Ethically sourced crystals and gems will oftentimes cost more than their non-ethically sourced counterparts - but do you know why?
The key word is “ethical” and this is something that’s so important to us at luxe.zen.
A large component of ethical sourcing is ensuring that all people in the supply chain are paid a fair and living wage. Ensuring the worker responsible for mining the gems or crystals that we are ordering is compensated fairly, and ensuring that every person involved down the line is also compensated fairly, means the price of the crystal or gem increases accordingly. When you see a crystal or gem at a very low price point, it becomes difficult to guarantee that all those involved in getting that crystal or gem to you were paid a living wage. And we believe that getting paid a living wage is a basic human right.
It’s also important to realize that our gems & crystals come as directly as possible from artisanal small-scale mining (ASM) operations. This means that resources may look different, rules may be different, and accommodations need to be made to ensure our crystals remain ethically sourced. This ranges from protecting the environment where the mining occurs to ensuring the safety of the miners involved. Markets where miners are able to sell their crystals are not announced publicly, as these miners would be travelling, often from a large distance, with crystal specimens and cash. Because of the care taken around the miners and their crystals, and the care taken around not harming the land used, ethical sourcing requires more diligence and time.
In a perfect world, we would know the name of every person involved in mining our favourite crystals, but it can be a difficult thing to track. Like with diamonds, tracking a product right from the ground all the way to your jewellery piece is extremely challenging, and takes a lot of diligent record keeping at each stage of the process. Attempting to track the crystals and gems we source can take more resources for the organizations that do this. This can then contribute to higher costs of the product we are sourcing.
But why is tracking our crystals and gems important to us? Tracking a crystal to its origins lets us know who mined it and how exactly it was mined so we can ensure human rights and the environment are respected.While you are still able to find beautiful gems at a lower price point, you may not be able to guarantee where these gems come from, or guarantee that the people responsible for mining these gems are not living in poverty.
We are committed to making sure that every single person that is in any way involved in getting our crystals and gems to us is compensated fairly. We are committed to protecting and upholding human rights and the integrity of the land mined, even if the price point to do so is higher. Because quality everyday gemstone jewellery should not come at a cost - human or environmental.