A Big Gray ‘But’

Is integrity always black-and-white—or can it have shades of gray? Integrity is the cornerstone of the jewelry industry. That's not to imply that other industries don't also have a high degree of ethics, but how many other fields accept a handshake as a binding contract for the exchange of a million or more dollars? Nor are there many instances when a supplier will send out a product on memo, essentially saying "pay me when you sell it and I'll take it back if you don't." Perhaps our emphasis on integrity has its roots in the long-standing association of gemstones and religion. From pre-Biblical times, through the Bible and other key writings of the Judeo-Christian tradition, to almost every other major religion in the world, precious metals and gems have been considered objects of exalted value. Since a fundamental purpose of any religion is to provide a basis of ethical and behav
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