We have all heard the term “blood diamond”, and it has been our collective failure to exploit these markets through the jewelry industry. Here at Benjamin Ripley Jewelry, I am making a commitment to my clients and myself to only purchase gemstones traded ethically through trusted vendors with fair trade protocols, or stones with specific documentation tracing them back to the exact mine from which they came.
Together we will create a more sustainable jewelry industry.
Together we will create a more beautiful world.
At the end of the day, you get what you pay for. In my career as a coffee professional I was able to see the implications of responsible buying first hand. The coffee trade had taken advantage of farmers for centuries, making the farmers of the second most traded commodity in the world some of the poorest people in the world. This tragic reality has also been present in the gemstone trade, where miners have often been slaves stolen away from their lives and forced to mine gemstones. The use of slave and children laborers working in unhealthy conditions has also extended to the people cutting gemstones. With this reality being present in the world, the jewelry trade has only continued on the shoulders of this atrocity making extraordinary amounts of money in the wrong way.
I say, enough is enough. Today I put my foot down saying that there is only one way to trade: the right way. The new buying practices at Benjamin Ripley Jewelry ensure that slave labor, child labor, and regional strife are NOT being supported by the gemstones in our jewelry. Furthermore, you can feel confident that a new gem trade is being fueled with every gemstone you purchase here.
This new buying model is also characterized by a significant increase in the quality of the gemstones and their cuts. These increases in sustainability and quality do come at a cost. The increase of price for these gemstones is considerable. While I am committed to maintaining a fair price for my clients, I have to protect the sustainability and health of my business as well. This means that you will see prices rise at an unprecedented rate over the next weeks and months.
I could not be making this shift without the support that I have received from you, my clients, in the past, and I will not be able to continue forward without the continued support of all of you. I have new strategies, and new processes dedicated to bringing you my art at many different cost levels so that you can continue to support me and this new development at similar price points that you’ve come to expect from me. I will also diving into projects using gemstones which have remarkable quality and will be available for those who would like to more directly interact with this new buying protocol. Wherever you find yourself in you relationship to my jewelry, I cannot thank you enough for your continued support.