Whether you are buying jewellery for yourself or for others, or you want to buy crystals specimens to start a dedicated business, the first thing you should consider is causing the least damage possible to the environment. Even if you may think that a simple gem cannot cause any harm to the planet and your decision is insignificant, you must know that the most sustainable choice is represented by conflict-free, ethical gems. You have probably heard this term many times before, and if its meaning is still unknown to you, here is the easiest definition available: a gem is a stone extracted and processed through ethical means, without causing any damage to people working in the industry and to the environment. Take into consideration that many supplying companies have experts checking the evolution of the products they sell, in order to make sure that the mines, factories, communities and processes involves are in perfect conditions, so these are the sellers you should buy from.
Taking into consideration that in the past years, gemstones industry has developed a lot in many countries all around the world, many consumers may have come into various difficulties related to social and political issues. One of the most controversial subjects is the “blood diamonds” topic, which have represented the main source of funding for the wars in Sierra Leone, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In addition to this, there have also been other famous cases, such as the on from Burma, where the military forces are supported by the rubies’ trade. These, and other similar issues, are exactly the ones you should avoid when you buy crystals specimens, because besides the problems their processing causes in the social sector, there are also environmental issues involved in the business. Huge mines where stones are extracted constantly and in large quantities have a great impact on the surrounding areas. This is due to the fact that they damage the layers of the ground, disturbing large parts of land and thus modifying the biodiversity of the regions in question. Furthermore, processing the gems requires huge quantities of resources such as water, not to mention the amount of remaining rocks, which sometimes are not recycled properly and lead to acid rock drainage. The processing factories also cause pollution, damaging thus the environment, because they use machines with carbon fingerprints.
Since the processing of some gems leads to social and environmental issues, you have to pay a lot of attention when you choose a supplier. Make sure you become an ethical client, who does not encourage any of these problems by choosing only ethical gems. In order to avoid conflict gems, some producers travel personally to the countries and areas where these are extracted, checking all the conditions to see if these are in accordance with quality standards. Generally, the cheaper materials are likely to have been sourced through standard means, since this means that the mining and processing may not have been checked.