones, there are a few things you can do:
- Look for gemstones that are certified by a reputable organization, such as the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) or the Ethical Gemstone Suppliers Group (EGSS).
- Ask your jeweler about the provenance of the gemstones they sell.
- Be wary of gemstones that are sold at very low prices. These gemstones may have been sourced unethically.
By following these tips, you can help to ensure that you are buying gemstones that have been sourced ethically and responsibly.