Appreciating Cultural Diversity
Fair Trade Gems® strict chain of custody preserves the integrity of a gemstone’s origin. Because gems are internationally traded in large parcels at every step of the supply chain, the origin is usually lost. By preserving the origin of the gemstone it becomes possible to promote cultural diversity. Diamonds, for example, are completely anonymous.
Gem collectors prize certain origins, like Kashmir for sapphires or Burma for rubies. Consequently, some labs offer reports that confirm a gemstones origin. In order to do this, skilled gemologists examine microscopic clues to trace a gem’s country of birth. In many cases, no such clues exist.
Why is preserving the link to the producing country important? Because the association between a beautiful gem and its origin can add glamour and appeal to a country’s image. For a country like Malawi, with few exports and little hope of a marketing campaign like Colombia has created for coffee or many countries sponsor to increase tourism, the link to beautiful Nyala ruby and sapphire offers great potential for name recognition.
Columbia Gem House promotes the source of every gem they sell. The company provides as much information about a country’s culture and unique aspects as possible. This supports the country’s culture, and in a world of increasing global sameness, may even become a valuable marketable asset for its people.