Fair Trade Gems Protect People and the Environment

Do you think about where the products you purchase come from and how they were manufactured? Social responsibility is a growing concern for many consumers and businesses. Whether it’s coffee or computers, beauty products or building supplies, or food for pets or people, we want balance between what we’re buying and how it was made.

The jewelry industry was put in the spotlight in 2006 when the movie Blood Diamond illustrated the illicit measures occurring to fund extremist activities. Improvements have been made in the diamond trade since, but little had been done to formalize fair trade practices for colored gem stones.

“We have always done our best to work with ethically sourced gems, but there were few industry standards,” explained Phyllis Harrison, co-owner with her husband, Steph Farber, of LeRoy Jewelers and The Art Stop. “We’ve found a great partner in Columbia Gem House, which is a world leader in fair trade practices for gem stones.”

Based in Vancouver, Washington, Columbia Gem House promotes that its fair trade gems are closely tracked from mine to market to ensure that every gem has been handled according to strict protocols. These protocols include environmental protection, fair labor practices at the cutting and jewelry factories, and a tight chain of custody. Columbia says these protocols eliminate the possibility of treated gems or synthetics being introduced into the supply chain.

“We are confident that we are now getting the full backstory for gems we purchase,” said Harrison. “We know who mined it, how it was cut and what the profits are supporting. That means we can assure our customers that they can wear their jewelry with joy and pride.”

LeRoy Jewelers is a family-owned and -operated business in downtown Tacoma. For more than 75 years, it has been helping customers convey their personal stories through beautifully crafted and unique jewelry.

JULIE LEYDELMEYER

For Additional Information:
LeRoy Jewelers
940 Broadway, Tacoma
253.272.3377
ljewelers.com