Ethical Gem Suppliers, a collective of gem and jewelry dealers committed to creating transparent and traceable supply chains to better support artisanal miners, returns to Tucson this month for a four-day run at the Scottish Rite Cathedral.
Open Jan. 28–31 (9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily), the Ethical Gem Fair is a small but mighty showcase for some of the gem industry’s most progressive companies. The through line that connects them all is their ability to trace their supplies back to the artisanal communities that produced the stones, as well as their efforts to improve conditions for the miners, cutters, and dealers along the way.
They include: Agere Treasures (an Ethiopian supplier known for its emeralds and opals), Anza Gems (which specializes in colored stones offered by female miners in East Africa), Capricorn Gems (sapphires, boulder opal, chrysoprase, and zircon from Queensland, Australia), Columbia Gem House (gems from A to Z, including a slew of stones mined in America), Nature’s Geometry (Brazilian gems, with an emphasis on rutilated quartz), Nineteen48 (gems from Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Australia, and other select locations), Perpetuum Jewels (post-consumer and antique diamonds and gemstones), and Virtu Gem (gems mined in Malawi, Kenya, and Zambia).
“The response last year was truly remarkable, lots of new faces and vibrant interest in how our group of suppliers supports our respective supply chains,” Monica Stephenson, founder of Anza Gems, tells JCK. “The structure of the show invites meaningful conversations, and we plan to host short informational sessions to further explore current topics a couple of times each day of the show. We feel that the tide is truly shifting within the independent designer—and retailer—community to understand the supply chain and the impact of our collective decisions.”
The daily educational sessions Stephenson noted are 20-minute talks on hot topics in the industry hosted by various members of the group. The schedule includes a conversation between Stephenson and Eric Braunwart of Columbia Gem House on miner-to-market traceability; Hewan Zwedi of Agere Treasures and Stuart Pool of Nineteen48 discussing “Words Matter: What Responsible Means to You”; and “Natural, Recycled & Lab Grown Gems” with Ian Bone of Capricorn Gems and Jay Moncada of Perpetuum Jewels.
There will also be a meet and greet event on Jan. 30, 4-6 p.m.
For more info, check out Ethical Gem Suppliers on Instagram (@ethicalgemsuppliers).
Top: Bicolor Australian sapphire from Capricorn GemsFollow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Twitter: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Facebook: @jckmagazine