BBC Show Takes On Sapphire Mining

Tonight, BBC Three will air the first episode of “Blood, Sweat and Luxuries,” a series about where luxuries come from (and not the good side.) The show is aimed at drawing a wider audience than the standard depressing documentary because it is done in the style of a reality series.  As this reviewer explains …

Here, we have 6 luxury-reliant youfs who are sent to various places in the world to learn exactly how much effort is put into the stuff they buy in their hometowns to justify their existence. This week: sapphire mines in Africa …

Being forced to work on an open sapphire mine in 40 degree heat you get a sense of the situation early on. The work is tough for the spoilt youths, and it’s all for 12.5 pence an hour. As they visit a polisher at the end of their trip, you also realise the frightening discrepancy in the whole system as a quick shape and buff boosts the profit from an £8 bit of rock to about £300. The miner’s lose out massively.

To see what goes into the little shiny things that girlfriends expect the world over is eye-opening. …

So far most of the NGO attention on our industry has been on diamonds and gold. But I am beginning to suspect colored stones may be next …

JCK News Director